It’s time for a new approach to dealing with the scandal plagued offices of the Internal Revenue Service. It’s become obvious by this point that you can’t fire anyone. And until there’s a change in personnel at the highest levels in the Justice Department you can’t prosecute anyone either. Despite plenty of lip service by everyone from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton, it would seem that it’s just going to be business as usual at the tax collector’s office and they can essentially thumb their noses at us.
But perhaps there are some alterations which could be made from the ground up. Senator Tim Scott came out with a new plan this week which just might change the culture inside the offices of the IRS. What say we get the public employee unions out of there? (Government Executive)
The Internal Revenue Service should no longer employ unionized employees, a lawmaker proposed on Thursday.
The End the Partisan IRS Culture (EPIC) Act, introduced by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., would eliminate labor organization and collective bargaining requirements at the agency. Scott said he put the bill forward in light of the criticism the IRS has faced for its alleged political targeting and its use of official time.
The bill would “end the partisan culture at the IRS” evidenced by the National Treasury Employees Union — which represents the nearly 90,000 IRS employees — donating overwhelmingly toward Democrats, Scott said.
“We should put the 200-plus employees currently doing union work back to serving the American taxpayers,” Scott said of official time, “not their union bosses and the politicians they support.”
It’s a bold shot across the bow at both union corruption and the leadership of the department which still seems to be mired in Lerner’s legacy. It’s also not entirely without precedent. Under Title VII of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, some agencies such as the FBI and CIA are forbidden to unionize, with other provisions put in to ensure their far treatment as employees. That was an important feature of the legislation because even if the authors didn’t specifically define it as such, they may have recognized that justice needs to indeed be blind to politics and the presence of the union could unduly influence their work, either by ignoring the sins of their friends or inventing some new ones out of whole cloth for their political opponents.
Scott’s proposal would amend the act to add the IRS to the list. At the time it was written I suppose our elected officials didn’t imagine anyone going so far as to try to use the tax collection agency for political purposes, but reality has surely intruded on that pleasant vision by now. When you stop to think about it, we could probably improve on Senator Scott’s proposal by including the Inspectors General for every agency in the government as well as the rest of the Justice Department.
Unfortunately, this likely won’t go anywhere though it makes me sad to say it. The Democrats are pretty much owned and operated by the unions in terms of financing their campaigns so they’ll stop it from getting sixty votes, assuming it ever makes it out of committee. And even if it did, they could never hope to override the Obama veto which would assuredly land on it in record time once it reached his desk. Still, kudos to Senator Tim Scott for showing some out of the box thinking and at least trying to solve an actual problem.