The Obama administration's bureaucracies are arguably the most corrupt institutions in American history. Loyal champions may defend the Department of State's blunders or excuse Attorney General Eric Holder's petty tyrannies, but few defend the destructive incompetence of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Each new revelation simultaneously underscores the organization's ineptitude and reveals a lawless, gravely corrupt culture.
For example, last year a report revealed IRS employees and congressional staffers owed about $10.6 million in unpaid taxes in 2010, which marks "a slight increase from the previous year and a growing slice of the roughly $1 billion owed by federal and postal workers nationwide," the Washington Post reported. This is a mind-boggling sum.
Internal bureaucrats praised the institution's ethical standards, promising a swift resolution. The IRS could have garnished wages for these workers, placed liens on accounts and homes, and generally destroyed lives as per usual. A report released Wednesday confirms that enormous problem still persists.
Seven hundred IRS employees owe $5.4 million. Half are ineligible for employment because they have not arranged back-payments. The consequence? They continue collecting salaries and pensions funded by the taxpayers.
The incompetence of the organization to police itself, however, is not the most appalling example of its utter institutional failure. Bureaucrats protected by dual umbrellas of privilege and power carelessly mismanage the people's purse.
The IRS issued $110 billion and as much as $132.6 billion in improper earned-income tax credits from 2003-2012. As summarized by the Wall Street Journal, "that's $11 billion a year, or more than the $9.5 billion Congress will spend on the Department of Commerce this fiscal year."
The IRS spent over than $50 million on 200 employee conferences between 2010 and 2012, including one 2012 Anaheim, Calif., which cost $4 million. The Associated Press reported that many attendees were given perks including baseball tickets and hotel suites on the taxpayers' dime.
Now we learn that in 2011, the IRS accidentally sent more than $46 million in refunds to 23,994 "unauthorized" workers. The payments arrived at one address, yet not a single employee caught this error.
Government apologists blame poor training and supervisory negligence for these massive failures. Yet the incompetence continues because the vicious power wielded by this disconnected and arguably cruel political class cultivates such willful disregard for both people and the law. When there are no aggressive subpoenas or special prosecutions for criminality, what motivates abusers to cease?
Despite the IRS' ethical and moral bankruptcy, Americans continue to revere the agency like a wrathful, powerful God that must receive its annual pound of flesh. Citizens and business owners understand that should they disobey the yearly sacrificial ritual painful audits, harsh fines and caging can result. Reform cannot occur until this ritual is broken.
Obamacare's disastrous implementation presents a rare opportunity. The agency will have relatively unfettered, unconstitutional access to health records and private communications as part of their enforcement mandate. Imagine thousands of new IRS agents armed with the task of demanding compliance on a largely unwilling population.
This scenario is ripe for mischief that will impact more than the select few that fall under the agency's fickle microscope. If these bureaucrats cannot responsibly manage power now, what will become of enforcement? How long will the citizens continue to accept the IRS's absolute authority as a worthy tax expenditure?
The abuses are likely to touch the lives of us all, and maybe then Americans will see the IRS for what it is: an unnecessary tool for control.