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How Earnest Is The IRS?

Sometimes those who wield power over us seem less than honest about whether they’re following their own professed rules, including rules mandated by law. The latest example comes to us courtesy of the watchdog group Cause of Action, which filed a Freedom of Information request for correspondence between the IRS

The Dark Guardian of Opacity

Sen. Harry Reid has his reasons that reason does not know. Well, Nick Gillespie of ReasonTV (and .com) doesn’t know them. But he has his suspicions. While the House has passed the Federal Reserve Financial Transparency Act, aiming to audit the Fed, Senate Majority Leader Reid balks at bringing the

Candid Cameras for Cops

Should policemen be required to wear cameras? Some already do. The rationale for the proposal is this: when police wear cameras that — with a few carefully defined exceptions — must be on whenever officers are on the job, they do their jobs better. With respect to the furor in

The Dog-Ate List

It’s hard to keep track of things. It helps to make a list. I’m trying to follow all the IRS-scandal stonewalling, the latest example of which is how emails inculpating Lois Lerner and others have mysteriously disappeared; with, allegedly, no server backups (see my latest Townhall column, “The Dog Ate

One Cheer for an IRS Man?

I’m hesitating. But given the way many IRS honchos have too often behaved throughout the agency’s history, including today — yes, I’ll applaud Randolph Thrower for saying no to a President. Thrower died in March at the age of 100 as the “IRS Chief Who Resisted Nixon.” He had headed

The Tax Agency and the Tortoise

We are indebted to a publisher of tax information called Tax Analysts for its efforts to make the Internal Revenue Service slightly more accountable. The IRS finds itself beleaguered, sort of, by scandal — the fallout from their practice of impeding applications for tax-exempt status of Tea Party and other

The National Confessional

Secrecy in diplomacy and intelligence-gathering is supposed to protect the nation. But secrecy also protects bad policy . . . including great crimes that undermine our security. This week, the National Security Archive released onto the Web the first official admission that agents of the United States government brought down

Illinois Pension Ills

When it comes to the full faith and credit of the Great State of Illinois, three major credit rating companies judge it the lowest in the union. The problem is that state politicians made pension promises they didn’t pay for and still aren’t. How bad is it? Illinois’s total unfunded

Welcome Debate?

As the weekend began, we learned that the Obama Administration had formally charged Edward Snowden with espionage, theft and stealing cable TV. Snowden is the guy who leaked classified information about massive and unconstitutional National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs and then fled to Hong Kong. President Obama said he

Google or Government?

The ugly fact: our government is capturing all of our phone records. It reportedly is grabbing our credit card information, as well tracking us online. The latest “defense” of this practice? Such mined data’s no worse than the information we voluntarily provide Google or Facebook or other big, bad corporations.

The Block Stops Here

We were initially told that the IRS had apologized to Tea Party and patriot groups for blocking them from non-profit tax status. But there has been no apology. Instead, last Friday, Lois Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt division of the Internal Revenue Service, confided to a group of tax

Your Taxes, in Small Type

The business of business is to profit by helping others. The business of government is to make sure that businesses don’t profit by cheating others. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s the governments that cheat. Take the airline industry. Though substantially deregulated by the early 1980s, government has not treated it in an

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