PHOENIX, February 8, 2015 — A 94 year-old Ohio man, Siegfried Meinstein, cannot convince the IRS that he is still alive. The IRS says he is deceased. Interviews of Mr. Meinstein certainly seem to suggest otherwise. Nonetheless, when the IRS makes a decision, well…
Let us harken back more than a year when the story of the IRS targeting conservative groups became public. We recall seeing Lois Lerner, the Nurse Ratched of the whole affair in both deed and appearance, stating before a congressional committee that she did nothing wrong – and then refusing to state anything else. We witnessed other high level IRS bureaucrats smirk at the mere accusation that the IRS, that bastion of efficiency and even-handedness, could ever do anything wrong. Because we know that when the IRS makes a decision, well…
The IRS claims that it was the Social Security Administration that provided them with information of Mr. Meinstein’s demise. Social Security certainly seems to be convinced that he is still alive and has said so to the IRS. This may answer a bit of a chicken or the egg question: When two mammoth federal bureaucracies disagree, who wins? Social Security is apparently no match for the IRS. Chalk one up for the egg.
Just to be safe, the IRS is likely to send the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), you know, the death panel, to pay a visit to Mr. Meinstein. Chief Obamacare architect Ezekiel Emanuel is quite fond of IPAB. Further, he has said that he plans on dying by age 75 and thinks everybody else should too. According to Emanuel’s rationale, Mr. Meinstein is well beyond his expiration date. The IRS is surely thinking that IPAB would be happy to assist with turning its understanding of Mr. Meinstein’s current condition into a reality.
This is reminiscent of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In an early scene, we see a cart full of dead bodies being pushed through a village. A man (Eric Idle) walks alongside the cart stating loudly for the villagers to “bring out your dead!” When a villager presents and elderly man that isn’t quite dead (in fact he protests that he’s feeling pretty good), Idle’s character clubs him over the head to hasten his death and the elderly man is added to the cart.
Perhaps, regarding IPAB, President Obama can say, “Lest we get on our high horse, let’s remember that civilizations have been killing old people for centuries.”
But, really, isn’t it great when agencies of the federal government like the IRS and IPAB, can work together?
And speaking of working together, the Keystone XL pipeline and the Post Office seems like a match made in…the Senate.
Legislation to authorize the construction of the pipeline is making its way through the Senate. It appears destined to pass, although President Obama has threatened a veto.
Nevertheless, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has introduced an amendment to the Senate bill that ties the United States Postal Service to the Keystone pipeline. Huh? Are we going to start mailing Canadian oil to Louisiana? You know, if it fits, it ships.
Actually, she wants to prohibit the Post Office from moving ahead with its planned closure of facilities later this year. At issue are about 7,000 federal jobs. And what better way to save those jobs than by tying the effort to a completely unrelated piece of legislation? You’ve just got to love Washington.
Given the Left’s admiration of government jobs, should the Keystone bill pass with the Post Office amendment, will that improve its chances of avoiding a veto?
Senator Stabenow’s amendment sounds reminiscent of Harry Reid’s efforts from 2012 when he was arguing against any facilities closures and the ending of Saturday delivery service. At the time Reid said, “Seniors LOVE to get junk mail. It’s sometimes their only way of communicating or feeling they’re part of the real world.”
There you have it – junk mail makes old people feel alive! And so, it seems, will the Keystone pipeline.
If only the Keysonte bill with the Stabenow amendment had passed earlier, Siegfried Meinstein might still be alive today!