IRS’ wasteful spending is angering

Apparently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not interested in having the public’s trust or respect. It’s the number one agency in the country that always gets its share yet wastes tax dollars.

Just after the revelation that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups, the Treasury Department’s inspector general report revealed the agency spent $50 million to hold at least 220 employee conferences between 2010-2012.

The conference spending included $4 million for an August 2010 gathering in Anaheim, Calif., for which the agency did not negotiate lower room rates, even though that is standard government practice, according to a statement by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Instead, some of the 2,600 attendees received benefits, including baseball tickets and stays in presidential suites that normally cost $1,500 to $3,500 per night. In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about “leadership through art,” the House committee said. (Why was someone talking to the IRS about leadership through art anyway?)

IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said Sunday that spending on large agency conferences with 50 or more participants fell from $37.6 million in the 2010 budget year to $4.9 million in 2012. The government’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1 the previous calendar year.

On Friday, the new acting commissioner, Danny Werfel, released a statement on the forthcoming report criticizing the Anaheim meeting.

“This conference is an unfortunate vestige from a prior era,” Werfel said. “While there were legitimate reasons for holding the meeting, many of the expenses associated with it were inappropriate and should not have occurred.”

If the conference, or any of the IRS’ spending practices, is “an unfortunate vestige from a prior era,” exactly how much of this nation’s hard-earned dollars was misspent in the past so professional number-crunchers could attend baseball games or listen to talks about art? This country has cut down on food services to our men and women serving in Afghanistan but just over the past three years, the agency that collects our tax dollars wasted so much money.

The priorities of people in positions of power and leadership are quite out of order. This is yet another example of why America is struggling today.

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Posted by on Jun 6 2013. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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