Dear Dirty America


Flogging the IRS Commissioner Over Lost Emails: Paul Ryan’s Moment of Clarity

Flogging the IRS Commissioner Over Lost Emails: Paul Ryan’s Moment of Clarity
June 23
14:06 2014

In Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan’s life, there have been two major moments of clarity. Most Americans only suffer one of these in a lifetime. A few have these moments every day.

The first in Ryan’s life was when he was invited to one of the Koch Brothers’ mansions, and while on the toilet he grabbed the nearest book he could find. The young and polished politician knew he was going to be seated awhile. He’d actually told his prominent hosts that, if they didn’t mind, he’d need to ‘retire’ to the bathroom. Little did he know that journey would change his life. The book was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. From then on, Ryan has been rooted in his uninspiring libertarian mindset and views himself as carrying that particular torch through the murky night made darker by too many welfare checks and added government wings.

His second major moment of clarity happened when he harangued IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the conveniently missing emails of Lois Lerner that were lost in a hard drive crash. The emails have been demanded by the Ways and Means Committee in their investigation over IRS tactics to target conservative non-profit groups and known institutions affiliated with the Tea Party.

I never thought I’d be siding with Paul Ryan in my life. It’s an ugly moment, and yet I cherish these words:

You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hold onto seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited and you can’t keep six months worth of employee e-mails? And now that we are seeing this investigation, you don’t have the e-mails, hard drives crashed. You learned about this months ago. You just told us, and we had to ask you on Monday.

This is not being forthcoming. This is being misleading again. This is a pattern of abuse, a pattern of behavior that is not giving us any confidence that this agency is being impartial. I don’t believe you. This is incredible. I don’t believe you. (Real Clear Politics)

When our congress people take action like this, it’s good to support them. Not their entire political party, but just that bold action. If the IRS can target one group, they can and do and will take aim at any group on behalf of whatever prevailing mindset is dominating that current political culture.

Either way, did the IRS lose Lerner’s emails at such a convenient time? It’s baloney. Servers are backed up in the 21st century. You think this is the 1950s? Somehow somebody’s dog got into the filing room and ate Lois Lerner’s most incriminating emails? No American should believe these fairy tales. The next time you’re audited, try telling the IRS you lost your seven years of ‘personal tax information’ because of a kitchen fire that ravaged your filing cabinet. “Tough titty,” you might say to the pushy IRS agent.

Even if it were true, and the data in question is irretrievably lost, they’d only have to seize the emails from the NSA data center that sweeps up all communication from all locations at all times to store it indefinitely.

[Photo of the IRS building, from Library of Congress]

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