If you want to hear some absolutely hilarious radio commentary, listen to the clip below, it is well worth your time. Doc Thompson and Skip LeCombe during their usual Blaze Radio Network show from 6 AM to 9 AM broadcast all over the world twice a day blasted the IRS for the recent issuing of over $70 million dollars in bonuses to their unionized employees. Many people do not realize that the IRS is unionized work force under the National Treasury Employees Union otherwise known as the (NTEU). So even though there is government furloughs and closed tours through the White House due to financial constraints, the IRS regardless of performance by its employees through their ridiculous collective bargaining agreements are receiving bonuses of an extraordinarily high amount. Doc breaks down the math in the broadcast below, about 5 minutes into the segment. But first Doc and Skip bring news of a terrorist summer camp that is quite serious, but is delivered with the usual Doc Thompson ability to make even the most sinister concepts more digestible with his rambunctious sense of humor. For long time readers here who remember Doc Thompson when he was on 700 WLW, he was functioning under severe handcuffs. Now that he is with The Blaze and reporting to Glenn Beck at Mercury Entertainment, he has freedom that any radio personality would love to have, which is to the benefit of listeners everywhere. The Blaze is available 24 hours a day through streaming audio, and is an experiment from Glenn Beck which broadcasts like any other radio station with news at the top and bottom of every hour. So enjoy this small sample from Doc’s recent show about the IRS bonuses that will make you laugh, but at the same time make you extremely angry.
Doc and Skip were one of the first news outlets to break the IRS bonuses story, but Forbes had a wonderful article about it written by Kelly Phillips Erb which can be seen in its entirety at the link below:
I included this link not just because the article was good, but the comments at the end were fantastic. One comment summed up the situation at the IRS remarkably well, even though I don’t agree with the writer at all—the comment reminded me of the same types of diatribes that were uttered when we begin to analyze collective bargaining agreements among public school teachers as being the cause of continuous tax increase requests. The comment from Peter Reilly shown below made the argument that the IRS needs incentives like great bonuses and pensions to attract “top talent.” This brings up a whole list of problems. But before getting into them, have a look at what he said:
Peter J Reilly, Contributor 1 day ago
For its top people the IRS has to compete in a labor market that pays much better than the IRS. There was recently published list of the top 1,000 paid federal employees. Number 1000 made just over $200,000 per year. Nobody on the list worked for the IRS.
In a regional accounting firm I know of there was a term for partners who made around $200,000 – the bottom quartile. The top quartile probably made about what the lowest paid partners in national firms make. And this is mere CPAs, never mind tax attorneys.
I think very few people go into tax work of any sort based on the sort of inner call that might lead someone to be a physician, a priest or a soldier. It’s clean work with no heavy lifting that pays pretty well. You’ve got to do something to feed your family.
Part of the tax profession is an arms race between people gaming the system and people trying to keep the gaming with reasonable bounds. Both sides require the same knowledge base, education and some common skill sets. In a free democratic society the top gamers will always make more money than the other side.
Working for the IRS might get you a better life work balance and a pension which might make it a better deal at the lower and middle levels, but the Service is at a huge disadvantage in retaining top talent.
For those of us who want a smaller, and more efficient government no matter if the employee is a local school teacher working in public school, or an IRS agent, when the pay and compensation to government work is equal or better than private sector work, then top talent will seek the government job. Reilly’s comment assumes that the IRS needs to have top talent in order to function efficiently. Without question, the NTEU union has made the same argument for its union members that the school teachers, police departments, and other unionized federal workers have made, that the service they provide is important, and that only through collective bargaining does America get the highest quality product.
Well, anybody with a brain knows this kind of thinking is ridiculously foolish, and the fun that Doc Thompson and Skip had in picking the theory to pieces was well justified. The way the system works now is that top talent is seduced to work for government because the pay is so good, and the retirement packages are better than anywhere in the world. That top talent is ruined in the non-competitive government environment where collective bureaucracy rule and individual achievement is frowned upon. Even the best top talent in the world will never make a collective oriented organization function miraculously well when all individuals serve the system of employment rather than the system serving the individuals that make it work. Within a few years of employment, most of the bright-eyed top talent which is employed by the government learns their place in the pecking order, and stop trying to be ambitious, and instead just bide their time, collect their paycheck, and prepare for their retirements, and eventual deaths.
