Sequestration. A dirty word if you ask most people. Thousands, if not millions of workers have been furloughed, if not downright fired during the arbitrary pissing contest between Republicans and Democrats. For nothing more than spite -- a fact members of both parties will most likely agree -- government is running below full capacity. Departments are short on funding, little to no infrastructure improvements are being made, lines to receive services are growing and the attention has been lessening, security has slackened off and who pays the price? You and me.
But, like with many bad things, there results a discovery of some good things. In this case, possibly government waste. So here it comes, the good word, at least to me and thousands of IRS employees through an article on The Hill.
The IRS has canceled a furlough day scheduled for Aug. 30, after finding enough budget savings to stay open.
The scheduled Aug. 30 furlough day, leading into the Labor Day weekend, was the last of five originally scheduled due to the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration.
Werfel (Danny Werfel, the interim head of the IRS) canceled the scheduled July 22 furlough day as well, after also saying that the agency had cut enough costs to stay open. The IRS’s first three furlough days — on May 24, June 14 and July 5 — went ahead as scheduled.
The good news is some people will be going back to work. And in addition, there may be some overspending that's been done in the past that is now caught and will be fixed for the future. Maybe some streamlining has been discovered. Efficiency is always welcomed.
Not necessarily being a fan of the IRS but feeling for it's employees or anyone, for that matter whose lives have been hurt by CC -- Congressional Craziness -- I got to thinking. The agency discovered enough cost cuts to stay open for two additional days. Gee, that sounds good. But doesn't that indicate that maybe they were sloppy in how they ran their organization to begin with. I mean the cost to keep the department open isn't just a few dollars, it's not money they found walking to their car in the parking lot. Each day the department is open and running costs roughly $10 Million/day using 2005 statistics, and I'm sure it's larger than that now.
Actually part of that cost that caused the close-down wasn't just the sequestration. It was the cost of another wild goose chase -- the politically motivated witch hunt spearheaded by everybody's favorite clown, Congressman Darrell Issa.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced last week that he was sending a subpoena to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for IRS documentation, after saying that the agency response time was slow and that many of the documents it sent over were unusable.
Hmm. Did it ever occur to the chairman that his voting to cut funding to the treasury department might be the reason for the delay. That's like firing your waiter at a restaurant and then complaining when your food doesn't arrive.
The dizzying task of trying to find funding to keep the IRS running isn't just the cost of the Issa personal vendetta. There's also another consideration. And this one seems to be even equal in mind-bogglingness.
Werfel had also said earlier that the IRS would be able to cancel the final two furlough days if the agency was able to cancel staff bonuses.
What kind of bonuses are they handing out? It cost the government $10+million/day to run the IRS. I could almost understand if they found their savings by eliminating coffee and donuts for the day. But bonuses? Why are there any bonuses at all. Don't they make a good enough salary? We're talking $10 million/day here, folks. I'd say skip my pay, just give me my bonus.
Well, if that eye-opener wasn't enough, consider this. Federal guidelines relating to holiday pay say that to qualify to be paid for a national holiday, the employee must work the business day before and the business day after the holiday. If the IRS had shut down on August 30th, as a sequestration day, that would have meant that they would not have been required to pay the employees for the Labor Day holiday because the holiday fell during their "vacation". That, BTW, would have saved the government another $10 million.
So isn't it amazing that they saved money to get all of the IRS employees an extra day's pay? Between Darrell Issa with a stick up his backside over a concocted scandal that exists only in his demented partisan mind and the manipulations of bonus-getters from the IRS who "found" enough cuts to guarantee them a holiday pay, the IRS is surviving Sequestration.
Maybe if we could vote to stop this congressional craziness we might have a more efficient government and a smaller one at that. If it weren't for the sequestration, how'd we have known about the abuses/costs of say, the IRS bonuses.