Thursday, September 14, 2017
Wall Street Journal editorial, The Better IRS Reform:
The long saga of Lois Lerner is coming to a close. Ms. Lerner was the infamous Obama Administration cat’s paw at the Internal Revenue Service, which harassed conservative political groups in the Tea Party era. Now the Trump Justice Department has decided there is no cause to pursue criminal charges against Ms. Lerner, and Congressional Republicans are howling. ...
Republicans are furious. But this mess happened because the Obama Administration used federal bureaucracies for raw political purposes. If Mr. Sessions’s Justice Department has found no way to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt, Republicans could begin the road back to accountability by respecting that decision.
What House Republicans should do now is create a structure that will stop assaults by bureaucrats on political activity. They’ve been putting riders in spending bills to bar the IRS from imposing restrictions on nonprofit speech. But this thumbs-in-the-dike approach does nothing about powers that IRS functionaries already have over political activity.
The solution is to get the IRS out of the political arena by limiting its role to the most basic administrative task of giving initial approval to nonprofits. Transfer to the Federal Election Commission the job of deciding whether a nonprofit is abiding by the existing rules governing political spending. The FEC’s commissioners would decide if complaints against the political activities of nonprofits had merit.
Democrats will rebel because the design of the FEC makes it difficult to sic the commission on political enemies. That’s why they made the IRS their political enforcer. Legislators designed the FEC to prevent partisans from turning it into a political weapon.
It takes a majority vote among its six bipartisan FEC commissioners to proceed with a judgment. Commissioners are confirmed by the Senate and operate in the open. The status quo gives this job—and power—to the IRS’s unconfirmed, unseen federal bureaucrats.
Campaign-finance fights make Republicans nervous, but they’ve got a political self-interest in permanently transferring this job to the FEC. Once back in power, Democrats will mobilize a crackdown against their single biggest obsession—“dark money.” Meaning the conservatives who fund their opposition.
Lois Lerner’s IRS operation was the swamp at its worst. The GOP would do the country’s politics a favor by draining these bureaucrats of partisan political power.
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1587: Judicial Watch Says Trump Should Overrule His DOJ And Order A Full Review Of The IRS Scandal (Sept. 12, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1582: Is The IRS Scandal About To Break Wide Open? (Sept. 7, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1580: Conservative Group Hoping For 'Perp Walks' After Breakthrough In IRS Lawsuit (Sept. 5, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1576: Will Justice Come For IRS Lawbreakers At Last? (Sept. 1. 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1574: Why Are Trump’s Justice Department Appointees Protecting The IRS? (Aug. 30, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1572: Why Did It Go Away? (Aug. 28, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1568: (Still) Seeking IRS Accountability (Aug. 24, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1563: Judge Orders IRS To Disclose Names Of Employees Who Targeted Conservative Groups And To Prove That It Has Stopped The Practice (Aug. 19, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1561: Why Hasn't Trump Drained The IRS/DOJ Swamp? (Aug. 17, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1559: Checking In On IRS-Tea Party Lawsuits (Aug. 15, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1554: Why Is Trump's Justice Department Still Fighting Disclosure Of Documents Revealing IRS Targeting Of Conservative Groups? (Aug. 10, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1552: The IRS's Email Retention Policies Still Do Not Ensure That Emails Are Retained And Produced When Requested (Aug. 8, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 1544: How Lois Lerner Begat Robert Mueller (July 31, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 1401-1500 (Mar. 10, 2017 - June 17, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 1301-1400 (Nov. 30, 2016 - Mar. 9, 2017)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 1201-1300 (Aug. 22, 2016 - Nov. 29, 2016)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 1101-1200 (May 14, 2016 - Aug. 21, 2016)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 1001-1100 (Feb. 4, 2016 - May 13, 2016)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 901-1000 (Oct. 27, 2015 - Feb. 3, 2016)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 801-900 (July 19, 2015 - Oct. 26, 2015)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 701-800 (April 10, 2015 - July 18, 2015)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 601-700 (Dec. 31, 2014 - April 9, 2015)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 501-600 (Sept. 22, 2014-Dec. 30, 2014)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 401-500 (June 14, 2014 - Sept. 21,2014)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 301-400 (Mar. 6, 2014 - June 13, 2014)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 201-300 (Nov. 26, 2013 - Mar. 5, 2014)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 101-200 (Aug. 18, 2013 - Nov. 25, 2013)
- The IRS Scandal, Days 1-100 (May 10, 2013 - Aug. 17, 2013)