Trustworthy, efficient IRS spent $50 million partying GSA-style

posted at 10:01 pm on June 3, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Fifty million on conferences over three years, but Danny Werfel would like you to know they’re not doing it anymore, so yay?

The Internal Revenue Service, already under fire after officials disclosed that the agency targeted conservative groups, faces increased scrutiny because of an inspector general’s report that it spent about $50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012.

The report by the Treasury Department’s inspector general about conference spending is set to be released Tuesday. The department issued a statement Sunday saying the administration “has already taken aggressive and dramatic action to reduce conference spending.”

Werfel called the conferences an “unfortunate vestige from a prior era.” Aww, yeah:

The conference spending included $4 million for an August 2010 gathering in Anaheim, Calif., for which the agency did not negotiate lower room rates, even though that is standard government practice, according to a statement by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Instead, some of the 2,600 attendees received benefits, including baseball tickets and stays in presidential suites that normally cost $1,500 to $3,500 per night. In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about “leadership through art,” the House committee said.

Oh, and that IRS “Star Trek” parody we covered in March? Along with another training video, it cost $60K to produce, and was presented at the lavish conference referenced above:

During the conference, employees watched two training videos starring division employees that cost at least $60,000 to produce, according to the audit’s estimates.
The first video is a parody of the “Star Trek” television and movie franchise and stars division employees discussing how they might identify and address allegations of tax fraud. Aides briefed on the audit said employees paid for Star Trek uniforms they wear in the video, but the agency paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise, the vessel used to transport the show’s characters.

They also did the Cupid Shuffle, which I totally endorse for everyone in their private lives, but you can do it for free with no problem at all. And, now the Cupid Shuffle has been sullied by this embarrassing video.

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Werfel called the conferences an “unfortunate vestige from a prior era.”

2010? “a prior era”?

Well yeah, I can see that seeing as Benghazi ‘happened a long time ago’.

GarandFan on June 3, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Now…Come on….
If this happened under Bush…

Oh, and that IRS “Star Trek” parody we covered in March? Along with another training video, it cost $60K to produce,…

Now seriously…
That parody sucked at $60K…

Electrongod on June 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

So what’s the problem? This is “progress” under the Democrats… the nobility and their lackeys live it up on the backs of the serfs.

malclave on June 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Trustworthy, efficient IRS spent $50 million partying GSA-style

Just a half years worth of vacations for the Obamas..

Electrongod on June 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Trustworthy, efficient IRS spent $50 million partying GSA-style

I laugh at my own jokes. When I first read it, I’m from a different country, I thought “what is the IRS doing Gangnam style?” Then realized, Gang Bang, Gangnam, GSA, whatever.

arnold ziffel on June 3, 2013 at 10:13 PM

They also did the Cupid Shuffle, which I totally endorse for everyone in their private lives,…

Private lives…
While it still lasts..

Electrongod on June 3, 2013 at 10:16 PM

with one paid $17,000 to talk about “leadership through art,” the House committee said.

er. what?

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Trustworthy, efficient IRS spent $50 million partying GSA-style

…W T F ?…

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2013 at 10:22 PM

How on earth does a gov’t employee file a travel claim, like you have to do in the military, with charges on on your account for a presidential suite??? I mean, the standard gov’t rate at most places is $80, $100, maybe $130, I suppose…. and these IRS folks are dropping big bucks in Anaheim?.. I just don’t get it. Most gov’t travel claims are very closely scrutinized, I guess, at some levels of government. Looks like some levels are more equal than others./

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about “leadership through art,” the House committee said.

Be advised: I will talk to anyone about anything for $17,000 an hour.

*call me*

Axe on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM


your
government
at
work?
!!!

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Well I, for one, will rest peacefully knowing that IRS employees like these will be in charge of approving or denying my medical coverage…

Seven Percent Solution on June 3, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Well I, for one, will rest peacefully knowing that IRS employees like these will be in charge of approving or denying my medical coverage…

Seven Percent Solution on June 3, 2013 at 10:24 PM

See, it’s a tax. :)

Axe on June 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

The only thing the guvmint does efficiently is waste money.

