Wednesday, May 22, 2013

IRS Scandal Upside

The current IRS conservative group shakedown scandal is valuable. It is not valuable for the damage it can do to Obama or his wretched Attorney General Eric Holder. It is valuable in what it can expose about how our government operates. It is better for people to see that the civil service is a powerful monster, and I hope that this doesn't get linked back to President Obama. Not because I want him to be clean, but because I want normal people to start viewing the civil service as the beast that must be slayed. A newer bit of evidence is that the inspector general assigned to the IRS has only audited the IRS and its actions, not investigated them. This is important because it reveals how fraudulent the entire inspector general process is.
Inspector generals are appointed by presidents and confirmed by the senate to check up on our federal agencies. They are suppose to make sure that the agencies and departments of the federal government are complying with rules and doing a fair job not to break laws or waste money. This is a nice wink and a nod to those folks back home who might think monkey business is going on in Washington DC. Not on the IGs watch! It's a joke. The entire process is more government bureaucracy and red tape that gives work to government officials and has the appearance of control and watching over the federal government. The IRS IG admitting they only audited the IRS and did not investigate their actions speaks to this. An IG can investigate or audit. They can do either, but the unwritten rule is that they perform plenty of audits of the process, not investigations that criticize actions. IGs create audits because audits are a tangible process that has a start, finish and end result report that can be sent back to Congress in order to continue funding and get a pat on the head.
Don't blame them, blame the system of the IGs. Straight from an outsider turned into an inspector general, Neil Barofsky, here's some quotes from the page or two where he discusses how an IG's responsibilities were spun to him:
"...many of the IGs seemed disdainful of the investigation part of their jobs, emphasizing that their offices revolved around the other core function that Mike had originally described to me: audits.... The 'performance audits' I'd be conducting were supposed to evaluate the 'process' that the agencies used to execute their policy decisions. ... I was told repeatedly, however, that the policies themselves were outside my jurisdiction... Finally, I learned that one of the most important things for IGs was performance statistics, the metrics on which IGs were judged by Congress and the White House. Specifically, IGs were judged by how many audits completed, how many individuals arrested, and what percentage of recommendations was adopted by the agency they oversaw. The higher those numbers, the higher the agencies' funding would be, I was told, so it was important that I start churning out audits..."
Fascinating supervision and fake control.
We need visible problems like this to cast the skid marked boxer shots of government into the open. The common folk must see that not only does the government agencies have random employees who wield axes against ideological foes out of political opportunity, but that they are overwhelmingly progressive and there is no watchdog to investigate their actions. But but but we have IGs? This IG admission exposes what a joke they are. Audit all you want. A system rigged to avoid investigations into the actions of agencies and a system devoid of accountability through terminations and penalties is not a system anyone will want to keep but those with their hands on the levers. We need more scandals like this while distrust in the government is high. This will only fuel the desire to toss the system aside.

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