Taxpayers Underwrite IRS Full-Time Union Workers

Share this article on:

audit-irsDid you know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) actually pays the salary (no, we taxpayers pay the salary) of 200 employees who work full time on labor union business? All this even as IRS furloughs employees and cuts back on taxpayer advice under the guise of the budget sequester. As far as I know, this kind of practice takes place only within the federal government. In the private sector, union work and staff are paid for by union dues. I hope state governments are not following the federal lead in this union issue.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) have written to IRS Acting Commissioner Werfel asking that the IRS stop paying these employees for work that does not benefit the taxpayers. They said “While the IRS continues to request more funding to further close the 14.5% tax gap, especially under the current budget crunch and sequestration, it makes little sense to use taxpayer resources to pay for union work.”
Known as “official time,” the arrangement allows for federal employees to get paid by the taxpayers even as they perform their union duties. More than 40 of the IRS employees doing union business make 6 figure salaries, and all told there were more than 200 IRS employees serving in 100% “official time” capacity from Jan. 20 through June 6, 2012. This business distorts the federal budget by lobbying internally for union benefits without regard for taxpayer interests. If the unions want their federal union dues, they should have to pay for them. Taxpayers should not be the ones that pay.
All this comes as the IRS has been under fire for not only targeting conservative groups, but also for reports of lavish spending on conferences, and for preparing to pay out $70 million in bonuses to employees even though the administration has told agencies to curtail bonuses in light of the sequester.
This kind of thing makes me think more and more that a “Fair Tax” or even a flat tax is needed. Maybe we could eliminate the IRS. And to think IRS is to be responsible for administering much of Obamacare. Makes no sense at all.
How do we cope in a world where many things governmental make no sense? Lewis Carroll created such a place and called it “Wonderland.” Here in the US we may not have Mad Hatter tea parties and disappearing cats, but much of what is happening in our federal government today just doesn’t make sense. And it affects us all. We are currently living in an upside-down world it seems.

Email this author

This entry was posted in Government Reform, Taxes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.