For IRS Miscreants, Congress' Power Of The Purse http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/061814-705321-house-rightly-sanctions-irs-lawbreaking-through-power-of-the-purse.htm#ixzz352uBQKdo
Checks And Balances: The House slashed the IRS' 2015 appropriation 15% for the agency's targeting of political dissidents and ObamaCare enforcement activities. This is a highly appropriate use of congressional power.
Until now, evidence pointed to impunity for the errant Internal Revenue Service, whose tax-collecting function has been corrupted into an instrument of political repression against Tea Party groups and other political dissidents.
The agency has admitted to persecuting groups on political grounds, and a few emails already show it. But it also has obstructed justice in "losing" two years' worth of emails sent by IRS operative Lois Lerner and six other officials to outside agencies, possibly to keep from Congress the facts about how high the corruption went.
So instead of the respected and impartial civil-service outfit it was designed to be, and which it showed itself to be during the Nixon era, it's now little more than an instrument of the Democratic Party and the community organizers who lead it.
Appointing a special prosecutor to root out wrongdoers is a non-starter. Any such appointee would be chosen by Attorney General Eric Holder, a political operative of the most partisan stripe, while the other remedy of impeaching the president — who first vowed to get to the bottom of the scandal and then backtracked to claim there was "not a smidgen of corruption" — is still politically off the table.
That leaves the remedy with the congressional power of the purse, and it's a relief to see it being used to defund this agency gone bad.
The House Appropriations Committee's financial services subcommittee slashed the IRS appropriation for 2015 to $10.95 billion, $341 million below this year's level and $1.5 billion below the White House's request. The cut puts the agency at its 2008 spending level.
Congressional sources told IBD that the amount was set by the "top level" parameters of the Ryan-Murray budget, which determines what an agency needs to carry out its core mission and cuts out all the goodies that the bureaucrats had been hoping for.
For bureaucrats who live as high on the hog as the IRS, with unearned bonuses that are among the items slated to be cut, this cut is going to sting. It should have been done a long time ago on efficiency grounds alone, but punishment for corruption works just as well.
The appropriation is more than a line item in a theoretical budget — which Congress has yet to pass. It's the direct money line to the agency and will have to be reconciled with a Senate appropriation.
But with the ball in the Senate's court, it would take a pretty shameless Democrat to object, given the contempt that the IRS has shown for the institution of Congress. Our House sources believe that much of it will get through. Our hats are off to them for even trying.