Congress vs. IRS: The do-littles vs. the do-wrongs.
With 79 percent of Americans disapproving of its performance, Congress finally found a government group that’s probably more disliked than the politicians: the tax bureaucrats.
The U.S. House's tax-agency inquests that began Thursday and run through this week are bad American government on display.
At the least, the hearings make clear that the IRS does a bad job enforcing bad law. And those laws are written by Congress.
And that’s not only the case when it comes to the way the IRS unfairly profiled and delayed the formation of 298 tea party and other groups applying for nonprofit political status.
Just last month, on tax-filing day, as many as 1.5 million American citizens learned that their tax IDs had been stolen.
It happens every year. Especially here. Nine of the top 10 metropolitan areas hardest hit by this crime are in Florida, from Miami-Fort Lauderdale (1) to Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (10).
Yet the IRS and Congress do relatively little to stop it.
Now tax ID fraud is a roaring $5.2 billion industry.
Both cases of IRS incompetence (or worse) deserve far more Congressional scrutiny, answers and, perhaps, action.
But review the numbers:
*1.5 million victims; the U.S. treasury deprived of $5.2 billion annually in tax-fraud cases
*298 unfairly targeted nonprofits; only 32 percent appeared ostensibly tea party-related; none denied nonprofit status.
One situation is the subject of multiple hearings, nationally watched drama and swift political action.
The other, by comparison, gets a few low-profile hearings, a handful of bills being filed annually that die and few let’s-get-to-the-bottom-of-this statements of outrage from Congress.
A major difference between the two cases?
Politics, the campaign-industrial-complex kind.