I had not intended to write about the IRS scandal until I sat through repeated airings on cable-news shows of a video showing agency employees line dancing at a conference, spurring pols of both parties to take potshots at the agency for the latest outrage.
It is the potshots -- cheap shots, actually -- that irked me. I don't know at this point if the IRS is guilty of indefensible or corrupt uses of public money in the many conferences it put on from 2010 to 2012 (although the practice of lumping together more than 200 meetings, big and small, over a long time, to get a high aggregate figure to demagogue is tried and true). It may be that the IRS employed consultants who were overpaid, or had kickbacks, or cavalierly paid full price for hotel rooms when better deals were to be had.
But here are some things for readers to consider. The Internal Revenue Service is stocked with employees who have to keep ahead of extraordinarily complex and ever-changing tax laws, while also dealing with tax lawyers, tax experts, and accountants who make millions of dollars to find ways to subvert, exploit, or distort the law for their clients. By the standards of those tax experts, the IRS employees are overworked and underpaid, not to mention despised by many Americans for what they do.