As the debt ceiling manipulations continues to occupy the news and we all hope the republicans will stand their ground and call Obama's bluff other fleeting government absurdity has gone largely unnoticed.
It seems that certain employees of none other than the IRS have been caught CHEATING on their taxes.
No PLEASE PLEASE say it's not SO this is like Timmy Geithner claiming he failed to pay his taxes because he did not understand turbo tax.
It seems federal investigators have found over 100 IRS employees that fraudulently claimed a first time homebuyer tax credit from the 2008 and 2009 stimulus packages.
The oh so successful government programs like "cash for clunkers" or tax credits for energy efficient appliance purchases, which do nothing but waste tax payer money and promote fraud as in this case.
The inspector general of the Treasury Department for tax administration found 128 IRS employees who claimed the credit but who also made other claims that showed they either were not first time buyers or bought their houses outside the eligibility period.
Now $8,000 credit is a lot of money and of course with all such government goody give aways there are always unintended consequences for trying to buy peoples favor.
But fear not the IRS employes represent a small part of the total fraud generated by this program which could reach more than a half-billion dollars according to the inspector general.
At least one IRS employee facing charges of making a false claim while acting as an officer of the federal government is looking at a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
There are several others who have been charged or convicted but due to taxpayer confidentiality rules there are no details on active investigations or closed cases or how many IRS employees face legal problems.
The House Ways and Means Committee will be holding hearings as they are responsible for IRS oversight and hopefully will ask the IRS some very tough questions on how this happened.
In 2009, as part of the now failed stimulus package, Obama raised the credit limit to $8,000 eliminating the payback requirement and extending the eligibility period.
The government issued $27 billion in credits to some 3.9 million taxpayers in 2009 and 2010.
Surprisingly at the start of the program the IRS required no documentation from those applying for the credit and Congress supposedly did not give the agency the tools to track fraud which seems like an excuse to me and the usual big government response to their ineptness at running any program correctly.
At least $513 million in bogus claims were paid out.
13,448 taxpayers who claimed the credit on a house they said they had not bought yet , but promised to buy in the future.
Nearly 50,00 taxpayers claimed the credit although they had owned their home for up to three years prior to the eligibility period.
More than 1,000 prisoners applied and received the credit despite being incarcerated at the time.
Thousands of taxpayers who claimed the credit for a home for which someone else also claimed the credit.
This whole program is emblematic of the Obama administration who tries to fix a problem while buying favor from voters only to exacerbate the problem i.e. the housing market is still messed up precisely because of this program - the market needs to find it's bottom so it can rebuild, but as long as Obama and his minions keep tweaking it to the tune of over 30 BILLION in this case the housing market will NOT RECOVER.
Oh and there is more outrageousness on the part of our government.
Currently some 638 workers on Capitol Hill owe the IRS $9.3 million in back taxes.
Currently 41 people inside Obama's very own White House owe the government they're allegedly running a total of $831,055 in back taxes.
In the House of Representatives, 421 people owe a total $6,524,892.
In the Senate, 217 owe $2,774,836.
In the Treasury, 1,204 owe $7,670,814.
At the Labor Department, 463 owe $7,481,463.
81 workers for the Federal Reserve System's board of governors owe $1,076,733.
Within the Department of Homeland Security, there are 4,856 people who owe the tax agency a total of $37,012,174.
At least 276,300 current and retired federal employees owed $3,042,200,000 in 2008.
That is over 3 BILLION with a "B" dollars.
This is a total outrage these people should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY and those who are retired should have their pension checks WITHHELD until they pay up.
It is no wonder the sick bloated federal government has a spending problem.
Thanks to Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times for reporting part of this story.