Numbers are hard for IRS boss Lois Lerner

“I don’t know. I’m not good at math.”

We’ve all said that before, right? As a country, math’s not really our strong suit, so I’d be surprised if I was the only one who uses “I’m not good at math” to avoid answering a tough question.

Thankfully, though, you don’t have to be good at math in order to have a high-paying job. Lois Lerner, for example, is the head of the IRS Exempt Division – the one that spent almost three years going after Republican groups but managed to hide it until after the election.

Somebody asked her how many groups she had targeted during her tenure. Her answer?

“I don’t know. I’m not good at math.”

Lois Lerner

“I’m from the IRS, and I’m bad at math.”

Not something you want to hear from the person handling your tax returns.

This response is actually part of a pattern; Lerner’s had a rough time with numbers this week. Take the number 5 for example – 5 as in 5th amendment. Yesterday, Lerner was dragged by her ear to Capitol Hill to explain why she hadn’t told Congress about her targeting when she testified in an investigation before the election.

“I have not done anything wrong,” she proclaimed. “I am proud of the work that I have done.” I’ve been in government for more than two decades, I’m innocent, I will fight these accusations. It was a really passionate speech.

And then…

“I exercise my fifth amendment right against self-incrimination and I will not be answering any questions.”

Um, you can’t do that. You can either plead the fifth or not – you can’t just turn it off to make a speech and then turn it back on. By emphatically defending herself and defying her detractors, Lois Lerner waived her right to fifth amendment protection.

Oops. Lerner probably hates numbers more now than ever.

Lois Lerner will be back in the hot seat next week, no doubt, to continue the hearing. When she returns, she’ll have to answer some hard math questions – questions like “how many people in the White House knew about this targeting?”

Maybe she’ll use her favorite answer, the one I hope some of you will use if you ever get audited by the IRS:

“I don’t know. I’m not good at math.”

What do you think? Am I being too hard on Ms. Lerner?

You should follow us on twitter @DYNAMO_politics!

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Posted in Fiscal Policy, President Obama
2 comments on “Numbers are hard for IRS boss Lois Lerner
  1. Lol I’m just as pissed as you

  2. lucy says:

    Outrageous! Makes me so frustrated

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