The popular comedy shows of the 1950s and '60s had similar plots.

In the story lines, characters like Beaver Cleaver or Dennis The Menace inevitably found themselves in hot water that was made worse by their attempts to cover-up or lie their way out of a predicament. The family shows ended on a positive note with the kids and sometimes adults, learning a practical life lesson.

Forty years ago during the Watergate scandal, there was an alleged accidental erasure of 18 minutes of critical Oval Office recordings that contributed to Richard Nixon's resignation from office. The technology of today has brought us to the point where it's nearly impossible to lose or hide anything, but one thing that hasn't changed are the lies and deception being fed to the American public.

The IRS has spent most of the past year willfully defying Congress, which has been trying to gain documents that are considered critical to their efforts to probe the targeting of tea party and other groups.

A week ago, the IRS told Congress that it can't find two years of emails from Lois Lerner, former Director of Exempt Organizations. A few days later, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp added that the records for six more employees whose hard drives also supposedly failed are also missing.

These missing emails involve the six people considered central to the IRS crackdown on conservative groups.

As early as June 4, 2013, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa asked the IRS to provide "all documents and communications sent by, received by, or copied to Lerner" between Jan. 1, 2009, and the present. He repeated the demand last February.

Last August, former Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel told Congress, under oath, that the IRS was "reviewing every one of Lerner's emails, and providing the response." Current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in February told Congress, under oath, that the IRS was sending all of Lerner's emails.

The agency moved the goal posts in March, admitting it had produced for Congress only the Lerner emails that the IRS considered "related" to the scandal. Thus, the IRS was picking and choosing which of Lerner's emails it wanted Congress to have.

This week, the IRS tried to prove the point of a system failure by attaching an email thread in which IT professionals advised Lerner that they had been unable to recover her missing files. But if you read to the end of the thread, you see Lerner's email mentions the loss of "personal files" but never any lost emails.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said that "plot lines in Hollywood are more believable than what we are getting from this White House and the IRS."

The lame excuses and attempts to cover-up out of Washington these days sound a lot like something wiseguy Eddie Haskell might have hatched on the old "Leave it To Beaver" episodes.

This time though, there is no life lesson or happy ending, just a bunch of liars trying to insult the intelligence of every American.

By Jim Zbick

editor@tnonline.com