Your Tax Dollars at Work: IRS Travel Edition

Posted: Jul 24, 2013 8:47 AM
Your Tax Dollars at Work: IRS Travel Edition
A new Inspector General report for the IRS finds that some employees have racked up impressive (shall we say) expenses for traveling to and from Washington, D.C.

Here are some of the figures for the "travel" days for the executives in 2011 and the associated expenses:

Executive A - 290 days - $88,951

Executive B - 238 days - $115,806

Executive C - 213 days - $105,127

Executive D - 172 days - $135,333

Executive E - 179 days - $47,322

Executive G - 193 days - $86,433

Executive K - 174 days - $64,521

Executive L - 173 days - $62,233

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that some of these folks are actually commuting to work in the nation's capital, and charging us for it.
Jamie Dupree of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who broke the story, notes that the report on executive travel found "no evidence of wrongdoing."  Au contraire - I would argue that, although nothing in the report itself alleges illegality or any breach of IRS regulations, that fact is a scandal in itself.  Like so much in DC, the outrage here isn't what's illegal, it's what's permitted.
Were these people so uniquely valuable to the agency that we needed to subsidize these travel costs in order to have the benefit of their services? Were there special situations that legitimately prevented them from relocating to the place where they work? Or were federal government employees once again providing an example of the Beltway's reflexive contempt for the taxpayers who subsidize their oh-so-privileged lifestyles?