Via Greg Hengler, it’s not about the money. It’s about the arrogance of power involved in these people flushing millions in taxpayer dollars on fun in the sun in Anaheim and not even caring enough to keep receipts for it while the rest of the country, including other government workers, was sweating out a terrible economy. Gowdy reaches the same conclusion I did in yesterday’s post on this — having reached this level of decadence on top of political targeting of conservative groups, the agency’s beyond minor repair. It’s time to think bigger.
One interesting footnote to this: Republicans weren’t the only ones to launch into righteous rants about the IRS’s profligacy at today’s hearing. Democrat Elijah Cummings uncorked one of his own, which is the best evidence yet that the dopey “overreach” talking point that Plouffe et al. were trying to jumpstart in order to back the GOP off simply won’t work. Slate’s John Dickerson wrote a whole post about that today, in fact — that in this particular case, with an agency as widely loathed as the IRS in the crosshairs and with the public convinced along bipartisan lines that the agency was unfair to conservatives, it’s almost impossible to “overreach.” And if it was impossible yesterday, when the scandal was “only” about biased scrutiny of nonprofits, it’s really impossible today with the agency’s wasteful spending on conferences/vacation getaways now center stage. Overreach happens when the underlying corruption isn’t commensurate with your outrage over it. Not much risk of that here.