Lois Lerner and the IRS: Surrogates for Autocracy

0
Dick Baynton
ick Baynton

Government agencies, bureaus and departments have become known by their acronyms that have entered our lexicon and commonly used in daily discussions. What stands behind these acronyms are supposed to be public servants who provide services in the best interest of constituents. Activities and policies are intended to be carried out for the people without bias, prejudice or discrimination. The letters IRS is one of the acronyms in use. Lois Lerner has become the poster person for a government that exhibits the behavior of bigotry today.

Reports indicate that Lois Lerner is well educated with an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University in Boston an independent institution and quite expensive. Lerner earned a juris doctorate degree from Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, MA and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Most of Lerner’s career has been in government starting her career as a staff attorney in the Honors Program, US Department of Justice. She became a Special Assistant to the US Attorney and in 1981 moved to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Lerner is past president of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL).

Lerner’s IRS career began in 2001 as Director of Rulings and Agreements in the Exempt Organizations function. In January 2006, she became Director of Exempt Organizations where she directed the activities of 900 workers who examined reports and activities of exempt organizations. After ‘taking the 5th in congressional hearings about the scandal regarding prejudicial handling of applications by conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt statues, Lerner was placed on administrative leave on May 23, 2013.

In Congressional hearings in March of 2014, she again dove under the cover of her 5th amendment rights to avoid answering questions by members of the House Oversight Committee and is retiring. With average earnings of $177,000 per year, her retirement benefit could amount to more than $100,000 per year for a lifetime income (most of which would be paid by taxpayers) of almost $4 million.

Along with thousands of other IRS employees, Lerner belongs to the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). This outfit, through its Political Action Committee (PAC) gave 94% of its contributions to Democratic causes in the 2012 election cycle. That contribution amounted to more than $560,000 according to Melanie Batley writing in Newsmax.

And here we find a scandal within a scandal. There are about 200 IRS employees that spend all (ALL) their time conducting union business at a cost of 23.5 million taxpayer dollars a year. Some of these workers dedicated to union operations including lobbying their own government, put in 573,319 hours of toil, none of which was related to the mission of the IRS. Some of these government stiffs take home payroll checks totaling more than $100,000 annually.

In June of this year, the IRS told Congress that some of Lerner’s E-Mails between January 2009 and May 2011 could not be located. Seven hard drives that contained critical data during the period when conservative applications were being delayed were reported missing. This loss of critical information and the timing of the disclosure are highly suspect.

Our blood should boil and our hair follicles should explode when we are told that IRS employees were paid $70 million in bonuses in 2013; bonuses for WHAT? The answer is bonuses for being present and for being protected by the NTEU who negotiated the bonuses.

How can we trust a government that is supposed to be responsible to the voters that has exhibited persistent policies of autocracy? The answer is, of course, that we can’t trust a government that continues to mislead readers and listeners worldwide with words of determination backed by actions of confusion and abject failure.

The shift from the triumph of 1776 to the tragic transformation of The United States of America to a tyrannical totalitarian state is just a few short years away from fulfillment. What we thought in 2009 was a dream trip of hope, transparency and unification has mutated to a nightmare of regulation, deceit, derision and division by color, political and economic class. We voted for water and got a mirage.

– Dick Baynton