SparkPlug on June 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

They also did the Cupid Shuffle, which I totally endorse for everyone in their private lives, but you can do it for free with no problem at all. And, now the Cupid Shuffle has been sullied by this embarrassing video.

..and, excuse me for a minute….but, who in the name of all that is good, stands in front of a camera, and does some Cupid Shufflin’ without thinking in the back of their mind, “Hmmm…. I wonder what would happen to my career if this video went anywhere.….”???? I just simply don’t get it.

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

In my career, I have been responsible for organizing sales meetings for 100 to 2,000 attendees. These meeetings invariably were for dealers and salespeople, primarily to introduce new products and present marketing and advertising campaigns.

Typically, administrative personnel are not invited to these meetings as their jobs are not affected by new products and marketing strategies.

There is little that change in the workings of IRS employees. They either work in adminsitrative or enforcement positions. Unlike private corporations, they have no competition and now new products. “Customers” have no choice but to use IRS products.

bw222 on June 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Be advised: I will talk to anyone about anything for $17,000 an hour.

*call me*

Axe on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

$16,500 here, $7500 if it’s hot or even OK women looking for a talk.

arnold ziffel on June 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Werfel called the conferences an “unfortunate vestige from a prior era.

What a load of crap. For pete’s sake, with phrase-E-ology like that he makes it sound as if it is a child sweatshop during the 1920′s where kids spent 12-14 hours a day sewing buttons on sweaters or something…..

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Is there any House member who is going to demand a funds recovery effort for this 50 mil? Look at the effort being expended to recover money for the Madoff “victims” — are we going to even try for this theft?

Let me know when the illicit millions Gorelick and Raines got are repatriated to the Treasury. I’ll sit by the phone and wait for the call.

platypus on June 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Yes but don’t forget this was all done under the watch of a Booooosh appointee!

can_con on June 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

..and, excuse me for a minute….but, who in the name of all that is good, stands in front of a camera, and does some Cupid Shufflin’ without thinking in the back of their mind, “Hmmm…. I wonder what would happen to my career if this video went anywhere.….”???? I just simply don’t get it.

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

You should all be doing The Gopher anyway. :)

Axe on June 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

The only thing the guvmint does efficiently is waste money.

SparkPlug on June 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

+100

bw222 on June 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

DOH! Used the local copy snapshot link. FIFM: The Gopher. :)

Axe on June 3, 2013 at 10:30 PM

They also did the Cupid Shuffle, which I totally endorse for everyone in their private lives, but you can do it for free with no problem at all.

For this price, they should’ve done Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” cuz baby “she gets paid to do tha Wild Thang!!”

wow wow!

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:30 PM

During the conference, employees watched two training videos starring division employees that cost at least $60,000 to produce, according to the audit’s estimates.

Jeez, they could have gotten a copy of Reifenstahl’s “Triumph Of the Will” for about $5 and saved a crapload of money.

Bishop on June 3, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Let me know when the illicit millions Gorelick and Raines got are repatriated to the Treasury. I’ll sit by the phone and wait for the call.

platypus on June 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Exactly. The whole idea of Gubmint operatives getting bonuses is repugnant. Who the he’ll decides who gets a bonus?¿ It’s incest, or worse, they can jam their dink in their own azz and call it a bonus.

SparkPlug on June 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Well I, for one, will rest peacefully knowing that IRS employees like these will be in charge of approving or denying my medical coverage…

Seven Percent Solution on June 3, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Oh you will be resting, permanently.

Bishop on June 3, 2013 at 10:34 PM

more government, less individual liberty and freedom!!!!

Shout the tens of millions of Teaters that now run the show.

Pity the idiot gop that have not stood up for principle but have grown the government since 1-20-1989 just like the Democrats.

And we want more of the bureaucrats?????

God save the Republic……because we can’t do it alone.

PappyD61 on June 3, 2013 at 10:34 PM

And we were worried about a soviet take over? Cripes our own Gubmint is more corrupt than the Russian mafia. Every gov agency imposes their own form of oppression.

