Congress is impotent. The IRS is revealing this as never before. It is saying, loud and clear, that Congress cannot do anything to Lois Lerner or any other IRS employee. Sorry; no emails. They went bye-bye into cyberspace. There are no digits. There is no smoking gun.
But what about the NSA? Doesn’t the NSA track everything? Store everything?
The NSA shares nothing with Congress. But Congress still comes up with its $45 billion a year budget.
How do we know this? Snowden put it on his thumb drive. He made back-ups.
The IRS didn’t.
What can Congress do about Snowden? Nothing.
What does it do with the NSA? Funds it.
What does it do about the giggling IRS? Funds it.
We read this:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner John Koskinen testified Wednesday that the IRS did not save any of the information on Lois Lerner’s destroyed Blackberry and that there is no outside system to store agency emails.
“Hard drive crashes continue as we speak,” Koskinen admitted at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing when asked if any computers had recently crashed under his watch.
Koskinen admitted that destroying records would be an act “not consistent with the law,” but maintained that there’s no evidence that the IRS intentionally destroyed records.
“Ms. Lerner’s Blackberry was replaced in February 2012 as part of an ongoing Blackberry update….it was disposed of under standard procedures at that time,” Koskinen said.
Koskinen claimed that information from Lerner’s Blackberry could not be transferred to her new model because “Our Blackberries only display email that is displayed by our employees’ Microsoft Outlook emails, which is maintained on IRS servers.”
Koskinen also said that there’s no outside system to save IRS employees’ emails.
“There is no system outside the IRS, government or otherwise, that the IRS uses to back up or store emails,” Koskinen said.
It is not easy for Congress to maintain the illusion that it is in charge. It is not in charge.
Congress holds hearings. But when it comes to restraining the Executive branch, it is impotent. The bureaucrats can thumb their noses at both houses of Congress with impunity. “”We lost the evidence. Go fish!”
Congress has one power: the power of the purse. But it has not used this power in over a century. It spends beyond its means. It buys votes with this money. The bureaucrats know this. They can safely tell Congress to go fish.
The Framers of the Constitution thought Congress would be dominant. Silly Framers. The President is immune, his bureaucrats are immune, and five Supreme Court members tells Congress what it can or cannot do.
All Congress can do is spend money and borrow more. It does both with impunity. The voters like it this way.
There will be a Great Default at some point — a series of defaults. The voters will learn just how good a government promise is. “But you promised! You promised us free medical care. You promised us a safe retirement. This just isn’t fair.”
The government’s response: “Go fish.”