Tax-dodging feds need to get their own house in order - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Tax-dodging feds need to get their own house in order

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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 6:12 pm | Updated: 1:19 am, Sun Sep 26, 2010.

As the Bush tax cuts quickly approach their expiration, the White House is still lecturing Americans about who should benefit from tax cuts. They maintain that the rich still make too much money and should not be entitled to any tax relief. As a matter of fact, it is their position that the wealthiest of Americans should pay even more into the tax pool, despite the fact that it is the same economic group that creates long-term and meaningful jobs.

Shouldn’t the White House and the rest of the federal government put their own house in order before making decisions that affect the rest of us? Shouldn’t they pay their own taxes? Shouldn’t they experience the ever-growing tax burden that the rest of the country feels before lecturing hard-working Americans about making sacrifices for the common good of this great nation? Apparently, that is not the case.

What about the debt/deficit juggernaut that Obama’s health care reform law has become, though most Americans predicted that it would become the spending black hole that it is? Do you remember how Obama said that we would pay for his pet project… by eliminating waste and fraud? If Obama is sincere about cutting fraud, he should take a careful look at not only the federal government that he presides over, but his own White House.

According to the Washington Post, White House employees owe the IRS (more importantly “you” as a tax-paying citizen) $831,055 in back taxes and penalties.

The Post cited several other alarming tax statistics.

Federal employees, as a whole, owe nearly $1 billion in back taxes along with Capital Hill workers who owe approximately $9.3 million. These are the same people who are employed by us to run this country, many of whom are in charge of monitoring and enforcing the tax codes. And politicians wonder why the majority of American voters consider them hypocrites and thieves. They wonder why there is a powerful movement to clean up Washington.

How about the House and Senate? Isn’t it here where laws, especially those that make up the tax codes and their enforcement, are created and voted on? The Post reports that 421 members of the House owe the IRS about $6.5 million in back taxes and penalties, while 217 members of the Senate owe approximately $2.7 million. Hopefully, the Washington elitists now understand why we as voters are fed up with “politics as usual.”

Then, there is the federal arm that is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land and going after tax deadbeats and evaders — the Justice Department. Members of the Justice Department are approximately $14.3 million in arrears.

Saving the best for last, there’s Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner. The one man who we should all be able to count on for fiscal responsibility was busted for owing $43,200 in unpaid taxes. He blamed the error on TurboTax. Wait, the man holding the nation’s purse strings uses... TurboTax?

We have heard a lot about tax cuts and who should benefit from them. Apparently, the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the rest of the federal government have been creating and benefiting from their own tax cuts... by not paying taxes. It’s time for the president to put his own house in order.

Michael Russell contributed to this report.

Michael Weinstein is co-host of the “The Mike & Winey Show” and can be found at www.mike&

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