Let us pretend that you are employed by a local grocery store chain as a stock clerk. In your machinations up and down the store’s aisles you encounter customers that seem lost and in need of instruction to find what they are looking for. You usually stop and help, which is part of your job but on occasion you refuse to help to certain shoppers because they are dressed as fans of, say, Alabama. To extend the Bama fans misery, you have even told them to “stay right here, I’m going to look on another aisle and see if we have it” knowing full well you intended to leave the customer forever stranded and looking rather foolish.
One day you are summoned to your boss’s office and asked to explain why you have been tormenting Bama fans, whose money is as green as Tiger fans. Having just watched 6 hours of CSPAN you proudly tell your boss “I wish to invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege and not answer your question.” Ten minutes of “stonewalling” later, you are on the way to the unemployment office and Bama fans are now finding the double-fatted pork skins they were looking for.
This story perfectly illustrates the working conditions of almost every American: lie or refuse to tell your employer what you did while on his or her time and you will no longer BE on his or her time. Someone needs to tell IRS director Lois Lerner that Congress is her employer and Tea Party groups, claiming harassment, their customers.
Ms. Lerner “pled the fifth” in front of a Congressional hearing Tuesday claiming she “did nothing wrong”.
The Dr. Zachary Smith “I’m innocent!” defense may be truthful but it’s morally repugnant. While she is at what the rest of us call “work,” Ms. Lerner should be subject to the same rules the rest of us are the fact that she works for the government makes that all the more necessary.
The next time you receive a tax bill from the IRS, try the “I’m innocent…will not pay…and am pleading the Fifth” defense. When you’re finished, say hi to Wesley Snipes for me.