I apologize for obsessing on the IRS, but the testimony just won't stop - and on Tuesday, testimony from Tea Party organizers was enough to convince anyone that someone needs to be punished.
Said one Tea Party member who testified, "They wanted us to provide detailed contents of all speeches ever given, the names of our speakers and their credentials."
That's bad. But as the head of one Tea Party group said, just firing people won't cut it. "It isn't a matter of firing or arresting individuals. The individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they should."
They want Congress to teach the IRS a lesson. But how can Congress punish the IRS?
It's Congress that came up with these crazy unenforceable rules in the first place - like the rule that says a tax exempt organization can only give 49 percent of its attention to politics. The very rule which made some knucklehead think it was OK to ask for contents of speeches.
Asking Congress to punish the IRS is like asking a mule to kick itself.
But they have to come up with something, and what typically gets talked about is a budget cut. Agencies notice that.
Yet punishing the IRS with a budget cut at a time when Americans are cheating on their taxes at the rate of $400 billion a year?
You wouldn't be punishing the IRS, you'd be punishing the U.S. Treasury, which would just have to borrow more money, which ends up just punishing the people who would have to pay it back, who would be - our grandchildren.
Hmm. On second thought - I mean, it's not very nice ... but not such a bad plan. Just slip an extra twenty into their birthday cards.