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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Food For Thought as Tax Day Cometh | 03-15-2013
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You Know I'm Right | Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Mar 15, 2013

bettyarensonWashington MarketWatch reported a U.S. Treasury budget deficit of $203.5 billion for the month of February 2013. That means the feds spent $203.5 billion more in that short month than they took in.

While rational minds cringe at that scenario, there are the politicians and money people who think that is good news. “We’re doing better, folks.” That picture is equal to an oncologist telling his cancer patient that while his main cancerous tumor is the size of a watermelon, a second is good news because it’s only the size of a cantaloupe.

Here is a strong suggestion for the feds to feed their coffers, and they merely have to look at their feet to find it.

Numerous sources recite the recent IRS data, entitled Federal Employee Delinquency Initiative Report  (FERDI), which details the amount of federal taxes that have not been paid by the very government workers we taxpayers are forced to support via our hard-earned money, providing their salaries plus all of the additional cushy compensations that go with their jobs.

The number of delinquent employees total more than 312,000, up 12 percent from 2010.

Procuring all of these employees’ overdue taxes in short order would garner at least $3.5 billion today. Should the feds pursue the same interest and penalties over and above the actual amounts, the amount would grow substantially.

According to the federal agency’s own report, here’s where to look for the revenue:

* Executive Office – President Obama’s staff: Forty of them owe nearly $334,000. Left unpaid, that amount should be accruing penalties at least monthly, if not daily.

* Capitol Hill: 688 congressional staffers owe $10.8 million. That averages out to nearly $16,000 each.

* U.S. Court system (includes IRS courts that prosecute IRS claims against taxpayers): 894 employees owe $12.7 million, an average of more than $14,200 each.

* Employees of Veterans Affairs, Health and Health Services, Department of Defense,  Social Security, Homeland Security, Agriculture owe about $561 million.

* U.S. Postal Service: 22,404 employees owe $215.2 million.

* The Government Accountability Office investigates corruption and federal expenditures of taxpayer dollars. GAO employees owe nearly $1 million in unpaid taxes.

* Last but not least, the U.S. Treasury: One of every 100 employees is delinquent. They owe more than $9.3 million.

Remember, Obama’s last hand-picked choice to head the Treasury Department – the guy who sets the taxpaying rules for everyone in the country – was Timothy L. Geithner, who at the time of his appointment was not paying his own federal income taxes.  America was told he finally ponied up, but it was quickly out of the news and we never saw proof of payment. There is also the unresolved issue of whether he has ever been held responsible for penalties and interest as Joe Taxpayer would be.

So, the common man and taxpayer would ask, why doesn’t “the government,” which is supposed to represent the people, simply and summarily garnish wages?  Well, apparently there are restrictions, and that action is only taken under certain circumstances. “Under current law, only IRS employees may be fired for not paying their taxes,” says reporter Jamie Forzato.

The Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2012 passed the Republican-led House last year on a 263-114 vote. But Harry Reid never allowed the bill to come up for a vote in the Democrat-led Senate.  Remember, Harry Reid is a big demander that “the rich” must “pay their fair share.”

In January 2013, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, reintroduced a bill that would preclude federal government employment for anyone with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” Also, enactment “could” make tax delinquent employees eligible for termination, and delinquents “could” have their employment applications denied. There is wiggle room with allowance on a case-by-case basis for those already employed and facing financial hardship.

Considering the prominent malfeasance of the 312,000-plus federal workers, what will Harry and his Senate Democrats do with the 2013 bill? We’ll watch.

The unpaid $203.5 billion due from the people we honorable taxpayers pay is only one prong of the deadbeat fork. The other is the amount of unpaid taxes from federal contractors.  It gets worse: The amount due the U.S. Treasury is $5 billion. Beyond sanity, these cheaters still continue getting more contracts.

This is so exploitative, even Rep. Jackie Speiers (D-Calif.) is offended. Well, she was offended for an on-camera interview, but there are no visible signs that she is actively working on any resolution on behalf of taxpayers. To her credit, she did vote ‘yea’ on HR828, the 2012 tax accountability act.

The aforementioned uncollected and overdue money to the U.S. Treasury totals $8.5 billion, and that is as of 2011.

Hopefully this information will provide proper and due irritation for you to become proactive with our politicians as you file your 2012 tax returns and look at what you are paying – and also consider what will happen to you if you don’t.

 

Betty Arenson has lived in the SCV since 1968 and describes herself as a conservative who’s concerned about progressives’ politics and their impacts on the country, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She says she is unashamed to own a gun or a Bible, couldn’t care less about the color of the president’s skin, and demands that he uphold his oath to protect and follow the Constitution of the United States in its entirety. Her commentary publishes Fridays.

 

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