Most of what we hear about the IRS lately involves their White House directed targeting of conservatives and Christians. I say White House directed because when all of the targeting started, the IRS Commissioner visited the White House many more times than any other member of Obama’s Cabinet. That cannot be a coincidence.
In the midst of all the targeting scandals, the IRS is awarding their employees with generous bonuses. It’s bad enough that our tax dollars are being used to pay bonuses, but you should be infuriated to find that $1.1 million worth of bonuses was paid to nearly 1,200 IRS employees who had been disciplined for not paying their own federal income taxes.
In addition to the 1,200 who didn’t pay their taxes, a total of 2,800 IRS employees received bonuses within a year of being reprimanded for drug use, filing fraudulent time sheets and other acts of misconduct. Some of the employees even received suspensions for their actions only to be given their share of $2.8 million of bonuses in the form of cash, performance awards and extra time off.
J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration justified the bonuses by saying that the contract with the IRS and National Treasury Employees Union states that disciplinary actions have no bearing on bonuses unless it damages the integrity of the agency. Seems to me that using our tax dollars to reward bad IRS employees does damage the agency’s integrity, what little, if any, they have left.
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) commented about the bonuses, saying:
“This is outrageous. The IRS is essentially telling its employees: Break the law and we will reward you.”
Even a Democratic senator sees the problem with rewarding bad employees. Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV) wrote to John Koskien, IRS Commissioner, saying:
“How can we expect the American people — many of whom are struggling to make ends meet — to trust their government when they learn that the very agency charged with collecting their tax dollars is rewarding employees who haven’t paid theirs?”
At first it wasn’t a problem for the IRS or the union, but once word got out that they were paying bonuses to disciplined employees, now it seems that they are admitting that it is damaging the integrity of the agency. George now states:
“Providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration.”
Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of the National Taxpayers Union also admitted that it appears to be a problem, saying:
“[The bonuses now add] bad, bad news for the agency’s public image.”
“If we’re assuming that the awards are given out on true merit … then say, ‘Sorry, you owe $800 on a lien and you’ve exhausted all your appeals; your reward is reduced accordingly.'”
According to the IRS, federal employees and retirees owed $3.5 BILLION in unpaid federal income taxes. House Republicans have tried to take measures to allow for the firing of federal employees who fail to pay their federal income taxes. In 2011, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced a bill to allow for the termination of federal employees who are seriously delinquent on their taxes. In 2012, the bill passed the House 263-114, but the liberal Democrats that control the Senate, namely Harry Reid, never even considered taking up the bill for discussion.
With the new information about awarding bonuses to IRS employees who still owe back taxes, Chaffetz has renewed his effort to get the bill reconsidered, saying:
“The indiscriminate awarding of bonuses to the very people IRS should be firing is unacceptable.”
This makes me wonder if there is anything respectable about the IRS? They target Obama’s political enemies, they’ve abused their powers to obtain confidential information from a number of patriot, conservative and Christian groups, they performed untimely audits on large supporters of Mitt Romney, they’re trying to silence Obama’s political enemies and now they are rewarding bad employees.
Isn’t it time we just establish a fair flat tax for all US citizens based on their incomes and abolish the IRS?