Why aren't heads rolling at the IRS?
Getting rid of incompetent -- or dishonest -- government officials shouldn't be this hard.
Lerner was placed on administrative leave Friday, one day after refusing to answer questions before a congressional committee investigating the IRS' action. Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel asked her to resign, but Lerner refused, according to an account Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, gave the Washington Post.
For now, Lerner, who has worked for the government for 34 years, will continue to collect her salary and benefits despite some members of Congress believing that she lied to them. They also were steamed that Lerner originally disclosed the Tea Party targeting by having a friend ask her a question about it during a news conference.
Moreover, Lerner's version of the story of how the IRS came to target Tea Party groups has earned a "bushel of Pinochios" from the Washington Post's Fact Checker. She had argued that the agency was inundated with applications from groups seeking so-called 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status in 2010, but the "real jump" in applications didn't occur until after the IRS began targeting conservative groups.
Though members of Congress are pressing for "heads to roll" at the IRS, including Lerner's, that might not happen. Most workers who did the targeting are covered by civil service protection for federal employees that could make it difficult to terminate them. As Politico pointed out, no federal workers have been reprimanded yet in connection with the targeting.
To be clear, a legitimate concern applies to 501(c)(4) groups, which are supposed to promote social welfare, though it's not clear what that actually means. A column in The New York Times called the IRS scandal "at best stupid, and at worst alarming." But even gross incompetence doesn't excuse Lerner's actions or those of the IRS employees who used political considerations to improperly target groups.
As respected tax journalist David Cay Johnston recently noted: "Only a person lacking a sense of honor and integrity would cling to their job in the face of the horrendous damage caused to the agency they work for, to her superiors and to the welfare of the Republic if her mistakes prompt even more IRS budget cuts."
Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights when lawmakers tried to question her Thursday. Some, such as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who heads the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have argued that she waived her right against self-incrimination by denying all wrongdoing.
One thing's for sure: This scandal isn't going to blow over as soon as President Barack Obama would like.
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
Heads aren't rolling because 90% of the media is complicit and not demanding accountability.
A vast majority of Americans probably haven't even heard about the scandal because news headlines are about gay boy scouts, Angelina Jolie's lady parts, and North Korea shooting off bottle rockets.
OK ---You ask her to resign and she says no////////// Just tell her not to let the door hit her in the ****
as she is escorted out of the building/////////////// YOUR FIRED///////// Donald Trump style/////////////
This is totally expected. For the last twenty years all hiring and promotions within the IRS was based totally on race (not white) and gender (not male). Hiring without any consideration of ability ends with this type of action. I bet 95% of IRS employees voted for Oboma, so they would use their jobs to protect him
To almost quote Richard Nixon, the American people need to know their President isn't a crook. Well, we know how that ended. Do we really want to believe that the IRS did these things and white house aids knew of it, but not BO? Our US embassy in Benghazi comes under attack and there's not even a standard US Marine detachment at that embassy to defend it, AND no help is sent? Somali pirates snatch up ship after ship and the world is powerless is stop it or send troops in there to clean the place out? A few strategic air strikes might make them think a tad harder about the next ship. BO pulls Holder's strings and the DOJ jumps? To say it plain----things just aren't right. It's far more than just the IRS. The IRS is a symptom not the problem. The problem is our lack of control of the place. Years ago when there was talk about IRS control, congress didn't want to touch it. They were afraid of an audit, AND the IRS is going to monitor the ACA. This will be cute.
Will someone tell Obama the Sgt. Schultz defense, "I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing", Only makes the imbecile Obama look even more inept than he is.
He is either the dumbest, most inept President in the history of the Republic or he is corrupt far beyond Nixon. Which is it?
Democrats ordered these Audits of campaign donors and Obama enemies. More will come out. He not only knew, like Nixon, he ordered it, and is lying about it.
Otherwise, just pull the audits and FIRE everyone that did them, then their bosses, strip them of their pensions and send them to jail. Then we can investigate who leaked tax returns. More Felonies.
The I.R.S., Benghazi, D.O.J.and A, P. and Fox scandals are all the more reasons for smaller government and term limits. Obama, H. Clinton, Holder, and Lerner are creating plausibility and deniably to all questions referring to these scandals. As a supervisor, (since retired), I was held responsible for all workings (good or bad) of my subordinates. It was my JOB to know the answers of every detail of their performances in my department for this was called leadership and supervision. If "I didn't know"...the policy was an investigation with possible termination. Not knowing these answers would be considered Derelict of Duty and/or Negligence and inexcusable. This being said, to have these officials claiming "I don't know" to the Congressional Committee is an outrage to the American People with or without knowledge of the incidents brought forward and they should be held accountable. Denying security, ordering a Stand-down to military personnel for protection of Americans when protection was needed , "Targeting " organizations for political gain, abusing subpoena powers of records to probe the press for information, and the abuse the Constitution is unacceptable of ANY official holding the trust of the American people.
As President Truman said "The buck stops here." Obama, Clinton, Holder , Lerner and any other supervisors involved should all be held accountable to include termination and jail time for all these incidents. The people want the truth and the questions answered. This is unacceptable workings of our government and the overreaching needs to stop.
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