Sunday, September 4, 2011
If [banks] don't come up with loan modifications and keep people in their homes that they've worked so hard for, we're going to tax them out of business.
(Hat Tip: Tax Lawyer's Blog.) This brings to mind President Obama's "joke" in a 2009 Arizona State commencement address about his planned retaliatory audit of the school for its refusal to award him an honorary degree:
As Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee) pointed out at the time in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Tax Audits Are No Laughing Matter: A President Shouldn't Even Joke About Abusing IRS Power:
Just a joke about the power of the presidency. Made by Jay Leno it might have been funny. But as told by Mr. Obama, the actual president of the United States, it's hard to see the humor. Surely he's aware that other presidents, most notably Richard Nixon, have abused the power of the IRS to harass their political opponents. But that abuse generated a powerful backlash and with good reason. Should the IRS come to be seen as just a bunch of enforcers for whoever is in political power, the result would be an enormous loss of legitimacy for the tax system.