The Washington Post reports today that Republicans are back to their effort to punish tax delinquents- but only if they work for the federal government. According to the IRS, federal employees owed over a billion dollars in unpaid taxes as of 2010:
The figures are “totally unacceptable and disrespectful to hardworking American taxpayers,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). “If you’re on the federal payroll, the very least you can do is pay your taxes.”
Fair enough- but what’s so special about being “on the federal payroll”. Why don’t the Republicans want to fire everybody who owes taxes? I think it’s safe to assume that people who work in the private sector owe far more than a billion, since there so many more of them!
But that’s probably the reason the GOP likes to target federal workers: they are a very small minority of the population, and the perception is that they are doing better than the average American. It would be reprehensible to target an ethnic group this way, but it seems perfectly acceptable to target federal workers.
That’s something you might expect Jason Chaffetz to understand. He happens to be Jewish, and represents a state largely populated by Mormons, another minority religion that has been singled out for persecution in the past.
Why is it “class warfare” when Democrats ask fat cats like Mitt Romney to pay their fair share of taxes, but it’s OK for people like Chaffetz to demonize middle class working people who can’t afford teams of lawyers and offshore private bank accounts?