TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1006

IRS Logo 2USA Today op-ed:  Washington's Culture of Corruption Rots On, by Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee):

Last week saw the passage of a grim milestone in government corruption: Pepperdine University Law Professor Paul Caron’s TaxProf blog marked the 1000th day of the scandal involving the IRS’s deliberate political targeting of conservative “Tea Party” groups. There are some lessons in this, and they’re mostly bad news.

The first sad lesson is that the notion of an impartial, professional civil service is a fiction. The big government designs of Democrats and the federal bureaucracy are aligned, and the bureaucracy often deploys its powers in ways calculated to frustrate Republican presidents and to protect Democratic ones. ...

[W]hat happened in the IRS scandal wasn’t a case of bureaucrats slow-walking ideas they think are dumb. It was, instead, a case of bureaucrats targeting people because of their political views. ...

weaponized in an effort to neutralize Obama’s Tea Party opposition. It’s that ordinary Americans can look at this and conclude that there’s no reason to follow the law if they can get away with breaking it since the people in charge of enforcing the law clearly regard it with contempt.

In an influential essay several years back, Gonzalo Lira warned of the coming middle-class anarchy, when ordinary Americans decide to be no more lawful than they have to be.

There are plenty of nations that work that way — where both the ruling class and the ruled view the law with contempt and obey it only when forced to. Such places are, generally, not as nice as places where the rule of law pertains. But avoiding that kind of outcome requires principles and self-discipline on the part of the ruling class, something that contemporary America conspicuously lacks. Welcome to the era of hope and change.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/02/the-irs-scandal-day-1006.html

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Comments

ordinary Americans can look at this and conclude that there’s no reason to follow the law if they can get away with breaking it since the people in charge of enforcing the law clearly regard it with contempt.

Progressives' virtual worship of government blinds them to this crucial danger: the slippery slope down to a third world relationship of people to their government.

If the career employees tilted right rather than left, progressives would be outraged and conservatives would be blind to the abuses. We once had such a way to alternate the entire government and open everyone's eyes to the abuses. It was called the spoils system. Bad as it was, the present situation is more dangerous.

Posted by: AMT buff | Feb 9, 2016 8:34:54 AM

Having a fledgling or full bore Stalinist in a position of power such as Lois Lerner is dangerous in the extreme. Why with the information now at hand hasn't she been adjudicated? Its only because that there are even worse and more dangerous people in the Democrat Party protecting her, she even got a $42,000 retirement bonus for lying to Congress, she has a pension of over $100,000 for lying to Congress, she is protected by the State because she is a party member of the criminal conspiracy. The Electedf of Congress has sold out the Constitution and People for the benefit of the ObamaRegime.

Posted by: Ron Nord | Feb 9, 2016 8:43:07 AM

The sky is falling. The sky is falling. The sky is falling.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Feb 9, 2016 2:03:08 PM