With apologies to Dean Swift, I offer herewith my modest proposal to address the IRS issue, by which I mean the joyful readiness with which the IRS — apparently all divisions of it — whores itself out as a general-purpose thug for the benefit of left-wing political interests.
The problem is how do you get an institution to change its direction when the people in charge of giving it that direction know themselves to be effectively immune from any consequences of any sort. Congress can’t fire Lois Lerner. The DoJ, under command of a flagrant perjurer, is certainly never going to bring either civil or criminal action down on her. Even if Dear Leader does decide to throw her under the bus, she’ll go roost at some think tank, university, law firm, or consultancy for a few years, and the next Democrat administration to come along will find her back at presidential-appointment level. She’ll retire full of years and pension benefits. Like as not she’ll be drawing a six-figure salary as a board member of some “non-profit” funded by whichever Geo. Soros clone is active at that time. The people whose lives and businesses she’s ruined? They won’t even get “good government.”
The federal government (and state governments too, by the way) is bursting at the seams with Lois Lerners large and small.
I suggest that the objectives of any resolution must be to (i) give the legal ability to go after the Lois Lerners of the bureaucracy hammer and tongs to private individuals who have actually been injured by her; (ii) put in play not only her present job but all of her accrued goodies built up over a career of sucking intermittently at the public tit; (iii) put in jeopardy her ability ever to hold a government job at any level ever again; and, (iv) make her such a poison pill that she will be unemployable by any of the groups which seem to exist principally as a cushy landing place for people like her.
The first is the easiest to craft: Congress simply provides that any person or organization which can show itself to have been injured or have its rights compromised shall have an independent (i.e., not contingent upon action or non-action by the likes of Eric Holder) civil right of action in the plaintiff’s home federal district court. The right of action shall be cumulative with any other administrative proceeding, civil action, or criminal prosecution, and the pendency of any such other process shall not prejudice the plaintiff in the commencement or prosecution of the private action. The private action shall not be stayed by any filing under the Bankruptcy Code, nor will any bankruptcy court have jurisdiction to hear any matter pertaining to it. Any refusal to testify or respond to discovery under any claim of privilege shall, as to the private right, constitute an absolute admission on the point(s) implicated. Provide that there shall be no attorney-client privilege as to any conversation, written, or electronic communication between any person employed by the IRS any other person, excepting only the IRS’s employee’s attorney of record in the private action. Provide that not only the individual IRS agent involved but every person in that agent’s chain of command, up to and including the commissioner, shall be a party defendant, shall be subject to compulsory process in the forum court, and shall be subject to all forms of discovery. Provide that the defendant shall not be entitled to a government-provided defense, but shall, if successful in defending all but not less than all claims, have a right to reimbursement from the government for any actual expenses of defense incurred. Make every person’s employment and continuation in employment contingent upon such person’s accepting in full all of the provisions of the statute. Give a similar right, with similar procedural safeguards, of action to any employee who is disciplined, discharged, demoted, or otherwise experiences an adverse employment action by reason of his refusal to engage in the prohibited conduct.
The remedies in the action would include, mandatorily: (i) personal, non-dischargeable liability for all monetary injury caused by the acts and omissions forming the basis of the suit; (ii) personal, non-dischargeable liability for punitive relief in the greater of, say, 250 times any compensatory damages awarded, or $10 million; (iii) personal, non-dischargeable liability for all of the successful plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation; (iv) termination of all federal employment and permanent ineligibility for any office, elective or appointive, in the federal government, whether compensated or not; (v) forfeiture of all pay and benefits received in respect of federal employment, retroactively to the first date on which any such prohibited conduct is found to have occurred, the liability for restitution to be subordinate to the successful plaintiff’s and likewise non-dischargeable in bankruptcy; and, (vi) irrevocable assignment of all post-employment benefits, Social Security, federal retirement, as well as sums held within or payments from any “qualified plan” (this would sweep in IRAs, 401(k) plans, and state and local retirement benefits) and proceeds of life insurance policies, to the successful plaintiff to pay any monetary award made. Expressly make all those benefits subject to execution notwithstanding any federal or state statutory exemption from execution. Make all assets in which the losing defendant has any interest, legal or equitable, subject to execution to satisfy the judgment, again notwithstanding any otherwise applicable exemption (we’ll have no O. J. Simpsons living in a Florida mansion and enjoying an unlimited homestead exemption).
Well, OK Gentle Reader says. Lois isn’t a federal worker any more. What’s to stop her signing on for a mid-six-figure job with the University of BLANK to teach . . . oh, whatever grievance studies course they feel like offering her? This is how: You simply make ineligible for federal tax exemption any organization which employs any person against whom judgment has been rendered pursuant to the statute. You make ineligible for any federal contract any organization which employs any such person. You make ineligible for exemption or contracting any organizations which pay more than, say, $5,000 in any year to any one or more than entities or organizations in which any such person has more than a 1% stake in the equity or profits, or which itself pays any such person more than $5,000 or so per year. You bar from lobbying any organization which hires or contracts with any such person. And so forth. You create a whistle-blower’s right of action with a 30% recovery of the first three years’ tax obligations of any violating tax-exempt organization.
You’re not preventing Lois from working; you’re not even preventing her from working in her area of expertise (tax law). What you are doing is preventing her, having violated the public trust in that fashion, from drawing a subsidy from the American taxpayer, either directly or indirectly. By like token you’re not preventing any employer from ever hiring Lois. You’re just asking them to choose which is more important to them: providing a comfortable retirement for someone like Lois or not paying taxes.
To the argument that this would “chill” competent people from going into government service, I say bullshit. If Lois calls down to the Cincinnati office and tells them to git after them nasty, stinky Tea Partiers, which would you rather chill – the employee who will tell Lois to go pound sand up her ass and by the way this call was recorded, or on the other hand the employee who’ll say certainly and what specific groups does Ms. Lerner have in mind to target? What you will chill is the dishonest, the power-mad, the megalomaniacal.
Maybe once a few higher-ups have had their lives ruined by engaging in these sorts of monkey shines the message will get out that it really doesn’t matter who’s in the White House, a government employee identification card is not a license to be a law unto oneself. I’ll take any incidental chilling that happens. Collateral damage or, as Dear Leader referred to our four dead Americans in Benghazi, “bumps in the road.”
And if you think none of this is really an issue, after all, take a look at what happened to someone who challenged the labor-union ridden TSA, and had the guts to testify before Congress about it.