Hey, what if we fired federal employees seriously delinquent on taxes? Democrats: Nah.

posted at 10:01 pm on March 21, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

From the “That’s Not Already the Rule?” File:

Citing figures indicating that more than 100,000 federal employees owe more than $1 billion in federal taxes, a House committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would require the firing of government workers who are “seriously tax delinquent.”

The legislation, introduced by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, advanced through the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It now has to pass the full House to be implemented into law.

“Most taxpayers file accurate tax returns and pay the taxes they owe on time, regardless of their income,” Chaffetz, a Republican, said during the hearing Wednesday. “Federal employees and individuals applying for federal employment should do the same.”

The bill offers exceptions for those employees and applicants demonstrating financial hardship and making good faith efforts to settle up. You’d think our friends in the fair share party would be all over this, but it turns out they only like to demonize people who are already paying their taxes. Asking the bare minimum of federal employees isn’t their bag:

Democrats on the committee opposed the bill. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the committee, said the legislation “seeks to demonize federal employees rather than ensure their compliance with tax obligations.”

Washington, D.C. radio station WTOP reported earlier this month that federal employees owe a whopping $3.5 billion. You could run a bunch of White House tours with that kinda cheese:

From military personnel to postal workers, federal employees are on the hook for $3.5 billion in unpaid 2011 taxes, according to a report obtained by WTOP.

The amount is a nearly 3 percent increase compared to the year before.

About 312,000 employees owe the government a total of $3,519,410,517, according to the Federal Employee/Retiree Delinquency Initiative (FERDI) released on March 8 by the IRS. The total number of delinquent workers dropped between 2009 and 2010 but jumped more than 11 percent in 2011. The number of delinquent civilian taxpayers is the highest since 2005. Roughly 9.8 million people work for the federal government.

Here’s WTOP’s list of the worst offenders, with our friends at the Postal Service topping the rest of the crowd:

delinquent

The Obama economy certainly hasn’t made it easy for people to stay right on top of their tax obligations, but federal employees are doing better than most in the raise and job security department. The least they can do is try to get into some kind of payment plan with the IRS. And, I’d think not having a lien on your property for federal taxes would be a precondition for getting most jobs with the the federal government. You learn something new every day.

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