A woman whose name has become analogous to the widespread mistrust of the Internal Revenue Service has recently announced she is stepping down from her post. Lois Lerner, who headed the division responsible for issuing tax-exempt statuses, was rightfully vilified by conservatives when news broke the IRS was wrongfully targeting Tea Party-affiliated groups.
Since that story broke, Lerner has been infamously tight-lipped regarding the scandal, even exercising her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself by testifying before a congressional panel.
The IRS has admitted agents withheld tax-exempt status for conservative-leaning groups; and Lerner has become the face of the continuing scandal. A number of prominent Republicans have advocated her forced removal from the agency.
While her departure from the IRS is being reported as a retirement, some sources indicate she was facing an ouster by the U.S. State Department Accountability Review Board.
A number of other scandals — most notably the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi — continue to receive mere lip service at best; however, it is somewhat encouraging to learn the board was still actively involved in the IRS debacle. Unfortunately, countless conservative voices were silenced during the pivotal period between 2010 and 2012 because of the actions of Lerner and her minions.
Initially characterized as misbehavior by a select few IRS employees, subsequent reports show the targeting of Tea Party groups was incredibly widespread. Though the removal of Lerner from the helm is unquestionably a positive development, unfair treatment based on political differences can and likely will continue within the IRS.
Even more disheartening is the agency’s increased role in the implementation of ObamaCare. If conservatives cannot trust the IRS to remain impartial as it relates to tax policy, we likewise cannot expect fair treatment under the reprehensible mandates of socialized healthcare.