The most hated government agency in the country, heavily involved in a politically motivated targeting and harassment scandal, is now going to reward some employees with a cash bonus?
This announcement follows closely on the heels of the announcement the IRS spent nearly $60 million for extravagant employee seminars.
This spending is coming from an agency that is constantly whining and crying about needing even more tax dollars from our paychecks and investments.
Even though bonuses were supposedly frozen due to sequestration, the IRS feels duty bound to pay these bonuses to members of the National Employees Treasury Union.
According to the IRS, these bonus payments were part of a Union Contract and they have no choice but to pay them, or be in violation of their contractual agreement. I would love to know what idiot in the IRS agreed to this bonus plan during the union negotiations. Perhaps someone whom would receive some of this bonus money to put in his or her own pocket?
In my world, bonuses were only paid to reward employees for outstanding performance. Never were bonuses agreed upon in union negotiations, and management employees were not represented by any labor union. Nope, we had to stand on our own two feet and do the job we were hired to do without protection from any union. I know this sounds cruel, but that is just the way it was. Some people were actually fired because they could not do the job they were hired to do. But that is reality for those of us who work, or worked, in the private sector.
One company I worked for had the “two can’t rule.” That meant; if you can’t do the job, you can’t work here.” Needless to say this was a non-union company that was both competitive and profitable. They had a waiting list of highly motivated and qualified persons wanting to work for them. They paid above average wages, and bonuses for jobs completed correctly and ahead of schedule.
I have heard that it is nearly impossible to be fired from a government job, especially a job under the protection of a union umbrella. Most government employees get higher wages and many more benefits than people doing the same work in the private sector. Most government agencies are overstaffed, yet many government employees feel they are overworked. My guess is that many government employees would find it difficult keeping their job if they were in the private sector without union protection. The workload would be far greater than they are accustomed to, and the pay and benefits would be far less. These two things alone would make them very unhappy employees.
In all fairness, there are most likely some highly talented and hard working employees in government jobs, but I can’t say I have personally met any of them.
Most of us are horrified at our soaring National Debt. There are some that claim they can prove that this is nothing to worry about, but I fail to see their point of view, or the logic behind this thinking. The GAO provided a written report they prepared showing huge amounts of waste in government operations. This included duplication of effort, paying outrageous prices for items available at your local hardware store, and many more. Yet nothing has changed. This report is available on the internet for your reading pleasure, or displeasure if you read it the same way I do. The point of this being the work has been done to identify much of the waste, but that is being ignored. A link to this report is below.
Our government still utilizes a “spend it or lose it” policy for departmental budgets. When the end of the fiscal year gets near, salesmen who sell products or services to the government get very excited. They know there will be millions of dollars in orders placed for unneeded services and items so the various government departments will not suffer a budget cut.
The method used in government is to take the amount spent the previous year, add some to it for inflation, and make that total this year’s budget. Not that they pay any attention to budgets anyway.
So we now have powerful government agency, caught in the act of discriminatory practices favoring one political party, proven reckless and wasteful spending, getting ready to pay out huge bonuses in spite of sequestration.
The IRS is the same agency now tasked with handling medical payments and medical issues under Obamacare. I don’t know about you, but this idea gives this old man cold chills just thinking about it.
You didn’t ask for it, but my opinion is it is time for the IRS as we know it to just go away. Our tax codes have become so complex; most of us are forced to hire a professional just to prepare our tax returns. Tax loopholes for special interest groups are purchased by lobbyists, making the lobbyist extremely wealthy in the process.
Having been in the repair business of one kind or another most of my life, I learned some basic rules. If something is not working properly, we have three choices.
A. Repair it.
B. Replace it.
C. Throw it away and do without.
In the case of the IRS, I would choose option “C.” But that would make no sense at all. Taxes will still need to be collected leaving option “C” off the table. So that leaves us with option “B” as the most likely choice. We need to eliminate the existing huge tax code book, and replace that with a Flat Tax with no exemptions for special interest groups.
This powerful government agency is too broken to do anything else. Changing the tax collection method to a flat tax would virtually eliminate the need for 90% of the IRS employees, all tax accountants and tax preparers, and bring in more money than our current system provides. Using the flat tax, everyone would pay their fair share where now it is reported that only 51% of us pay any taxes at all. No more tax loopholes could be purchased by the lobbyists. Those who work strictly for cash would have to start paying taxes when they spend their ill-gotten gains. I may be wrong, but I just see no problem at all in getting rid of our present system and changing to something better. The savings in IRS wages alone would reduce the need for them to come after us for more tax revenue, at least for a while.
Ask most any employee how much they grossed on their last paycheck, and they will have no idea. They may know to the penny what their take-home pay amount was, but have no idea how much they paid in taxes. Even worse, they view any refund they receive from the IRS as a “gift from the government.” They don’t realize this is their own money they are getting back for the no-interest loan they made the IRS by overpaying their withholding amount.
The big mystery to me are those who receive income tax refunds when they didn’t work all year and never paid a dime in taxes. It is the name, “Earned Income Credit’s” that confuses me. How can there possibly be refunds on money that was never paid into the system?
Of course tax preparation companies like H&R Block are paying huge bucks to lobbyists to make sure this tax structure never changes. It is pure insanity that our tax codes are so complicated and complex that most of us are forced to pay a tax professional to prepare our tax returns. These folks don’t work cheap, and they struggle to keep up with the latest tax laws and changes to stay out of trouble themselves.
We could do so much better than the way the IRS is currently structured. Perhaps the recent IRS scandals will start heading us in the right direction, but of course, that remains to be seen.
Your comments are appreciated and welcome, even if you don’t agree with me. Perhaps you have some better ideas than I do. If so, I would love to hear them. Opinions are a wonderful thing, and all of us have some.