Home / Blog / Article


July 25 2013

Latest IRS Scandal: Six-Figure Commutes

Charlotte Hays

Generally, if you’re going to take a new job, you figure in the commute.

You factor in the cost of, say, the daily ride on VRE and how much time it will consume.

But that is for us peons. Government bureaucrats live in a different world.  

Specifically, a handful of top IRS bureaucrats who each rack up six-figure commuting expenses every year live in a different world.  

Actually, they live in two different worlds: They are residents of such as idyllic spots as Texas or Atlanta. But we taxpayers foot the bills to get them to the office in D.C. We pay in in excess of $100,000 a year just to ferry one cosseted bureaucrat from home to office!

Information about these six-figure commutes comes from a report by Russell George, the IRS investigator general. Eliana Johnson summarizes it:

A handful of top executives at the Internal Revenue Service ran up “extremely high travel expenses” in 2011 and 2012, according to a new report from Treasury Department inspector general J. Russell George. 

The report indicates that these executives work primarily in Washington, D.C., but live elsewhere, and fly to Washington routinely. In 2011 and 2012, twelve IRS executives spent over 200 days traveling each year; in some cases, the number of travel days they logged actually exceeded the number of business days in the calendar because they remained in “travel status” on weekends and holidays.

An IRS source tells National Review Online at least two of the executives commuting to D.C. by plane work at the highest echelons of the agency. They include Beth Tucker, one of two deputy commissioners, and Laurel Cummings, the director of compliance strategy and policy for the Affordable Care Act. Both live in Texas but work primarily in Washington, D.C. Tucker reports directly to the IRS commissioner and Cummings reports to Sarah Hall Ingram, the director of the IRS office responsible for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

Need one observe that a normal employer wouldn’t put up with this—or, if it did, it would be paying these absurd costs from its own pocket and not the taxpayers'. This is what happens when money is no object—because it’s other people’s money.

The wasted money is one thing. The sense of entitlement on the part of government employees is another. I don’t know Beth Tucker or Laurel Cummings, but are they the only two people in the U.S. capable of doing their jobs? Is the IRS going to seriously claim that it couldn’t have found somebody closer to Washington to perform these jobs? Or asked these two to move to D.C.?      

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
Follow us