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Bad and I certainly did not know anything.
The IG report before the IG.
Report had been leaked through press.
Through the press.
I promise -- that the minute I found out about it.
Then my main focus is making sure that we get that -- fixed.
What did the White House -- the conservative groups are being targeted that was the question he was supposed to answer there although he clearly did not.
This as the investigation picks up steam.
A new acting commissioner of the IRS has been named at a house Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on the fiasco.
That is the first of what will be a series of congressional hearings.
But one of the biggest questions people are asking right now whose idea was -- and will anyone go to jail.
Can we trust the IRS or even the government for that matter.
With me now is man who knows firsthand how the Ways and Means Committee works out -- -- the committee's former policy director and chief economist.
Alex thanks for joining us what was your first question be.
As we head into these hearings in this investigation.
Well -- hearing tomorrow on the Ways and Means Committee is probably the most important of this series of hearings that are forthcoming.
This week into next weekend and they may continue well beyond that.
I think it's important remember that this is an investigation that's actually been ongoing by the Ways and Means Committee.
Dave Camp the chairman of that committee.
Wrote to I -- about this issue last year asking these types of questions.
Only now are we learning about the answer is but members of congress have been very concerned about this affect this concern about how to keep -- -- -- groups were targeted -- Get to the bottom of whose idea was that because that's one of the most important questions -- -- we want to know.
How high does this go.
Where did it start.
I think that's exactly right that's going to be the first keys -- questions.
Is -- what where did this originate and how big is it right now right now we know about.
-- 501 C four is being targeted.
That had Tea Party and their name but where there other things that we're going on as well that we don't know -- I hope that this investigation.
Narrows in on the specifics of what's going on for these.
Attacks -- Andy's -- but looks more broadly as well are there are there more.
You know more general issues.
Targeting and discrimination they're going on.
IRS yep President Obama keeps pointing out the Treasury Secretary Jack -- asked for the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner about Steven Miller.
Of course we learned later that he was set to step down as acting commissioner.
Very you know within two weeks Steven -- -- it areas that you're talking about does that make you feel any better.
Now I -- now I mean it.
Now I mean I I.
That is concerning that he was aware of some -- and some of this is information.
Then he did not share wind with the ways and means -- other members of congress who have been inquiring about this issue.
He's been brought up before ways and -- and testified.
On this subject said he was unaware of these issues now at the time that might have been true.
But he's subsequently learned about -- and he did not go back to congress to inform them and to me that's very concerning.
Now he's gone but the situation.
Is not better I mean we we still don't know what the causes are.
Of this investigation of these these attacks in this this narrow.
Focus on a certain set -- groups.
And we don't know what the remedies are going to be either.
No I mean the remedies are really important one of them of course was this removal we've learned within the last hour -- so.
That Daniel were fall who is the comptroller of the office of management budget for the White House is going to step again.
What do you think about choice.
Not someone that I know not so what I know to be -- tax expert.
I'm not certain it's OK -- we needed a tax expert -- honest but we do why why why would someone attacks expert to run the IRS.
What I would say is -- with regard to cleaning up this problem it's not necessarily -- tax expert that we need.
But in they said I don't know this gentleman come before today's announcement.
Obviously there are a lot of responsibilities for the IRS and he'll have to manage both this crisis as well as the overall operations.
Think about remedies I mean you mention that for house speaker John Boehner of course said that somebody has to go to jail do you think it's that serious.
Well I've no idea -- someone should go to jail -- not I'm encouraged that the FBI has opened an investigation to find out the answers to those questions.
And I I trust that they'll do their job diligently.
On if it turned out to be the case -- that that then that that's appropriate course of action but woods too soon to say.
But in terms of remedies I think we need to think give it in twofold one is what can the IRS do itself.
To make sure that better process either in place.
But they're also may be a role for congress to play here what are the appropriate.
Rules governing these types of tax structures is the 501 C four structure.
Ill defined do we needed and that's it I don't.
Without title a couple of hours five point seven -- just you just mentioned two bodies that the American public doesn't trust a whole lot or feel great about.
Congress and the IRS.
I mean what do you think can be -- can be done.
To restore confidence after -- us.
Well I think you bring -- up there really important issue which is the American people's reaction to this issue.
And quite frankly it extends far beyond just tax policy and just and far beyond just the IRS.
If the American people.
Don't feel comfortable.
-- -- the tax system that we have not just saying that they don't like paying taxes but if they don't trust the IRS the next step is that they won't trust even you know the the government more broadly.
So it could be the the tip of the spear in a sense if if we don't quickly move to reestablish.
Basic principles within the IRS and the issue with.
Whether this needs for new legislation it relates not only to this scandal but you also see quite frankly in -- framework of obamacare.
The IRS is being asked to do all along even more work -- Jerry -- revenues that's a great point we and that's the outline that's and a -- and that's not an excuse for what just happened now is important to think that maybe they're being asked to do more than they can handle it too much.
Thank you so much for coming on we appreciate your time Alex and I'm -- activities on the bottom of the screen there while we are talking another IRS official.
Is set to retire we're just finding -- -- our thanks for your time outs.
Time now for.
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