01 Aug

Tort claims statute conceals the actual consequence of its form within the illusion of due process.

The tort claims illusion. Do you see the two figures in the image below?  If not, you soon will.  And when you do, you will not see the image as anything else.

Tort claims statute undoes punitive damages for intentionally wrongful acts by federal employees when the United States is the beneficiary.

It is the same with [IRS Statute] 26 USC 7433 and the Federal Tort Claims Act.  These and other federal remedy statutes appear to provide a financial remedy for taxpayer or citizen harm for federal employee wrongdoing.  When the harming act is a mere mistake, both statutes succeed adequately.  The problem is when the act was intentional and sanctioned by employee’s manager.  In this case, you the taxpayer will remedy the harm, but there will be no provision for punitive or deterring damages.
Federal employees are clear on the benefits of this. It’s a tool. They believe this power is essential to the proper functioning of the federal government. They believe, I know because they say it, that so long as they are working to the benefit of the federal government, they should be able to break any law with immunity.
Specifically, here’s how it is stated in the federal tort claims act (the relevant section only):



(1) The remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346 (b) and 2672 of this title for injury or loss of property, or personal injury or death arising or resulting from the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment is exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding for money damages by reason of the same subject matter against the employee whose act or omission gave rise to the claim or against the estate of such employee. Any other civil action or proceeding for money damages arising out of or relating to the same subject matter against the employee or the employee’s estate is precluded without regard to when the act or omission occurred.

The government will pay for the harm, but no deterring damages will be allowed. This is for intentional acts too, so long as the government determines that the employee were operating within the scope of the job.  Therefore, if an agency has an agenda, and it is approved by managers, then the employee can break the law without consequence. The worse case scenario will be that the government has to pay only for the harm caused.

It would be like being a jewel thief.  Whenever you were caught, you would merely have to give back the jewels.  No time in jail.  Under these circumstances, I do not think thieves would give up their life of crime.

In the tort claims case example: if you catch the government in an intentionally wrongful act, you may have your harm remedied.  However, because there is no deterrence, God help the next guy.