Debt-Flicks: The Carney Shuffle

| June 6 2013

Debt-Flicks: The Carney Shuffle

Earlier this week White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the president has made an “efficient and effective” government a “cornerstone” of his administration and that they take their role as “stewards of the taxpayer dollar very seriously.”  But to cut the wasteful spending, you gotta move your muscle.  There’s a brand new dance, it’s called the Carney Shuffle.

The Carney Shuffle

The Stewards Of Our Taxpayer Dollars:

IRS Issued More Than $11 Billion In Faulty Refunds: “The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $11 billion in faulty refunds through its Earned Income Tax Credit last year, according to an inspector general’s report released this week. Treasury Department Deputy Inspector General Michael Mc­Kenney found that the IRS has failed for the past two years to comply with a federal law requiring agencies to reduce payment errors to a rate of less than 10 percent. President Obama signed the statute in 2010.” (Josh Hicks, “IRS Paid Billions Of Dollars In Improper Refunds, Report Says,” The Washington Post, 4/24/13)

IRS Overpaid Upwards Of $13 Billion In Tax Credits: “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) overpaid between $11.6 billion and $13.6 billion in tax credits designed to help low-income families in fiscal 2012 , the Treasury Department announced in a report released Monday.” (Julian Hattem, “IRS overpaid up to $13.6B in low-income tax credits, report finds,” The Hill, 4/22/13)

IRS Wastes Millions On Conferences: “The Internal Revenue Service, already under fire after officials disclosed that the agency targeted conservative groups, faces increased scrutiny because of aninspector general’s report that it spent about $50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012.” (Alan Fram, “Report: IRS spent $50M holding 220 employee conferences over three years,”
The Associated Press, 6/3/13)·

The conferences included:

      • 15 Outside Speakers Were Paid A Total $135,000 And Perks Included Baseball Tickets And Hotel Suites. “According to a statement from the House Oversight Committee, 15 outside speakers at the event were paid a total of $135,000 and many attendees were given perks including baseball tickets and suites at the hotel, the AP reported.” (Meghashyam Mali, “Report: Treasury finds IRS spent $50M on conferences in 3 years,” The Hill, 6/2/13)

 

      • “Cupid Shuffle” Video Made For “Entertainment” At Conference. “The already scandal-plagued IRS is about to once again feel the political heat from lawmakers — this time for getting its groove on to the ‘Cupid Shuffle’ on the taxpayers’ dime.  … The IRS shot the video for entertainment at a 2010 agency conference in Anaheim, Calif.” (Rachel Bade, “Dance video release puts IRS in hot seat,” POLITICO, 6/3/13)

 

      • $11K On “Happiness Expert”: “The IRS hired 15 speakers to present at the conference in Anaheim, Calif., including $11,430 for positive psychology guru Shawn Achor — referred to as a ‘happiness expert’ by the sources — to lead a 90-minute workshop” (Kelly O’Donnell and Andrew Rafferty, “2010 IRS Conference Featured ‘Happiness Expert,’ $17K Art Session,” CNBC, 6/4/13)

 

      • …And $17k For Art: $17,000 for artist Erik Wahl to hold a session that used painting as a learning tool, said those familiar with the report. (Kelly O’Donnell and Andrew Rafferty, “2010 IRS Conference Featured ‘Happiness Expert,’ $17K Art Session,” CNBC, 6/4/13)

IRS Video Production Unit Costs Taxpayers $4 Million A Year: “The Senate’s top tax-writer wants answers from the IRS about a ‘StarTrek’ spoof that the tax-collecting agency has now apologized for making. … Baucus also questioned why the IRS had a video production unit at all — especially at its reported $4 million a year price tag. The ‘Star Trek” parody and a separate takeoff on “Gilligan’s Island” cost around $60,000 in tandem, the IRS has said.” (Bernie Becker, “Baucus to IRS: How did the ‘Star Trek’ video happen? Who’s responsible?” The  Hill, 3/27/13)

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