Sen. Johnson: IRS 'Outrage' Shows Democrats' Dysfunction

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 04:57 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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The fact that the government has allowed the Internal Revenue Service to pay bonuses to employees with disciplinary problems is an "outrage," one Republican senator says.

An investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that in the 2012 fiscal year, the IRS awarded $86 million and nearly 490,000 hours of paid leave time to about two-thirds of its 98,000 employees.

It further identified more than 2,800 employees who received rewards within one year of disciplinary action. Of those, 1,200 employees with tax issues received $1.1 million in cash, 11,000 hours of paid time off worth $256,000, and 71 pay increases.

In the report, J. Russell George, Treasury's inspector general, said, "Providing awards to employees with conduct issues, especially those who fail to pay federal taxes, appears to create a conflict with the IRS' charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administrations."

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson told J.D. Hayworth, and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV that this is another glaring example of how dysfunctional and consequence-free the federal government has become.

"Of course, under Harry Reid the U.S. Senate will do nothing," Johnson on Wednesday said about repercussions for the IRS leadership. "There's not a whole lot of curiosity in the United States Senate run by the Democrats in any of these government scandals, and of course, this is just one additional outrage, and there are countless.

"One of my messages suited then to the constituents of Wisconsin is believe what your eyes and ears are telling you about the federal government, it is dysfunctional, it is broken. Then, ask yourself a pretty simple series of questions: Do you really want the federal government to continue to grow? Do you want its intrusion and control over your life to increase? Do you really want it to take over your healthcare system?

"Americans have got to take a look at just one more example of outrageous behavior of the federal government, one more example of total dysfunction, and they've got to stop sending politicians to Washington dedicated to growing the place," Johnson said.

Story continues below video.

Hayworth pointed out that reticence on the part of Reid may be owing to the fact that no action can be taken against these IRS decision makers unless their union approves of the disciplinary action. Johnson acknowledged that to be part of the difficulty in reigning in the bureaucracy.

"You know, private-sector unions have a place and they're justified," Johnson said. "Public-sector unions never should've occurred, and of course that happened really back in Wisconsin with Gaylord Nelson, then John F. Kennedy made public-sector unions legal for the federal government.

"It's a really bad idea because the unions have an unholy alliance with the politicians. They spend all of their dues getting to election. Now you've got a politician elected by public-sector union dues going across the bargaining table. You think that's a fair bargain? As a result, you're bankrupting municipalities, you're bankrupting states, and we're bankrupting the federal government."

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