The report that the Internal Revenue Service spent nearly $50 million on conferences for its personnel between 2010 and 2012 should be the last straw for Congress and Americans, only it can't be.
This report comes on top of information that the IRS gave special scrutiny to conservative organizations seeking nonprofit, tax-free status, particularly those with "Tea Party" in their names.
Most Americans hate the IRS anyway, a feeling that is even more sharply felt in the spring when many taxpayers labor long over tax forms and then sometimes have to write painfully large checks.
Now Americans hear that the IRS has been spending large amounts of government money to amuse its personnel with expensive conferences, including video-filmed dancing and amateur costume simulations of television shows. On Wednesday the IRS also announced that it had put two of its officials on administrative leave for having accepted $1,000 in gifts at one such conference in 2010.
The IRS does need to hold conferences from time to time to keep its personnel working from the same page in enforcement of regulations. Hosting its officials at expensive meetings where they dance and wear funny dress makes them and the enraged taxpayers who foot the bill look like absolute fools.
There's no getting around it: Somebody has to collect taxes and that duty falls to the IRS. It needs to get its house in order to do the job properly.