The IRS gives annual bonuses of $86.9 million per year but this year, the new acting commissioner of the IRS, Danny Werfel, told employees that those will be eliminated.
“In this unprecedented budget situation, I do not believe the IRS should pay performance awards,” said Werfel, but he added, “The elimination of bonuses was not a reflection on the quality of work done by the agency.”
He said that eliminating the bonuses would prevent furlough days later in the year, as well.
The IRS has come under heavy scrutiny since it became obvious that it was targeting minority groups, such as tea party groups and Jewish organizations.
Criticisms increased when reports came out about lavish spending at conventions, shady contract situations, actual censorship of targeted groups, a real “enemies list,” and the exposure of thousands of taxpayers’ personal Social Security numbers.
WND has been following this story, through the corruptions, the scandals, and now the call for the abolition of the IRS.
The outrage went from religious groups to adoptive families, who all saw themselves as targets of a bureaucracy that is out of control.
Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots told WND that “the discrimination and targeting the IRS engaged with U.S. citizens shows that it is too big and too powerful.”
The tea party activist says political talk is not enough.
“It is time to reform the IRS and the tax code (because) there have been three Taxpayer Bill of Rights passed since the 1980s and yet none of those actually protected the Bill of Rights. It is time to look at repealing the 16th Amendment and replacing the income tax with a tax that is fixed and can never be used as a political weapon again.”
Public opinion now heavily favors the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service. Ending the IRS has been the subject of many cable news shows this week and shows no sign of relenting.
A Wenzel Poll found a solid majority of Americans want the IRS to go the way of the dinosaur. The poll showed there is a reasonable amount of support among Democrats (about 1/3), and independents (2/3), and that most Republicans (2/3) support the idea.
The telephone survey was done June 27-July 1 and has a margin of error of 3.25 percentage points.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, agrees with the cancellation of bonuses, as a good place to start.
“In my view, the IRS should not be paying out bonuses especially when it’s under multiple congressional investigations for targeting conservative groups,” he said.
Though the cancellations will affect managers, and they reportedly will be eliminated for senior officials, Werfel said the agency is in talks with the National Treasury Employees Union to eliminate bonuses for unionized employees, too.
But the union president, Colleen Kelley, disagrees with the revocation of bonuses.
She says the employees “have already earned these awards,” and that they should not be taken away for current scandal situations. She says that “IRS employees are dedicated and hard-working professionals who perform important and difficult work for our country.”
Many are calling for a new system, such as a Fair Tax system, or a National Sales (Consumption) Tax, where taxation happens based on spending, rather than income.
Mitch Hubbard, president of the Midwestern Callaway Property Rights Coalition, says, “The IRS should be abolished because they are the enforcement arm of Obamacare.”
And he said, they “target the enemies or whoever is in power.”
He claims the states already have the apparatus to collect taxes and can do it for much less than the IRS, and that the “Fair Tax” is the best solution.
Most Americans agree that some level of reform is needed on a system that costs so much to operate, and is so complicated.
Jack Watts, a doctoral candidate and author from Emory University, admits that although he excels in many areas of his life, even he is “clueless” about all of the complicated tax forms the IRS demands.
He uses a CPA to do it for him, because he says the system is “this cumbersome…complex, and broken.”
Some go so far as to say the current system is unconstitutional.
Dathan Paterno, a clinical psychologist and school board member in suburban Chicago, says that “common sense dictates that one should submit to powers that are benevolent and competent. Because the IRS is neither, it has lost its authority.”
As Americans continue to rally around the idea of the abolition of the IRS, union leaders have vowed to fight it with everything they have, because they say the government jobs lost in this economy would be tragic.