Oh ye of little faith, who doubted that the continuing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups would have consequences. The first head has rolled! Steven Miller, the acting commissioner of the mugging tax collecting agency, is out! And safeguards!
President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to hold accountable those at the Internal Revenue Service involved in the targeting of conservative groups applying for federal tax-exempt status, beginning with the resignation of the agency's acting commissioner.
In a brief statement delivered to reporters at the East Room of the White House, the president announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requested—and accepted—the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller.
The president said the "misconduct" detailed in the IRS Inspector General's report released Tuesday over the singling out of conservative groups is "inexcusable."
"Americans have a right to be angry about, and I'm angry about it," Obama said.
The president said new safeguards will be put in place so that "this doesn't happen again."
Of course, it will happen again, under administrations Republican and Democratic, because it has happened again and again. The IRS is just one of many political weapons so potent and tempting that presidents can't resist wielding them against their critics. The problem is the concentration of coercive power, and its availability to people who find a career of using such power to be an attractive prospect. "Safeguards" won't change that.
Oh, and no word yet on the fate of those two "rogue" employees who supposedly truly done the deed, except that they've been "disciplined."
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