Through Wednesday’s passage of H.R. 1105 – The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 - the U.S. House voted to kill a program that allows private sector collection agencies to help the Internal Revenue Service recoup old outstanding tax debts. I’m told that Federal Treasury Union Employees never liked the program because its success could have made the case for more effective collections by the private sector. And the last thing we want to do is create private sector jobs and reduce the size and scope of government…
They had reason to fear the program’s success. As of October 2007 the IRS' Private Debt Collection Program, which launched as a test program only a year earlier, successfully closed 9,000 old cases, collecting more than $30 million in outstanding debt. Knowing how much the Obama Administration – and Democrat’s like Congressman Charlie Rangel hates tax cheats (uh-hmm…) they should be very supportive of this program that collects tax dollars that are legally owed to the government and that are otherwise not likely to be collected by the IRS.
There is a unique Iowa angle to this story, which is why I’m writing about it this morning. As of October 2007, the program was responsible for the employment of 60 Iowans by the Waterloo, Iowa-based CBE Group Inc. – a company that at that time employed over 900 Iowans in Waterloo and West Des Moines. The owner of the company said that he expected the number of Iowans employed by them as a result of full implementation of the Debt Collection Program to grow to more than 200 Iowans. The CBE Group is one of those private sector companies that will be affected by the elimination of this program.
So with the economy is disarray, and with the federal government bailing out companies to prevent job cuts, I was surprised to see that Congressmen Bruce Braley (who represents Waterloo) and Leonard Boswell (who represents most of West Des Moines) voted to most kill these Iowa jobs? Why couldn’t they have convinced their leadership to remove this provision from H.R. 1105 based on the principals of saving jobs in their districts and that tax cheaters should pay up.
This just blows my mind. These are accounts that the IRS has all but written off because they don’t have the time and believe these owed taxes are un-collectible. Yet private companies have proven that they can successfully collect these dollars. Apparently the Democrats are fans of the new program where you name someone to Obama's cabinet to get the tax cheat to finally pay up!
I wonder is Senator Harkin will join Congressman Braley and Congressman Boswell in voting to kill Iowa jobs when this same measure is up before the U.S. Senate next week?