Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Whose the Biggest Tax Deadbeat of All?

It's not news that there are Federal employees with delinquent tax debts. Read more about that here. When you dig down, it turns out that many of them are on mutually agreed payment plans with the Internal Revenue Service and are current with their payments, so the idea that there are thousands of federal tax deadbeats isn't so juicy as it seems at first.

But that doesn't stop some Congressmen from making a big deal about it. According to an item in the WaPo's Federal Diary column today, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has introduced legislation that would fire federal tax deadbeats.

“Federal employees have an obvious obligation to pay their federal income taxes,” said Chaffetz. “Because they draw their compensation from the American taxpayers, federal employees owe it to the taxpayers themselves to pay their taxes. If not, they should be fired.”

OK with me. Fire away. But, as I continue to flip through the WaPo, I see a news story about another federal employee with tax problems, one who failed to report assets totaling more than $1 million on legally required financial disclosure forms. Neither did he report or pay taxes on rental income from a villa in the Caribbean, an infraction for which the Internal Revenue Service merely required him to paid the taxes but not any penalties or interest.

I suggest that, in fairness, any federal employee with a tax delinquency should be treated according to the Rangel Rule. That is, they should be treated with the same courtesy that the IRS extends toward the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.


Anonymous said...

I had no idea that many on the "deadbeat" rolls were on payment plans. That really changes the way it looks! I don't think those on payment plans are "deadbeat" AT ALL. It's easy to accrue more taxes in a year that you thought you would, go OOPS!, and then pay it off as they allow you to.

Lots of federal employees really aren't making huge sums of money, either, regardless of what gets put out there in the media (and what you have discussed before - striking back against the notion that federal employees are overpaid).

Also, I tried to find an email address for you, but could not, so I wanted to leave an apology here, instead of in the topic below.

My original comment on the last post started something like, "We homeschool, so" and I actually had written a lot more but didn't want to start a homeschool/public school comment war in your comments box, but now that what I wrote has been commented on, I want to say that my intention was to say the following:

"We homeschool, so I don't know what the schools are or are not teaching - if they are or are not requiring Geography - but I do know that, in order to fully appreciate the humor of this post, I had to pull out an Atlas myself just to take a better look..."

Then I made a joke about my own educational background, which I subsequently deleted, and when I started deleting, I decided to delete mostly the whole thing. I should have just deleted EVERYTHING, because leaving what I did was, I guess, more (unintentionally) inflammatory than what I would have said, and I should have just left the whole word "homeschool" off there, as now I can see it could be misconstrued.

So I wanted to explain myself and apologize and tell you that I didn't mean to start anything in your comments box. Especially a homeschool/public school type of thing. That stuff goes way wrong way, way quickly.


TSB said...


No need to apologize. I didn't see anything inflammatory at all.

I hope all is well with you and your family,


Anonymous said...

It's Friday, and that means that the Third Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

Here is the link:

(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)