IRS Workers Owing Back Taxes Awarded Bonuses
The Internal Revenue Service paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The report, which focused on a two-year period from 2010 to 2012, also found that more than 1,000 IRS workers who didn't pay their taxes received extra time off -- some 10,528 hours representing $250,000 in taxpayer money.
Other examples of misconduct by workers who received bonuses included misusing government credit cards for travel, drug use, threats, and fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits.
Gregory Kutz, assistant inspector general of the Treasury Department, called the actions alarming.
"Certainly some of this is egregious," Kutz said. "Someone working at the IRS shouldn't be getting a performance award."
Indignant taxpayers agreed.
"I am appalled!" one taxpayer said.
"Just so many stupid things go on in our country!" another said.
The recent report on IRS employees isn't the only example of problematic government policies.
Former Federal Reserve official Paul Kupiec said banking regulators make nearly three times as much as bankers themselves.
"The average salary of a bank employee was just under $50,000 in 2012, compared to over $190,000 for workers at FDIC and other regulatory agencies," Kupiec wrote in a Wall Street Journal article.
Meanwhile, evidence of out-of-control federal spending continues to mount.
The Congressional Budget Office projects the federal debt will rise more than $10 trillion in 10 years, from $17.7 trillion to $27 trillion -- something that could well leave average Americans facing higher tax burdens.