Thursday, June 19, 2014


I decided to link to Megan McArdle's discussion of the "lost" Lois Lerner emails (H/T Craig Newamark) because:

1. The episode is creepy, jarring and depressing. The people who have the power to hound us should be kept to a higher standard. An even higher standard was advertised by the "We're the ones we've been waiting for" crowd.

2. There should never even be the appearance of IRS politicization.

3. McArdle tries to be charitable and sees incredible IRS incompetence -- as the politest possible explanation. Read her piece. 

4. The high-minded mainstream media have done a good job of not covering the story. I checked the LA Times website moments ago. In the last month, there were 106 published stories on Donald Sterling. There has been one re the missing emails -- and that has been their obligatory run of syndicated conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg ("Where's the Outrage?"). Indeed.

5. The advocates of a big federal government depend on tax collections and, therefore, depend on the public's (wary) cooperation with the tax collectors. Less trust means more evasion means more audits and enforcement challenges, etc.

6. Mistrust of the IRS is easily transferred to mistrust of other government institutions.

7. Selective media outrage further reduces their already diminished credibility. This is not the way Richard Nixon's dodging and weaving were covered. 40+ years ago.

8. As people learn not to trust political leaders and officials, will they also become less trusting of each other?

9. The role of the IRS is slated to grow in entirely new directions -- to administer healthcare, for example.Can that ever work with so much of the agency's dirty laundry revealed?

10. Those who live by the politics of envy will come up with ever more redistribution schemes -- many of these will involve and enlist a tainted IRS.

That's my top ten at this moment.