A broken educational system led to IRS scandal


To the editor:

Why can’t anyone see that what the Internal Revenue Service initially did in a misguided effort to lend efficiency to a post-Citizens United deluge in its workload was simply a shortcut tantamount to a keyword search? It was very 21st century. Google and government are not so far apart.

Where it gets murky is the exact point — if there even is one — where the purported in-depth analysis morphed into the targeting of specific political groups. It may be that those efforts were the result of more confusion over applying subjective, ambiguous standards and an inability to know what questions to ask and how to interpret the responsive data.

This is a particularly relevant point during commencement season, when we continue to watch less and less erudite students — with increasingly diminished critical-thinking skills — enter the workforce. There has been much ado about this IRS incident, but perhaps it has been about the wrong thing.

What hasn’t changed over the years — from Watergate to the Iran-Contra affair to the Lewinsky scandal to today — is that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. Washington, too, needs to go back to school.

– Karen Ann DeLuca