Tags: irs | scandal | obama | journal

Wall Street Journal: IRS Scandal Reveals Leaderless Government

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:27 AM

American taxpayers are being shown the dangers of an "unaccountable administrative state" with each new revelation about the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups leading up to last year's election, The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.

"While the White House continues to peddle the story of a driverless train wreck, taxpayers are being treated to a demonstration of the dangers of an unwieldy and unaccountable administrative state," the newspaper said Thursday.

President Barack Obama's response to learning of "rogue" IRS agents in Cincinnati is giving the impression that he leads a federal government he cannot possibly control, an image that his own staff is building with appearances in the media, the editorial continued.

As example, the Journal said, White House senior adviser Dan Pfieffer "encouraged the fable" when he implied the Treasury inspector general's report on the IRS targeting was an internal process that trumped Obama's right to know what was going on in his administration.

But it's the president's responsibility to change personnel and make corrections "so that the taxing power of the federal government is legal and fair," the Journal said. "If that isn't the case, voters deserve to know exactly who is accountable for the decisions of the agency that takes a healthy fraction of their income every year."

The lack of political accountability should be alarming to taxpayers, the editorial continued, because because the IRS "has the power to make citizens' lives miserable, ruin their businesses, and garnish their wages."

The Journal noted that former Obama adviser David Axelrod's recent comment on MSNBC that "there's so much beneath [the president] that you can't know because the government is so vast" proves the tea party's point that an ever-larger government is impossible to govern.

"If the President isn't accountable, then we really have the tea party nightmare of the runaway administrative state accountable to no one," the editorial concludes. "If Mr. Obama and his aides are to be taken at their word, that is exactly what we have."

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