Friday, May 17, 2013

This is America?

Sarah Ingram headed the IRS' unit that oversaw tax-exempt organizations up until a short time ago.  She was the boss of that unit when conservative organizations were being targeted for tax-exempt application slowdowns and runarounds, and when conservative organizations and individuals were audited.  She's at the very center of the current scandal, and a completely relevant questions (all as yet unresolved) are:
  • How much did Sarah Hall know, and when did she know it?
  • Did Sarah Hall direct any of the conservative targeting?
  • Did Sarah Hall, directly or indirectly, condone any of the conservative targeting?
  • Should Sarah Hall have had the processes and procedures in place to detect and prevent the conservative targeting?
That last point may sound like a no-brainer, but it's really not – it depends substantially on how the IRS organizes its oversight and audit processes (I'm making the large assumption that they actually have such processes).

Now, given all those questions hanging over Sarah Hall, what's the right thing for the IRS to do with her?  You and I might say she should be put on paid leave while the investigation unfolds.  The IRS says she should be promoted and put in charge of the implementation of the parts of Obamacare that the IRS is responsible for.

That should terrify any American – the possibility exists that an operative devoted to abusing the IRS for political purposes just got placed in charge of access to healthcare for millions of Americans.  If you're not terrified, you might want to play a little connect-the-dots...

As I read this, I felt like I was reading about East Germany or Romania in the '60s – but I double-checked, and that article really is about America in 2013.

I want my country back.

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