Not to distract from the Supreme Court wars, but there’s an ostensibly nonpartisan situation going on over at House Oversight:
A second IRS employee summoned to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee invoked the Fifth Amendment on Wednesday and refused to answer questions — a flashback to Lois Lerner, who did the same during a hearing on the agency’s scandal last month.
Gregory Roseman, who worked as a deputy director of acquisitions at the IRS, exercised his constitutional rights when Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) started interrogating him about panel findings that he helped a friend procure potentially $500 million worth of IRS contracts.
The “friend” is one Braulio Castillo, who is accused of using his connections to directly benefit his newly-acquired company Strong Castle – while apparently denying the relationship when asked. The other major allegations – manipulating the rules involving subsidizing businesses that operate in specific business zones, and manipulating the rules for special consideration for disabled veterans – probably fall under the category of “the crime is that it’s legal*.” Still, the relationship between Roseman and Castillo is apparently… problematical.
More to the point, it’s of course intolerable to the Republic to allow the people who gather our taxes to recreate the Byzantine civil service system. The Internal Revenue Service enjoys a remarkable reputation, historically speaking: which is to say we allow tax collectors to live among us in society, and never make them wear special clothing so that an angry mob can find them easily whenever the ruling class feels the need for a good, tension-relieving pogrom. Cases like this erode that reputation at the best of times; when coupled with the realization that the IRS has also been a political weapon for the last five years… well. It becomes very easy to believe and expect that the whole organization is rotten to the core.
Which is a problem, because we happen to need the tax revenue. My various libertarian friends to the contrary.
(Via Hot Air)
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Although that didn’t stop Rep. Tammy Duckworth – an antiwar Democrat who is nonetheless also unquestionably a disabled combat veteran – from savaging Castillo in a fashion that I might politically tut-tut (Castillo didn’t make the system that he was manipulating), but personally found very satisfying.