The way things should work is that no federal employee should be unionized. Government also should not pay more than the private sector. Government work offers a security that is not duplicated in private sector work, so the pay should be much lower. Pay should be assessed based on risk level, not statist power. In this way, the private sector should pay a lot more than any government work so that those who wish to make more money will leave government, not join it. If any worker wants to waste their life as a government employee, they should be paid a bare minimum wage in trade for the security of the job. Then and only then will government ever get smaller, and government workers will vote with their minds and not their pocket books. It is the government type employees who vote to keep people like President Obama in power not because they like his socialist policies, but because he is their boss. So long as big government politicians are in office in Washington, job security is ever-present in their positions. And so long as government employees are in a union, they can act as a socialist collective to get bonuses, pay and pensions that they do not deserve. There will always be apologists like the commentator Reilly who believe that the IRS needs top talent to function—to catch those who are “gaming” the system. Well, this isn’t true. Turn the tax collecting system to a flat tax, and simplify the code, and suddenly sophisticated accountants with a broad knowledge of the complicated tax code wouldn’t be needed.
I was at a dinner event recently where a retired FBI agent was attempting to grab the same bottle of wine that I was out of a chilled bucket. I wasn’t in the mood for beer, or any kind of soft drink and the food was too good to just have water with it, so I wanted wine. The agent pointed at the bottle I had in my hand and asked, “Is that Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes? Here let me open it for us.” I looked at the label and tried to identify the label which was written mostly in French and replied, “Here’s your crushed grapes. You tell me.” The old federal worker of course wanted to display to me his knowledge of wine, and inform me of his extensive knowledge of them gained from around the world. All he succeeded in doing was reminding me that he came to such knowledge not by the merit of his work, but by years of kissing ass to work his way up the FBI chain attending little gatherings where expensive wines were tossed into chilled buckets like water bottles in a cooler for a picnic. That mentality does not make the people individually evil, just instruments of collective statism. I felt sorry for that particular FBI agent. His years of work had brought him to a retirement where he knew the names of French wine, but was unable to help a child thread twin string through a kite. He was very happy to joke about his lack of aviation knowledge declaring that such an endeavor required the services of an engineer, not an old FBI agent—then everyone laughed, except for me.
I have seen the same behavior in retired school teachers, retired military personnel, and especially retired bureaucrats. They want to feel that their life has some meaning, especially at the end of it, because their careers offered them nothing of any intellectual substance. They simply showed up at work every day and their labor union did all their fighting for them, so all they had to do was collect their pay, and plan social events with their co-workers using their discretionary income to purchase bottles of wine that other people didn’t have access to–get drunk and reminisce about their wild and crazy days during high school. Those same federal workers plan their vacations each year to Key West where they attend Fantasy Fest living out their most pent-up sexual fantasies. Walk Duval Street every October and interview the topless 50-year-old women, or the pot-bellied IRS cubical worker of 30 years who has traded in their suit for a woman’s dress and wig pretending to be a girl during the famous parade.
Check it out for yourself at the following link. The people who attend that event are upper middle-class types—and those are a creation of government, former FBI agents, school teachers, cops, IRS employees, politicians, adults who spent their entire adult lives adapting to a collective hive who can retire at age 55 and have money to spend because tax payers gave it to them through their labor unions. If I had to bet, I would say the number of people attending Fantasy Fest in Key West were just over 80% government employees.
The situation is endemic in all federal agencies, but is especially prevalent at the IRS which should be completely dismantled and replaced with a flat tax. But it won’t because the NTEU union has too much power, including organizing a campaign against the Tea Party from The White House. The next step with these types is to get together over sundown meetings in each other’s back yards and squabble about what bottle of wine to pull from the wine bucket, as such trivia is all that matters to their bureaucratic mindsets after a dozen or more years of employment by the federal government. Just think how many bottles of Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes the IRS workers will be able to purchase with their $70 million dollars in bonuses on top of a salary that is already pushing six figures.
If it’s not evident why the Tea Party wants to reign in the costs of the federal government it is to get control of this kind of statist mentality from employees who should be working for the private sector instead of government. The only beneficiaries to such unionized arrangements is the political machine of Democrats (socialists) who collect the union dues for the re-election of statist candidates, the union workers who get paid a lot of money to do very little, and the wine makers in France who sell most of their stock to retired federal workers because that’s who buys their product. It is in times like these that we should all be thankful that there are people like Doc Thompson on the radio to bring stories about such abuses to light, because without such a radio personality, the abuse would continue on unreported.