So I was watching the TV news this morning while the caffeine kicked in and I gradually achieved wakeful sentience. The report was a clip called “Money Matters.” It had to do with people selling cars that had been recalled but not repaired. “Are you driving a deathtrap?” asked the “journalist” with hype worthy of Geraldo Rivera. They ultimately explained that you could get a Carfax on anything that had wheels and a VIN and find out every recorded incident that had ever happened to that vehicle. “Wow!” I thought. “They can figure out just about anything with big data these days.”
That apparently isn’t true if you work as a managerial employee for the IRS. The House Ways and Means Committee has recently been appraised as to the limits of The American Orwell State.
Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.
So the obvious answer to this is for every American in every walk of life and income level to start “losing” every official communication the IRS ever sends us. W2? I didn’t get no stinkin’ W2. Or maybe I did. But I’m sorry, guys. My ‘puter acted up and I just *lost* the email. I mean if our hard drives all crash, how could we *possibly* fill out those 1040’s accurately? Better just to wait and see for a couple of years and get back up with them later. Oh, wait…
IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) is comprised of approximately 3,700 employees worldwide, approximately 2,600 of whom are special agents whose investigative jurisdiction includes tax, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act laws. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, IRS is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Compliance with the tax laws in the United States relies heavily on self-assessments of what tax is owed. This is called voluntary compliance. When individuals and corporations make deliberate decisions to not comply with the law, they face the possibility of a civil audit or criminal investigation which could result in prosecution and possible jail time. Publicity of these convictions provides a deterrent effect that enhances voluntary compliance. (HT: IRS.gov)
You don’t “lose” one of Lois Lerner’s emails to you. There are 3,700 friendly government employees with academic backgrounds in mathematics, accounting, forensic science et al who are there to find it. They do it because they care, and you will be made to. People who lose Lois Lerner’s email win free room and board at the local Federal Government Hotel and get to become close friends with Mad Dog and Sparky. The American Orwell State can find pretty much any scrap of lose data that it actually wants to and then make you eat it with a dash of Tabasco Sauce. You don’t just lose emails in the current technological environment.
So the truth here is so pathetically obvious that even a Member of Congress can discover it. Lois Lerner did not just “lose” two years of communication. The emails were energetically buried. The hard drive failed all right. They typically wear out after a few blows with a sledgehammer and submersion in a vat filled with battery acid. And the back-ups that every organization technologically advanced enough to operate a server does at least once a week? They have been purged. Otherwise, every last one of those emails would have been available after a week or two of diligent SQL use. They are lying and don’t really care if they insult your intelligence in the process. That is all.