If there was an award for bureaucratic incompetence, the IRS would win it by a landslide.
We already know that the IRS targeted conservative groups (and not liberal groups, though Democrats are still in denial about that one) and inappropriately released taxpayers’ Social Security numbers. Now, Inspector General J. Russell George says the IRS released confidential tax records, and the Justice Department never prosecuted anyone for it.
The IRS inappropriately authorized or disclosed confidential tax records of political candidates or donors four times in recent years – at least once on purpose, according to a Treasury inspector general.
Grassley, in turn, is pressing Attorney General Eric Holder over why the Justice Department isn’t seeking to prosecute, especially in light of the current controversy over the IRS’s targeting of groups seeking tax-exempt status.
“Although this may not be indicative of widespread targeting, any instance is cause for concern,” Grassley wrote to Holder on July 12. “Even more alarming, in at least one instance TIGTA referred evidence of “willful unauthorized access” to the United States Attorney’s Office, but criminal prosecution was declined.” “Decisions such as these directly impact the political process and should be subject to the scrutiny of the American public,” the Iowa Republican added.
Four cases isn’t an astronomical number, but certainly adds to the concerns about the agency’s failures. The IRS already has all of our tax information, and clearly hasn’t done a very good job with it. Why should we give it our health care data too?