Despite the White House’s doubling down yesterday on its claim that the IRS scandal is just another Republican conspiracy to smear an administration with an otherwise spotless record for openness, honesty, and leadership, many on the left have had enough. First, it’s hard to excuse the arrogance of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who declared yesterday that — despite the agency’s having misplace two years’ worth of emails — he had nothing to apologize for.
Second, we are talking here about the IRS. Remember them? That’s the government’s tax agency that not only has the blanket authority to order you to show up at one of its offices with seven years of receipts in tow but will now be overseeing the enforcement of Obamacare and collection of penalties. For the agency’s head to state offhandedly that the emails sought by Congress are irretrievable — this despite his earlier reassurance that said communications were forthcoming — is galling beyond reason.
The incident has prompted immediate remedial reaction. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) is proposing “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act” (h/t Weasel Zippers). From a press release at the Congressman’s website:
Taxpayers who do not produce documents for the Internal Revenue Service will be able to offer a variety of dubious excuses under legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX 36) a week after the IRS offered an incredibly dubious excuse for its failure to turn documents over to House investigators.
“The United States was founded on the belief government is subservient and accountable to the people. Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to follow laws the Obama administration refuses to follow themselves,” said Stockman. “Taxpayers should be allowed to offer the same flimsy, obviously made-up excuses the Obama administration uses.”
Under Stockman’s bill, “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act,” taxpayers who do not provide documents requested by the IRS can claim one of the following reasons:
1. The dog ate my tax receipts
2. Convenient, unexplained, miscellaneous computer malfunction
3. Traded documents for five terrorists
4. Burned for warmth while lost in the Yukon
5. Left on table in Hillary’s Book Room
6. Received water damage in the trunk of Ted Kennedy’s car
7. Forgot in gun case sold to Mexican drug lords
8. Forced to recycle by municipal Green Czar
9. Was short on toilet paper while camping
10. At this point, what difference does it make?
Stockman’s bill comes a week after the IRS refused to turn over to House investigators emails from former Exempt Organizations Divison director Lois Lerner that would implicate agency personnel in illegal targeting of citizens critical of President Barack Obama.
In any case, IRS can see the NSA for a good, high quality copy.
- Jay Carney, Jr. (aka Josh Earnest): IRS scandal GOP conspiracy theory
- Paul Ryan just hammered the IRS: Good for him
- IRS official whose emails were ‘lost’ visited White House more than 30 times
- Fun fact: Guess where current IRS commish used to work
- IRS chief: White House told about missing emails 6 weeks before Congress
- Oops. IRS chief didn’t read agency manual, says emails not ‘official record’
- Obama’s double asterisks on IRS
- IRS manual explicitly governs email backup and retention