President Obama renewed his appeal to raise taxes on this country’s top earners in a web video today, but a recent report from the IRS suggests that he should probably look at federal employees, even his own aides, for some of those funds first.
ABC News reports that 36 of Obama’s aides owe a total of $833,970 in back taxes, according to the IRS Federal Employee and Retiree Delinquency Inventory.
Many other government employees owe quite a bit of money to the IRS as well. At the Environmental Protection Agency, 413 people owe more than $19 million. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, which is designed to “maintain stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system,” has 185 employees who owe more than $3 million, and five people at the US Tax Court owe $62,508. The total owed by federal workers nationwide is roughly $1 billion.
According to The Washington Post, Capitol Hill employees owe quite a bit in back taxes as well. They owed a total of $9.3 million in overdue taxes at the end of last year, and the tax debt among them has risen faster than the overall tax debt on the government’s books. The IRS report didn’t offer names or party affiliations, but the average unpaid bill is $12,787 in the Senate and $15,498 in the House, so it appears to be a widespread “bipartisan” problem.
President Obama has been pushing for higher tax rates for the rich in order to help lower the deficit. He argues that people making more than $1 million each year should pay a 30 percent tax rate, called the “Buffet rule” after billionaire investor Warren Buffet.
“We need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes,” Obama said in his State of the Union speech this week. “Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”
Here’s President Obama’s 2-minute web video asking for exactly that once again. What do you think of this video after reading the IRS’s findings above? Should the Fed look at itself before going after the private sector, or does it not make any difference?