So what exactly did “draining the swamp” mean, anyway? Apparently, it meant taking power and promoting such examples of ethics as Timothy Geithner to high office. The Washington Post notes that the IRS has a locus of tax evaders to pursue, and not coincidentally that locus happens to be in their neighborhood:
Capitol Hill employees owed $9.3 million in overdue taxes at the end of last year, a sliver of the $1 billion owed by federal workers nationwide but one with potential political ramifications for members of Congress.
The debt among Hill employees has risen at a faster rate than the overall tax debt on the government’s books, according to Internal Revenue Service data. It comes at a time when some Republican members are pushing for the firings of government workers who owe the IRS and President Obama has urged a crackdown on delinquent government contractors.
The IRS information does not identify delinquent taxpayers by name, party affiliation or job title and does not indicate whether members of Congress are among the scofflaws. It shows that 638 employees, or about 4 percent, of the 18,000 Hill workers owe money.
The average unpaid tax bill is $12,787 among the Senate’s delinquent taxpayers and $15,498 among those working in the House.
Barack Obama may want a crackdown on federal contractors who are delinquent, but those in glass Oval Offices should probably not throw stones. Andrew Malcolm parses the data and discovers that Obama’s team owes almost a million dollars to the IRS, too:
Privacy laws prevent release of individual tax delinquent’s names. But we do know that as of the end of 2009, 41 people inside Obama’s very own White House owe the government they’re allegedly running a total of $831,055 in back taxes. That would cover a lot of special chocolate desserts in the White House Mess.
Desserts? Nah, that’s just the appetizer:
At the Labor Dept., where Secy. Hilda Solis’ husband had some backtax problems before her confirmation, 463 owe $7,481,463. Eighty-one workers for the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors owe $1,076,733.
Over at the Justice Department, which is so busy enforcing other laws and suing Arizona, 1,971 employees still owe $14,350,152 in overdue taxes.
Then, we come to the Department of Homeland Security, which is run by Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona who preferred to call terrorist acts “man-caused disasters.” Homeland Security is keeping all of us safe by ensuring that a Dutch tourist is onboard every inbound international flight to thwart any would-be bomber with explosives in his underpants.
Within that department, there reside 4,856 people who owe the tax agency a whopping total of $37,012,174.
The executive branch total for IRS delinquencies, with the White House included? A whopping $59,781,577 in back taxes. It can’t all be Turbo Tax. However, with the example set by appointing Geithner to run the IRS, it’s no small wonder that the IRS has trouble collecting from the administration’s aides and employees.