Bobby Jindal: IRS Officials Deserve Prison

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 18 2013 3:05 PM

Bobby Jindal: IRS Officials Should Go To Prison

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Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the IRS scandal is “simply un-American"

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is the latest Republican to suggest that the IRS officials who targeted conservative political organizations for scrutiny should serve time behind bars. “You cannot take the freedom of law-abiding Americans, whether you disagree with them or not, and keep your own freedom,” Jindal will tell delegates at a GOP convention, according to remarks seen by Politico. “When you do that, you go to jail.” The call comes a few days after House Speaker John Boehner asked: “My question isn’t about who’s going to resign, my question is who’s going to jail over this scandal?”

It’s likely no one will go to jail as a result of the IRS scandal, points out the Washington Post. Still, the calls for jail time illustrate how Republicans will keep pushing the issue, particularly considering it can be tied with other questions about government accountability, such as the Benghazi controversy. While increasingly engulfed by scandals, President Obama wants to change the subject. The White House will try to focus on legislation that it thinks Congress might pass and executive actions that don’t require lawmakers, points out the New York Times. The administration wants to intensify existing efforts to, among other things, reform immigration laws and implement the health care law. It is also getting ready to push an initiative to keep student loan rates low.

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Even as Republicans focus on how the IRS admitted to inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups, the real scandal may lie elsewhere. While it took a close look at smaller tea party organizations, the IRS pretty much ignored the much larger organizations that played an influential role in the election, reports the Associated Press. "The IRS goes AWOL when wealthy and powerful forces want to break the law in order to hide their wrongful efforts and secret political influence," said Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat. Now a small group of campaign finance reform advocates are worried the recent revelations regarding the IRS will make it even less likely that regulators will seek to scrutinize the bigger, more powerful groups.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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