I found this image over at Mike Miles' place (site often NSFW).
Can anyone doubt that most Americans now view the IRS in this light - as a partisan, biased, politically motivated agency that serves the Democratic Party rather than the nation?
I think this is an opportunity for those who favor the so-called 'flat tax' or 'FairTax' proposals. Quite apart from the appeal of such ideas in other ways, their simplicity means that the IRS as we know it could simply be disbanded. There would be no need for so great an army of regulators to wade through the morass of the current tax code, decide what individuals or corporations owe to the state, and enforce its collection. The process would be greatly simplified - if not to the point that the IRS was no longer needed at all, at least to the point where most of its bureaucrats could be discharged, leaving only a 'rump department' of essential personnel.
I think many Americans will find that prospect eminently desirable in the light of the corruption that's been revealed in that organization. Do they really expect us to believe that the e-mails of no less than seven people have all been irretrievably lost - even when they had a contract to back up their e-mail servers? As George Will so memorably put it, "Religions have been founded on less". Frankly, I don't think they expect us to believe it. Rather, they don't care whether we believe it or not. They're going to stick to their story and defy anyone to prove them liars. They know the present Administration has 'got their backs'; therefore, they're not afraid of any potential consequences.
I wonder how many of the IRS's executives will seek a pre-emptive Presidential pardon prior to President Obama leaving office? I can think of several people who'd be well advised to do so, lest their current and former misdeeds come back to haunt them under a more honest Administration. (Of course, that won't help the thousands of honest IRS employees who must bitterly resent being made into political pawns rather than professional personnel. They're as much victims of this scandal as the rest of us.)
Nor is the IRS the only agency to exhibit such brazen, uninhibited lawlessness. As Mark Fitzgibbons points out:
Too many government bureaucrats believe that they are not merely above the law, but that they are the law. They are smug because they are beyond the reach of real consequences.
. . .
The IRS scandal highlights how bureaucrats violate constitutional and statutory restrictions. The problem has risen to epidemic proportions at the federal level, and has even filtered into state and local bureaucracies.
. . .
Given the totality of circumstances and even with America’s presumption of innocence for all, the IRS is objectively on the threshold of obstruction of Congress.
The breadth of what we already know about the IRS scandal highlights the level of law-breaking and contempt for the rule of law within government agencies borne of a long-developing breakdown of government accountability.
Law professor Jonathan Turley describes the larger problem this way: “Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.”
Courts long ago abdicated proper judicial review over government agency discretion and overreach. Now we have a Justice Department that is ideologically opposed to enforcing the law when government acts illegally.
Congressional oversight can no longer control the scope and depth of the problem. Bureaucracies are so big with so much discretion that elected officials are overwhelmed by the Frankenstein monsters of their own making.
Attempts to limit government agencies through the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, or closing loopholes in laws such as the Freedom of Information Act are about as effective as peashooters against a Death Star battle station.
Bureaucrats can be smug because they lack consequences. They have no “skin in the game.”
. . .
The way to control this epidemic of government law-breaking is to allow citizen victims to sue, and legislate personally liability for bureaucrats guilty of willfully illegal conduct.
There's more at the link.