Flashback: Chaffetz wants to fire tax delinquent federal employees- but why stop there?

jason_chaffetzHere we go again- Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the supposedly kinder, gentler replacement for Darrell Issa on the House Oversight Committee, is conducting his semi-annual witch hunt for public sector tax delinquents.

Jason wants to fire federal employees who don’t pay their federal taxes. Sounds kind of reasonable, until you consider that the vast majority of tax delinquents in the US work for the private sector. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Jason to go after them. More importantly, IRS statistics show that federal employees have a far lower rate of delinquency than private sector workers. While GOP planted “news” stories often target US Postal Service workers as the worst of the lot because they owe the most money, it turns out that the delinquency rate for postal workers is exactly the same as the rate for another group of federal employees:

The House of Representatives!

Here’s what we had to say about Jason’s first witch hunt, four years ago:

Congressman Jason Chaffetz had this to say today in the Daily Caller:

If you’re collecting a federal paycheck, you should pay federal taxes. That’s the premise of a bill I introduced last week to require federal employees to pay their taxes or be fired.

Going after public workers has become fashionable among right wing politicians- they follow Muslims, Gays, Hispanics and African Americans as the latest scapegoats for whatever is ailing the country at the moment. But there is a certain logic to Chaffetz’s argument. He suggests working for the federal government is a privilege, and that in order to benefit, you should satisfy all your obligations to the feds. Fair enough- and Chaffetz goes so far as to say he would include federal contractors in the deal- don’t pay your taxes, your contracts get cancelled.

But I think Jason is missing something here- he says “No one who ducks a federal tax obligation should be eligible to benefit from federal funds.” But he only targets federal employees and contractors. How about all the other people who “benefit from federal funds”? Wouldn’t that include people receiving Social Security, Medicare, veteran’s benefits, crop subsidies, disaster relief, food stamps, small business loans, Wall Street bailouts, and all the rest? Come to think of it, exactly who in this country doesn’t “benefit from federal funds”?

So shouldn’t the law be rewritten to require that ANY employer terminate any employee who is seriously delinquent in their federal taxes? Or, at the very least, shouldn’t ALL of their federal benefits be terminated? Fair is fair, right?

Somehow I don’t think the Congressman will go that far- after all, a certain subset of the tea party types that he’s desperately trying to woo have a major problem with the very idea of the federal income tax. So I’d only suggest that the Congressman correct one other logical flaw in his bill. If you’re after people who “benefit from federal funds”, remember that the big agency that always gets mentioned first in these stories, the US Postal Service, doesn’t receive any!

via Chaffetz wants to fire tax delinquent federal employees- but why stop there? | postalnews blog.

  • Paul

    Let’s see the Congressman states and I quote “No one who ducks a federal tax obligation should be eligible to benefit from federal funds.” Apparently he forgets that his paycheck and benefits are provided from “Federal Funds”, oh wait, I forgot he’s an “elected” official, they are exempt from any laws that the “little people” are subject to.

  • rcd

    First of all if you are a federal worker, they already withhold federal taxes from them? So how are federal workers (USPS) not paying their fair share? I know for myself the federal govt owes me a couple of hundred every year, but I have to pay my state several hundred in taxes owed. This country is really sickening and the people that run it. What is wrong with being far? I am not saying I am in favor of tax cheats, but I bet in most cases it is an honest mistake that happens. What about the 40 or so % of John and Jane Q public, that don’t even bother paying taxes or filing a return. Or the immigrants that come in this country and are handed everything to them, without doing any work or paying any taxes? But my parents tiny social security check, they worked their whole lives for gets, whacked away at every year by politicians. What about all the programs that are out their for people that are suppose to need the money, but usually end up in the hands of people that have upwards to $100,000 in their bank accounts. That’s a true story too! Veterans that get any type of benefits, earned those benefits and they are tax exempt when receiving this money. So leave the veteran out of it. If you start picking on the wrong people, there will be a backlash, that will ripple through this whole country. People are getting sick of the unfairness, from taxes inequity to income inequity. We need to take care of our people and protect our working American citizens. We can fire federal workers (Postal Workers) that have their federal taxes withheld. But we continue to send billions of tax dollars or I should say waste billions of tax dollars on other countries. So for instances Iraq can have free health care, which we paid for, but we can’t have it. The u.s. govt set up their postal system, but they want to privatize ours? It’s really crazy stuff, if you think about it. Also, the elected so called trusted officials, that know best for us, don’t play by the same rules as we all do. One of Obama’s treasurers owed over $100,000 in back taxes, this was found out just after he was nominated to the position. But it was just an oversight, so he paid it up fast, so he could get the job. He never should have been considered for the job, I am sure along with a lot of politicians holding office. It’s the fox guarding the hen house.

  • Ken Schoentag

    I am tired of the excuses people make for those that break the law. Honest error, yeah right, if so why then do they fail to make things right and pay their over due taxes. The whole tax system is a joke and yet we continue to elect those paragons of virtue to Congress who fail to fix the tax system or for that matter welfare fraud or Medicare fraud or any number of federal programs that are a joke. We the working people of this country fall for the lies and B.S. of both parties as well as the corruption that is right under our noses in the unions. It is time to rid Congress of the professional politicians and have term limits and elect people that are not lawyers and can use common sense and fix the problems that plague this country.

  • No Nuckleheads

    I agree completely, however the “fox” guarding the hen house is Fox News.

  • Tonh

    This guy is simply another idiot looking to make a name for himself! Laughable!

  • Col. Handleknocker

    Probably excludes congress

  • vitameatavegamin

    Thank you, a lot of excellent questions. BUT try to get a straight answer from the people in charge……

  • not living the dream

    I just wish, as a postal worker after paying over 40% of my paycheck in Federal taxes, State taxes, Local taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes, that the attack on us would stop! I have over 28 years in as a letter carrier, and contribute to my retirement for another 20%(so I can take care of myself and family in retirement). We live very frugal on the remaining 40%. At $55,000 a year do the math. Continuing bulls### to make the average workers hate each other – divide and conquer is alive and doing well thanks to our do nothing Congress – and the folks that voted them into office!! Pathetic!!

  • Himmler

    You really don’t get it, do you? Back in the thirties people like you and Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were saying the exact same things about the Jews- and wrapping themselves in the flag, just like you, and saying nice things about Hitler (who felt exactly the same way you do about immigrants). Based on your comments, you would have been first in line to join the Nazis, not fight them!

    Immigrants have nothing to do with Jason Chaffetz targeting you and me for special punishment if we run afoul of the IRS. You, unfortunately, are sucking up the Fox News/GOP hysteria about immigrants being the problem, when the real problem is the GOP, Jason Chaffetz, and Fox News!

    If you really are a veteran, you should be ashamed of your self for mouthing their neo-Nazi BS. Here’s a little clue for you: as far as Jason Chaffetz and the GOP are concerned, federal employees are even lower than immigrants on the pecking order. (They have to bray about immigrants to keep people like you frothing at the mouth, but they know big business likes to have as much cheap labor as possible- immigrants are cheaper than postal workers, and they don’t vote.).


    Fired Congressman Jason Chaffetz please do re-elect him …..no more Darell Issa.

  • Wally

    Postal workers are not federal government workers until they retire

  • postalnews

    Not true. The USPS is an agency of the federal government, and postal employees are federal employees. The fact that they have collective bargaining agreements and different pay scales doesn’t change that.