Why The IRS Scandal Matters

Ramesh Ponnuru sees it as a general problem for the administration:

Ten days ago the president gave a commencement speech at Ohio State University urging graduates not to view government as “some separate, sinister entity.” Liberals prefer that people view government, as former Representative Barney Frank once put it, as just the name we use for the things we do together. The IRS scandal makes the government look more like, well, a separate, sinister entity — and that can’t help the party of government activism.

Wilkinson focuses on a specific example:

The scandal over the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative non-profit organisations for extra scrutiny comes at an inauspicious time for the Obama administration. When Obamacare goes in to full effect in January, the IRS will be vested with an array of new powers. Americans will be required to prove to the agency that they have a “qualifying” health plan, or pay a penalty. The IRS is also charged with passing confidential tax info to the Department of Health and Human Services, which will determine eligibility for new health-care subsidies. Americans will be required to report changes to their lives that might affect their eligibility for subsidies. A new job, a raise, a move to a new state, a change in marital status, a change in hours worked can all trigger a requirement to update the IRS.

Which means the stable-clearing must be fair but decisive. Anyone connected to what appears to be a lefty cabal of mid-level officials should be thrown out on their ear.