A system of voluntary tax compliance cannot survive a dishonest IRS. Lois Lerner and company have virtually ruined the agency. For the foreseeable future, each time an American receives a tax query, he will wonder to what degree his politics ensures enhanced or reduced scrutiny — or whether his name as a donor, activist, or partisan has put him on a watch list.
Worse still, when a high commissioner of the IRS takes the 5th Amendment, it sends a frightening message: those audited go to jail when they refuse to testify; those who audit them who do the same do not.
The Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring by the Obama administration was creepy not just because it went after a heretofore obsequious media, but because Obama’s lieutenants alleged that the reason was aiding and abetting the leaking of classified material.
Of course, disclosing top-secret information and thereby damaging the national interest is no small thing. But was leaking the real reason that Eric Holder lied under oath when he assured his congressional inquisitors that he was not monitoring the communications of Americans — after he had done just that in the case of James Rosen of Fox News?
No modern administration has leaked classified data like the Obama administration. Do we remember a frustrated Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warning White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon “to shut the f— up” for disclosing the secret details of the bin Laden hit?