IRS loses $67 million out of billion-dollar ObamaCare slush fund
ObamaCare’s having a troubled launch when it comes to health insurance and medicine, but it’s great at making the government larger. All kinds of money gets funneled to all sorts of agencies in this massive bill. The usual careless disregard for taxpayer loot follows this money as night follows day. No one in the federal government is ever going to care all that much about taking care of tax money until that money is treated as a valuable, finite resource whose rightful owners have a legitimate claim to it.
One of ObamaCare’s billion-dollar slush funds seems to be coming up a little light, as Americans for Tax Reform reports:
The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today.
The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law. The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare.
According to the report: “Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million [from the slush fund] of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.”
It’s not as if anyone in the IRS, or any other agency, has to worry about suffering for incompetence. Lois Lerner of the Tax Exempt Organizations Division was officially classified as incompetent by internal review, to protect her from charges of abusing her authority, and she’s riding off into the sunset with a $113,000 pension after years of earning over $170,000, having enjoyed several months of paid vacation to cap off her career.
Imagine a company where no one can ever be fired, everybody is guaranteed posh retirement benefits, the company has an unlimited line of credit, it can never go out of business, and it can raise the price of its “product” to a small subset of its “customers” with relative ease. What do you suppose the customer-service and accounting departments would be like?
But wait, there’s more! ATR quotes the Treasury Inspector General’s report dinging the IRS for pulling seemingly unrelated travel reimbursements for 38 employees out of the slush fund, which was large enough to hire over 1200 new agents, if the money had been spent for that purpose. Apparently it was not, so the agency requested budget money for 859 new ObamaCare enforcers, but the request was denied.
The money from this immense slush fund has all been spent, but the IRS promises that if someone gives them another billion dollars, they’ll keep better track of it. Too bad the missing $67 million couldn’t have been spent on getting the insurance exchanges ready. Reuters reports several of the exchanges won’t be able to perform key functions – including the calculation of the new middle-class welfare subsidy much of America is about to become hooked on – when the system goes live on October 1. You’ll have to buy your insurance blind if you want to purchase it online – and remember, if you don’t, those thousands of new IRS agents are standing by to asses a penalty… er, excuse me, a tax… no, wait, a penalty… for non-compliance.
If buying insurance without knowing its effective price turns you off, you can fill out a paper application and bounce it through a couple of bureaucracies, and you’ll get a response from off-line “experts” sometime in early November. Among the affected regions are Colorado, Oregon… and the District of Columbia, comically touted as a showpiece of ObamaCare exchange performance until now. Coloradoans will reportedly be able to get their subsidy calculations done over the phone. Hopefully they’ve got some perky hold music picked out, and they’ve hired lots of new government employees to help everyone “navigate” the system.