Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 6, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 638

IRS Logo 2The Blaze, GOP, Dems: Let’s Make It Easier to Fire IRS Officials:

Dozens of House members, including three Democrats, have put forward a new bill that would require the IRS to fire anyone who targets people or groups based on their political beliefs.

The Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act is a response to the scandal that broke last year in which IRS officials applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. That scandal forced President Barack Obama to fire IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller in 2013, but Congress has grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of further accountability at the IRS since then.

One big example of this frustration has been the loss of key emails from former IRS employee Lois Lerner, who played a key role in overseeing tax exempt applications. Republicans have said it’s too hard to believe that these emails were conveniently lost, when they might have shown more details about the effort to target conservative groups.

The bill from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) would add political targeting to a list of reasons for immediately firing IRS workers. That list, created by a 1998 law, says IRS workers should be fired for reasons such as lying under oath and other actions against taxpayers.

Renacci’s bill would add a new reason to fire IRS workers: “performing, delaying, or failing to perform (or threatening to perform, delay, or fail to perform) any official action (including any audit) with respect to a taxpayer for purpose of extracting personal gain or benefit or for a political purpose.”

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Publius seems to be saying we need to pay IRS employees more not to persecute political dissidents. That sounds a lot like extortion.

Posted by: wodun | Feb 6, 2015 11:12:12 AM

Political persecution is not an existing perk of IRS employment and eliminating that expressly does not require compensation to make things right.

This is a law that is regrettably necessary. The IRS should have known better from the beginning. It is a failure of character that they've forgotten.

Posted by: TMLutas | Feb 6, 2015 9:24:38 AM

In other words, Rep. Renacci and colleagues want to add an eleventh item to the current list of "ten deadly sins." I don't have a problem with that; like Caesaar's wife, IRS employees must be above suspicion. But with that added level of scrutiny and risk there should also be suitable additional compensation for all IRS and Chief Counsel employees subject to new "Guardian" status, along with added safeguards and recompense for those wrongfully accused.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Feb 6, 2015 6:14:42 AM