TELL YOUR CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES TO ELIMINATE PHONY "RED LIGHT CAMERAS" AND DO THEIR DAMN JOBS TO MAKE STREETS SAFER …
Global Warming: Wealth Redistribution and Carbon Credits Created out of thin air!

GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION IS EXPANDING AT AN EXPONENTIAL RATE AND NOBODY IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE!

Each and every year, politicians stand before the American people and vow to curb waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs. Often claiming, falsely, that part of a program’s cost will be offset by curbing waste, fraud, and abuse – savings which never materialize or offset by other waste, fraud, and abuse.

The government spends billions on the creation and maintenance of accounting systems, yet they all seem defective by design. In some cases, government agencies simply bypass the accounting systems in favor of spreadsheets which cannot be consolidated, audited, or input into the accounting system. Spreadsheets which have a nasty habit of disappearing during a “computer crash,” accidental erasure, or unexplainably go missing.

Perhaps it is time to take a closer look at corruption in government and start holding appointees and department officials accountable for fraud, waste, and abuse that occurs on their watch. In this present case, Congressional committees are turning a microscope on the uncooperative Internal Revenue Service with regard to their possible interference in a presidential election – a felonious criminal act that can see people going to jail for their illegal actions.

But, who is watching the billions of dollars that are flowing through the agency? Other than the Inspector General and his staff, nobody appears to be that concerned that the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, and controller of trillions in taxable revenue, seems to have lost $67 million dollars – or, at least, could not properly document its expenditure.


TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION


Affordable Care Act:  Tracking of Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund Costs Could Be Improved

Some Affordable Care Act Implementation Costs Were Inaccurate or Not Tracked and Supporting Documentation Was Not Always Maintained

IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS

The IRS has a significant role in implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with responsibility to implement and oversee the numerous tax law changes. 

From Fiscal Year 2010 to Fiscal Year 2012, the IRS’s reported cost of $488 million to implement the ACA was paid for by the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund (HIRIF) administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Because implementation of the ACA remains an ongoing effort, it is critical that the IRS has complete and reliable information regarding all costs associated with the implementation in order to effectively manage taxpayer funds devoted to this effort.

WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT

This audit was initiated to determine whether the IRS has an adequate process to accurately account for and report selected ACA implementation costs charged to the HIRIF.

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

TIGTA identified several opportunities where the IRS could improve the process it uses to account for and report costs associated with the implementation of the ACA.  For example, controls over the tracking of direct labor charges associated with the HIRIF could be improved.

Charges to the HIRIF related to direct labor were sometimes inaccurate and not always substantiated by reliable supporting documentation

TIGTA found that costs charged to HIRIF funding related to direct labor were sometimes inaccurate and not always substantiated by reliable supporting documentation.

The IRS did not track all costs associated with the implementation of the ACA

TIGTA also found that the IRS did not track all costs associated with implementation of the ACA including costs not charged to the HIRIF. 

Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.  Indirect costs include, for example, providing employees with workspace and information technology support.

The IRS established a methodology to track ACA costs in its accounting records.  However, the IRS accounted for only direct costs, such as labor and contract costs, because it did not believe that indirect costs should be recovered from the HIRIF.  The IRS’s use of HIRIF funding only for ACA direct costs is consistent with the HIRIF requirements.

However, by not also identifying and tracking indirect costs, the IRS lacks complete information regarding the full cost of ACA implementation. 

This lack of complete information on ACA implementation costs limits the IRS’s ability to accurately report to stakeholders the total resources it applied to the ACA implementation and fully estimate the resources needed in the future for this effort

Source:  Inspector General 

And, it is not only the IRS that has issues …

US: ATF misplaced 420 million cigarettes in stings

Government agents acting without authorization conducted dozens of undercover investigations of illegal tobacco sales, misused some of $162 million in profits from the stings and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, the Justice Department's inspector general said Wednesday.

In one case, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sold $15 million in cigarettes and later turned over $4.9 million in profits from the sales to a confidential informant — even though the agency did not properly account for the transaction.

The ATF's newly appointed director, B. Todd Jones, said the audit covered only selected, "historical" ATF investigations between 2006 and 2011, and said the agency had tightened its internal guidelines since then.

The audit described widespread lack of ATF oversight and inadequate paperwork in the agency's "churning investigations," undercover operations that use proceeds from illicit cigarette sales to pay for the ATF's costs. The audit came as a new blow to a beleaguered agency still reeling from congressional inquiries into the ATF's flawed handling of the Operation Fast and Furious weapons tracking probes in Mexico.

"ATF's guidance regarding churning investigations lacked breadth and specificity, and managers at ATF headquarters as well as managers and special agents at ATF field offices often disregarded it," Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz wrote in the 53-page audit. Source: ATF misplaced 420 million cigarettes in stings - My9 New Jersey

And, it is not always the federal government …

Undisclosed Pension Extras Cost Detroit Billions

Detroit’s municipal pension fund made undisclosed payments for decades to retirees, active workers and others above and beyond normal benefits, costing the struggling city billions of dollars, according to an outside actuary hired to examine the payments.

The payments included bonuses to retirees, supplements to workers not yet retired and cash to the families of workers who died too young to get a pension, according to a report by the outside actuary and other sources.  How much each person received is not known because payments were not disclosed in the annual reports of the fund.

Detroit has nearly 12,000 retired general workers, who last year received pensions of $19,213 a year on average — hardly enough to drive a great American city into bankruptcy. But the total excess payments in some years ran to more than $100 million, a crushing expense for a city in steep decline. In some years, the outside actuary found, Detroit poured more than twice the amount into the pension fund that it would have had to contribute had it only paid the specified pension benefits.

And even then, the city’s contributions were not enough. So much money had been drained from the pension fund that by 2005, Detroit could no longer replenish it from its dwindling tax revenues. Instead, the city turned to the public bond markets, borrowed $1.44 billion and used that to fill the hole.

Even that didn’t work. Last June, Detroit failed to make a $39.7 million interest payment on that borrowing — the first default of what was soon to become the biggest municipal bankruptcy case in American history.

Read more at: Undisclosed Pension Extras Cost Detroit Billions - NYTimes.com

And so it goes, borrowing from the Wall Street Wizards at exorbitant interest rates or borrowing from internal accounts to cover operational accounts. Here in California, it is no surprise that some accounts are funded with a piece of paper – a mythical IOU from the government to the government – that replaces actual funds that were siphoned off for other purposes. If this were done in the private sector, the participants would be charged with embezzlement, grand theft, and account kiting – and go to prison.

Why are politicians like Rod Blagojevich and Jesse Jackson, Jr. sitting in prison when then real culprits who have stolen tens of millions, hundreds of millions, and possibly billions in taxpayer funds walk the street and have buildings and other facilities named after them. It all appears to be Kabuki Theatre in which the minor players are caught and punished and the honchos walk free. Sort of like a billion dollars going missing from “protected” hedge fund accounts and former New Jersey Mayor Jon Corzine walks away clean. Where are government officials and employees being held accountable for their actions?

Bottom line …

Corruption in government is causing taxes to rise and good programs to be subverted and downsized. It is time to implement reform. Spending reform, oversight reform, and accounting reform. Perhaps starting with putting the government on a strict diet and reducing unnecessary expenditures and personnel. There is my favorite line in the 2004 movie National Treasure involving the theft of the Declaration of Independence, where FBI Agent Sandusky (Harvey Keitel) tells Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) “Someone’s got to go to prison, Ben.”

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS


Comments