This past week the House Ways and Means Committee asked the Internal Revenue Service to release a pair of videos they produced in 2010. The videos were Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island video spoofs that starred IRS employees.
The predominant problem was that $60,000 of taxpayers’ money was used to produce these useless spoofs. The IRS frequently produces various tax-training videos, but these videos were both a waste of employees’ time and taxpayers’ money.
According to AP, the IRS reported that the Star Trek video “was a well-intentioned, lighthearted introduction to an important conference during a difficult period for the IRS.” The IRS has now issued an apology for making the video after being reprimanded by Congress.
This illustration of wasteful government spending is just one of several examples that are frequently brought to light about needless government waste of taxpayers’ money.
A report called “Wastebook 2012,” released by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn, revealed that in 2012 Congress spent $325,000 in the development of a robotic squirrel named ‘RoboSquirrel,’ and another $520,000 was spent on repairs for a covered bridge in Ohio that hadn’t been used since 2003.
The release of the IRS videos comes at a time when U.S. debt is $17 trillion and when the government has added $1 trillion to our massive debt for four straight years.
Although $60,000 might not seem to be much in comparison to the enormous debt the U.S. has racked up, it is part of the bigger picture of our government’s horrible waste in spending Americans’ money.
The U.S. Constitution states that our government was created to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, [and] promote the general Welfare.”
We have seen many examples of our government failing to fulfill these duties as stated in the Constitution. And we have the IRS producing a $60,000 useless Star Trek video and spending $325,000 on a profitless robotic squirrel.
“There is nothing more infuriating to a taxpayer than to find out the government is using their hard-earned dollars in a way that is frivolous,” said Rep. Charles Boustany, chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee.
Boustany makes a valid point. For hard-working, tax-paying citizens, it is difficult to comprehend why the IRS would spend money in this way. And even though the IRS promises this will not happen again, it is hard to believe these promises after somebody in the agency originally thought these videos would be a good idea.
Our political leaders are focused on the wrong priorities of pet projects and back-door deals instead of taking real action by controlling their spending.
The U.S. government and its employees need to cut back on these atrocious spending habits and use our money properly.