SparkPlug on June 3, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Since the vast majority of IRS employees are either located in Washington, DC or east of the Mississippi, why have the conference in Southern California? Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville or Cincinnati would have been much cheaper.

bw222 on June 3, 2013 at 10:38 PM

The only “shuffle” I’m interested in seeing at this point is the ‘perp shuffle’. I would consider that as my tax dollars at work.

Sadly not only are these the goons who can grill you over a deduction but they are soon to lord over our ‘healthcare’.

ghostwalker1 on June 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Who audits the IRS?

The IRS.

They Lick their balls like a dog with no spine.

SparkPlug on June 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

$16,500 here, $7500 if it’s hot or even OK women looking for a talk.

arnold ziffel on June 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

$ 3,750 if said women will attend topless!

(Did I win the bidding?)

massrighty on June 3, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Names Redacted? There should be a cast list prominently displayed so that the warden can take attendance.

blammm on June 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

arnold ziffel on June 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

massrighty on June 3, 2013 at 10:44 PM

****. I hate competition. I’m forming a union and seeing if I can’t get some of you guys locked out.

Axe on June 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Put IRON in your backbone!

I get so sick of mealy mouthed talking heads who don’t do their homework and just bow to stupid left talking points.

To wit:

Heard about the NAACP audit by the Bush administration? then the liberal smirks and gives a knowing glance to all the other impaired folks who agree that it must be a really boffo antecedent which shows corruption at the expense of the left.

In three sentences, the audit of the NAACP was commenced after political speech by an officer at an event. The law required a differing tax treatment of funds used in such a purpose. The NAACP was one of 50 or more groups so selected and they represented a “diverse” cross section of the political spectrum.

Ergo, it had no parallel to the present scandal except in the minds of community college kids and MSNBC hosts who think they are coll when they bring something like this up.

You are welcome to read more but do not be surprised when you lose respect for the quality of discourse in the nation.

Thank you.

http://www.foreffectivegov.org/node/2281

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 11:08 PM

Most gov’t travel claims are very closely scrutinized, I guess, at some levels of government. Looks like some levels are more equal than others./

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Racist.

I suppose next you will say the Swiss consulate is better defended that the Libyan Consulate.

socalcon on June 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM

The first video is a parody of the “Star Trek” television and movie franchise and stars division employees discussing how they might identify and address allegations of tax fraud.

You mean they practiced how to trump up fake allegations of tax fraud, how to intimidate and fleece taxpayers, and gathered ridiculous ideas for questions to put on phony questionaires specifically designed for conservatives and other disagreeables.

stukinIL4now on June 3, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Most gov’t travel claims are very closely scrutinized, I guess, at some levels of government. Looks like some levels are more equal than others./

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Racist.

I suppose next you will say the Swiss consulate is better defended that the Libyan Consulate.

socalcon on June 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Sniff, Sniff…

Del Dolemonte on June 3, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Moar budget. Or else. Pay up.

Kenosha Kid on June 3, 2013 at 11:47 PM

The federal government needs to be GUTTED of funding across the board, and then nuked from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Meople on June 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Not sure I would single out the IRS on this. Conferences have become a crypto-vacation for the business/ leisure class and they are common in private business too. I’m not sure if 50 million is too much for their labor force. But the optics are not great, admittedly.

Let’s focus on the illegality and constitution-crushing behavior, without worrying their embarrassing videos.

virgo on June 4, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Related reading:

Leftist Groups Enjoy IRS Tax-Exempt Status
While Tea Party Suffers

Look where these IRS-blessed groups get their funding, and how easily they are deemed tax-exempt…

Lourdes on June 4, 2013 at 5:44 AM

Strange that Viacom/Paramount haven’t gone after the IRS for violation of copyright on the Trek stuff.

I mean if the IRS didn’t pay for copyrighted use of the ship, uniforms, etc. then that stuff has moved into Public Domain if Viacom/Paramount doesn’t stick up for their copyright and stick it to the IRS, that is.

Now wouldn’t that be fun?

ajacksonian on June 4, 2013 at 6:42 AM

There is little that change in the workings of IRS employees.
bw222 on June 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

The beatings audits will continue until morale improves.

egmont on June 4, 2013 at 8:22 AM