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Why are federal employees never called to account financially for their wrongdoing?

The U.S. Justice Department announced on October 26 that it was spending up to $10 million to settle a class action filed by 428 conservative groups who were denied tax exempt status by the IRS because of the groups’ political beliefs.

Lois Lerner

Lois Lerner, the deep state IRS executive who ran political interference for the Obama administration and the Democrat party, led a concerted, organized effort in the agency to stonewall conservative groups who applied for 501(c)(3) status.

Now the bad news: the Justice Department is using YOUR money to settle.

That’s right. If you are not among the 45 percent of U.S. citizens who pay ZERO in federal income tax, a portion of your tax dollars is going to the groups who were wronged by the IRS political operatives.

Lois Lerner famously told Congress she did nothing wrong, then took the 5th Amendment when members of the House Oversight Committee asked her questions about how she discriminated against conservative groups.

When a federal employee takes the 5th in response to a legislator’s question about the employee’s official activities, that federal employee should be fired and should forfeit all pension and other benefits.

Was Lois Lerner fired? No. She was allowed to retire with full benefits.

Did she have to pay for her misdeeds? Not one penny.

Who is paying up to $10 million to the aggrieved parties? The U.S. taxpayer.

According to a September 30, 2013 article by Pete Sepp in a publication by the National Taxpayers Union, Lois Lerner was making $177,000 a year in her position. She took a six-month leave of absence when her wrongdoing was discovered, during which she continued to draw her full salary.

Now, Lois Lerner receives $102,000 in annual retirement pay, plus a yearly COLA (cost of living adjustment), and other federal benefits.

Lois Lerner and her IRS cronies who stiff-armed conservative groups should have to pay the $10 million. Instead, the money comes out of the $2.6 trillion the government collects annually in income taxes.

It would be nice if this were an isolated event, but it’s not. Federal employees are never called to account financially for their misdeeds.

The Animas River between Silverton and Durango in Colorado, USA, within 24 hours of the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill. / Wikimedia

In August of 2015, EPA personnel and contractors working in Colorado on the cleanup of an abandoned mine destroyed a plug in a control structure that caused three million gallons of heavy metal sludge containing arsenic and cadmium to pour into a tributary of the Animas River, damaging farmers, businessmen, and ecosystems in Colorado and New Mexico.

The EPA has refused to pay any of the $1.2 billion in claims so far, but New Mexico politicians have sought special legislation to remedy the environmental disaster the EPA caused. But, the money to pay claims will come from taxpayers, not from the EPA or its employees, none of whom lost their jobs or pensions.

The most egregious misuse of taxpayer dollars, however, continues to be the political money laundering whereby federal, state, and local public employee unions negotiate with Congress, state legislatures, or city councilmen over public employee wages and benefits. The politicians negotiate, not with their own money, but with taxpayer money to pay exorbitant wages, medical, and defined benefit pension benefits to public employees.

Government entities withhold public employee union dues from their public employee paychecks, and remit the withheld money directly to the unions. The public employee unions then return the money to Democrat politicians in the form of political contributions. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide if this practice can continue in the case of “Janus vs. AFSCME.”

Public employee unions today are divisions of the Democrat Party. In 2016, well over 80 percent of all their contributions went to Democrats. Larger public unions, like SEIU and the teachers’ unions, NEA and AFT, gave over 90 percent to Democrat candidates.

Finally, how will the taxpayers benefit from their $10 million paid to victims of IRS political wrongdoing?

They get to cherish the indelible image of Lois Lerner’s sneering as she took the 5th, over and over, after testifying that she was “very proud” of the work she “had done in government.”

 

Columnist Michael Henry graduated from Tulane University and University of Virginia Law School. He practiced civil and criminal law in Louisiana, was an elected District Attorney, and was an investment advisor in Natchez, Mississippi. He has published nine novels and now resides and writes in Oxford.
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Michael Henry
Columnist Michael Henry graduated from Tulane University and University of Virginia Law School. He practiced civil and criminal law in Louisiana, was an elected District Attorney, and was an investment advisor in Natchez, Mississippi. He has published nine novels and now resides and writes in Oxford.
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