J. RUSSELL GEORGE'S LONE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George is a lone voice in the wildness, whose plaintiff cries for an end to government waste fall on largely deaf Obama Administration ears. George is to be commended for repeatedly exposing just how lavish the IRS has been in spending tax dollars on itself and how selectively derelict it has been in failing to account for tax program abuses.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was supposed to provide assistance to low income working families. Like most government programs, it too is a victim of abuse, and like most, vested interests are robbing the nation blind while those in positions to end the theft do nothing.
According to Treasury Inspector General George, more than $13 billion last year alone went directly from the U.S. Treasury to individuals who were not qualified to receive the EITC. In other words, the nation was defrauded of more than $13 billion in tax receipts in 2013 alone because the IRS refused to compel those who seek the credit to prove their eligibility. Indeed, for the period of 2003 to 2013 George reports that the IRS doled out at least $124.1 billion in improper EITC payments and potentially as much as $148.2 billion.
The maximum credit paid in 2014 is $6,143 per each family having three or more children that satisfies the low income threshold. Those who satisfy the low income threshold with two children can receive $5,460 per family.
Thousands of people are gaming the system who are ineligible for the tax credit. George and others have discovered that illegal aliens have been filing returns and obtaining the EITC despite ineligibility by listing as family members individuals who do not live with them in the United States (are resident in other countries) or who unrelated or entirely fictive. Under federal law, this happens because the IRS does not require those who file for the EITC to provide a social security number. They instead can request a tax identification number without a social security number and use that to apply. In this way, illegal aliens have been gaming the system for years, pocketing thousands of dollars of direct payments from the United States Treasury.
Because a large number of those who receive the credit are Democrats or support Democrats, House bills to put an end to the abuse by requiring provision of a social security number as a condition precedent to EITC payment have been blocked in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to allow any House bills of this kind to come up for a vote in the Senate. Reid is therefore costing taxpayers about $13 billion annually.
George is an anomaly in an Administration riddled with scandal and abuse. His efforts have brought to light enormous abuses, but, alas, neither the President nor the Congress have acted on his revelations of waste, fraud, and abuse, so, but for occasional public embarrassment, nothing dissuades those who line their pockets at the public expense from continuing to do so indefinitely.
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