SCOTUScare Hands Keys To IRS: What Could Go Wrong?

SCOTUScare Hands Keys To IRS: What Could Go Wrong?

SCOTUScare Hands Keys To IRS: What Could Go Wrong?

Yesterday’s SCOTUScare ruling drew a gamut of reactions. While many are concentrating on the beautifully classic dissent written by Justice Scalia; others such as the President are pompously trumpeting their so-called win from the Rose Garden.

This case was about tax subsidies for individuals and the wrangling about whether the key phrase meant they were restricted to only state exchanges or could receive subsidies via the federal exchange. These tax credits or subsidies were to lower the cost of premiums.

The language in the statute indicates that there should be allowed a premium tax credit for “health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311.” There was just one giant problem with this plan: a number of states did not (and do not) offer insurance exchanges. As states opted out, taxpayers signed up for the federal exchanges. When the IRS issued the Regulations (Regulations are the official interpretation of the Tax Code), the language applied to taxpayers participating in an Exchange. Exchange was defined as including “a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange and Federally-facilitated exchange.” In other words, under IRS Regulations, credits are available to eligible taxpayers who bought through the state and federal exchanges.

So, by definition, this ruling lets the IRS keep those regulations in place AND gives the IRS the job of issuing or denying tax credits to individuals desiring a subsidy to lower their premiums. Sure, this means this is a “win” for the IRS rule-writers, but is it a win for those who need health insurance? Is it a win for American taxpayers? I believe our readers know the answer as well as I do.

Think about it, the IRS now gets to play with healthcare. What could possibly go wrong? If you guessed Lois Lerner and the missing emails and hard drives you’d win the grand prize.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05:  Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner (C) exercises her Fifth Amendment right not to speak about the IRS targeting investigation before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) adjuourned after Lerner refused to answer questions about the investigation.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 05: Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner (C) exercises her Fifth Amendment right not to speak about the IRS targeting investigation before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) adjuourned after Lerner refused to answer questions about the investigation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As a matter of fact, we can now say that emails have been erased.

J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that IRS employees erased computer backup tapes shortly after officials discovered thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s Tea Party scandal had been lost.

As many as 24,000 emails were lost because 422 backup tapes were “magnetically erased” around March 4, 2014.

Supposedly employees at the IRS didn’t know or weren’t told that they weren’t supposed to destroy back up tapes. However, given the timing of the entire investigation, many such as Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation find this latest news a wee bit suspect:

“Neither the IRS nor the Justice Department, which has supposedly been investigating the IRS targeting of conservative organizations, would tolerate the destruction of over 400 backup tapes and 24,000 emails,” he said. “They would be in court trying to have an individual American or a business charged with destruction of evidence.”

“This is particularly egregious because it happened after the IRS had received a subpoena and a protective order prohibiting the destruction of the emails,” von Spakovsky continued. “I also have a hard time believing that IRS officials did not know this was wrong—everyone in the agency knew about the Lerner scandal and the investigation.”

You know, I have to agree with him. Oh wait, never mind it was that “magic” eraser that waltzed in and made 422 tapes and 24,000 emails disappear all by itself. Or maybe…

https://twitter.com/weknowwhatsbest/status/614069226165284866

Yeah, that’s the ticket. However, there is one bright spot in all this email kerfuffle. 6,400 emails have been found!  Yayyyy!!  Not. So. Fast. You see, the IRS refuses to turn the emails over to Congress per the subpoena because its going to take months to “de-duplicate” the emails before handing them over. De-duplicate… RIIIGHT.

Starting today, we have the latest and greatest SCOTUScare moving forward in all its glory; and the IRS gets to come out and play with a horrendously broken healthcare system and with people’s lives. Considering the “interpretive jiggery-pokery” conducted by Lois Lerner and John Koskinen for the last 6 years, really – what could go wrong?

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1 Comment
  • Appalled By The World says:

    Shades of Watergate and the missing tapes as well as someone using government offices to conduct a witch hunt. That cost someone their presidency-yet a certain emperor is allowed to retain his crown for doing these same things. And people denigrate the 1970’s???

    What I really wish (and I know it won’t happen as the media is thoroughly corrupt) is that the Emperor is discovered to not be a citizen and therefore all his crap (like Obozocare) is declared null and void automatically. Sort of like hitting a reset button to 2008.

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