By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Fri May 24, 2013, 03:25 PM EDT
President Barack Obama believes in the public sector. He thinks it should be made ever more expansive and entrusted with ever more complicated tasks. Its unions should be powerful. It should be hailed by all the great and good, and attract the nation’s best and brightest.
This is how the president portrays the public sector at a level of glittering generality. Then there’s the reality of all that government that is too big for him to monitor, the workings of which he learns about only when he reads the newspapers and watches TV. There’s the incompetence, the dishonesty and the self-justification. There’s the spectacular unfairness and the obtuseness, all exemplified in the Internal Revenue Service scandal.
The innocent explanation of the affair is that the IRS’s Cincinnati office was so poorly run, it couldn’t manage to stop itself from discriminating against tea party organizations applying for 501(c)(4) status — for years.
As it happens, the recent reporting on the Cincinnati office portrays a dreary backwater with all the elan of your local Department of Motor Vehicles. But not discriminating against organizations shouldn’t be overly difficult. It doesn’t require any technical expertise, just a modicum of fairness. The IRS couldn’t summon it.
According to Lois Lerner, the director of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt organizations division and the poster-bureaucrat for the scandal, there was a flood of applications for 501(c)(4)s that necessitated the “centralization” of the cases. The targeting of the tea party groups wasn’t targeting at all, but an efficiency measure gone awry.
“They did it because they were working together,” Lerner says. “This was a streamlined way for them to refer to the cases.”
In fact, The Washington Post notes that the number of applications barely ticked up from 2009 to ‘10, when the practice of selecting tea party groups began. It also makes no sense to respond to an overwhelming influx of applications with multiple rounds of intrusive and extraneous questions and with years-long delays. That is a way to create a backlog, not to alleviate it. It is a way to create more work, not less.
March 3, 2014
February 27, 2014
February 26, 2014
There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
January 28, 2014
Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
January 21, 2014
A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
January 14, 2014
The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
January 7, 2014
December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.
April 22, 2014
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