Bill Kristol: Scandal May Prompt Public to Demand IRS Overhaul

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 04:18 PM

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Americans are disgusted with the IRS in the wake of the tea party targeting scandal and are likely to pressure lawmakers for a complete overhaul of the embattled agency, according to Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard.

"I think now the public would be supportive of a very radical sort of limiting, restructuring, and cutting back of the IRS in a way that I wouldn’t have said [would be possible] a year or two ago,'' Kristol told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"People have really lost confidence as they should have … People are really outraged about this.''

Kristol's prediction came just hours after U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin had an angry exchange with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

During a hearing, Ryan said the agency's excuses over Lois Lerner's missing emails were ''incredible'' and 'misleading.''

"Nobody believes you," he said flatly to Koskinen, who insists that numerous emails written by Lerner and six others — that could be evidence in the targeting scandal — were lost in a computer crash.

"The Internal Revenue Service comes to us a couple years ago and misleads us and tells us no targeting is occurring. Then it said it was a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. Then it said it was also on progressives. All of those things have been proven untrue,'' Ryan said.

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Kristol, who is also an ABC News political analyst, said that if House legislation for an overhaul is introduced and passes, it has a real chance of becoming reality.

"If Republicans win the Senate in November, then it really could be passed next year,'' he said.

"This is why having one house of Congress, even more having two houses of Congress, is so important.''

Kristol also said the mainstream media, which he believes is severely lagging in its coverage of the IRS scandal, would have to pay attention.

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

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