During the June 24 episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart spent the opening minutes of his show mocking the unbelievable incompetence and ineptitude of the IRS. He ridiculed the IRS’s “unacceptable” behavior as that which “borders on criminal idiocy.” The Comedy Central host also enjoyed a moment of levity at the expense of Commissioner Koskinen’s ludicrous testimony before Congress. Unfortunately, for the Tea Party groups that were targeted, though, this has been no laughing matter.
Here’s what Stewart found the most “galling:”
KOSKINEN: The IRS has historically only preserved back-up tapes for six months.
STEWART: All right. The government agency whose entire business model release on forcing Americans to live as borderline hoarders. Only keeps their s*** for six months? No. That’s unacceptable. You know, you never get a notice from the IRS saying please bring your records down to us — If you can find them … But even if the IRS deleted the tapes, why can’t they just get the emails from her inbox. Spoiler alert: It’s stupid and preventable. Each IRS employee’s email box back then only held 150 megabytes of information. Also known as five pictures of your family … The federal government, the federal government has built an entire complex in the deserts of Utah to store everything Americans have ever said to each other. But inter-government conversations?
And that is exactly why almost nobody believes this outrageous lie. As a recent Fox News poll revealed, an overwhelming majority of Americans aren’t buying the lame IRS story either. “That suspicion is shared across party lines, albeit to varying degrees,” Dana Blanton reported, “An overwhelming 90 percent of Republicans think the emails were intentionally destroyed, as do 74 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats.”
So far, this has got to be the leading candidate in the running for Politifact’s lie of the year. And what makes this false claim even worse than Obama’s empty campaign promise “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” is that people on both sides of the political spectrum — and everyone in between — know it’s patently false. The IRS is engaging in the kind of shameless deception that would make Nixon proud.
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