Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bruce Braley and Leonard Boswell – Iowa Job Killers

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?


  1. As much as we Americans hate tax cheats, we all wish we had the nerve to cheat a little, and we all hate even more, the thugs (to give a new use for the word of the month in Krustydom) of the collection agencies.

    Find something else Krusty to gin up the base.

  2. You said "we Americans hate tax cheats" and then pass this as nothing more than a "ginning up of the base".

    Actually Americans really hate hypocrite leaders who pander to unions and trial lawyers saying they stand with the American worker and will protect jobs - while at the same time killing jobs in their own districts and states.

    Also -- Loebsack voted for this thing too - but I give him a pass because we have all figured out by now that he is a legislative deer caught in Pelosi's headlights - with little individual thought of his own - in Congress to do what mommy Nancy tells him to do and how to vote.

  3. well, of all the private sector jobs that are being killed off - didn't Empress Nancy say it was 500 million jobs a month - I guess if the impact is that it results in collecting less tax money for the government then, I'm ok with this part of the thugulous stimulus package.

    This is one place where I would love to have the incompetent union government thugs be incompetent.

    Plus, now that at least half of Obama's cabinet are tax cheats and much of the democrat congressional leadership are tax cheats, I now have permission to cheat on my taxes too. I also no longer have to make my mortage payment and I don't have to pay for health insurance anymore, right?

    Actually, is it really cheating, or is it just redistribution? I'm redistributing my tax money to myself.

    Obama said I could.

  4. How does the privitization of collection actually work? Does IRS sell(if so, at what percentage of the owed-amount?) the "dead" accounts to the collection agencies and the agencies then keep all of whatever they manage to collect? Or maybe do the collection agencies do the work on the gamble that they might collect, and then receive a percentage of what they actually manage to collect? If that be the case, what percentage of the collection does the US receive?

    Does anybody here know those details?

  5. Interestingly enough, the last time this issue came up in the House, Braley voted against the legislation, siding with the CBE group.
    However, a source with the CBE Group said he waited until the last possible minute to cast his vote...waiting to see if it would pass without his vote...which it did. If his vote was needed, he would have voted against jobs in Waterloo and West Des Moines.

  6. From an outline of the program:

    "The private debt collectors will keep up to 25% of what they bring in."

  7. Herschel - Good point, but it may fall short of the definition of a good CBE. I'm pretty sure they pay "McWages" to the "professional collectors" so you could simply open one McDonald's a month here in Iowa and replace those lost jobs.

    Thanks to Democrats, we have no good jobs to offer our highly skilled and intelligent graduates so if you like flipping burgers and answering phones, please stay - Iowa will enslave you as you buy a home and start a family, otherwise, if you're leave to greener pastures and more business friendly states.

  8. Here is the best quote from that newspaper story in 2007 that should be tossed right back at Braley's smug face:

    "Simply put, if this bill is passed into law, it will cost Waterloo jobs," Braley said. "My first job in Congress is to fight for the people of Iowa. To me, what's good for the people of Iowa comes first --- before my party."

    He is an asshat!

  9. Are any of our legislators in Iowa paying attention to how much the american people - including democrats - are increasingly foaming at the mouth about this tax increase package?

    Rasmussen reports are showing democrats increasing their negativity on Obama's plan to destroy American culture as we knew it. Support for Obama's economic plan have fallen by 7% in one week.

    Republicans and Independents were already against it, but their poll numbers have increased.

    Rasumussen says his poll shows that voters intend to take it out on those that voted for it.

    2010 is looking better and better all the time.

    I wonder if this is what Obama meant by non-partisan change. All stripes of Americans are united in a non-partisan or bi-partisan way against this bailout crap.

    I hope this gives our Iowa legislators some backbone to resists Obama's gifts and Chet's plan to add to Obama's debts by adding on another $700 billion for just us Iowa folks to pay for.

  10. CBE is looking to immediately fill Collection Representative positions in our Waterloo, Iowa location.
    As a Collection Representative, you will be responsible for establishing account resolution, obtaining confidential financial information, and analyzing credit bureaus. To succeed, you must thrive in a fast-paced, multi-faceted, deadline-oriented environment. We pride ourselves on a corporate culture with a strong track record of success, and we're looking for people who value opportunity, challenge, innovation, results and fun!

    The requirements for this position are:

    High school diploma or GED

    Computer and typing skills required

    Self starter with great attention to detail

    Powerful communication, persuasion, and negotiation skills

    Ability to do multiple tasks simultaneously and continually meet objectives

    Strong work ethic demonstrated through attendance, individual and team goals

    A competitive spirit, an unrelenting drive to be the best

    Ability to learn new information and integrate processes

    CBE offers Medical, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance, Short Term Disability, Cafeteria Plan, 401(k), PTO (Paid Time Off), Paid Holidays, Paid Training, CBE University Professional Development Program, Base pay + commission, and Core Values we live by!
    Shifts available include a flexible Blended Shift (3 days, 2 late nights) and a Prime Shift (3 PM - 10 PM). Apply online today - training classes begin in February!

    If I remember correctly from a print ad, Starting pay begins around $10/hour with bonuses and commissions.

  11. Obama just took more jobs from the private sector. Sally Mae will no longer pay private lenders for student loans. All done by the gov.

    Obama is killing the private med-wrap insurance market - finally, the insurance companies are howling. I wonder how PFG feels about this. How many private jobs go bye-bye with Obama's govt healthcare.

    Tim Geitner is blaming the banks entirely on the lack of consumer confidence. It's a strategy to make us hate banks, Saul Alinsky style. (god forbid any republican would tell the truth about what happened and it's pretty much all Barney Frank's fault via freddie mac and fannie mae).

    Kudlow says that Obama is going to war against entrepreneurship and the private sector.

    It appears that most of the stimulus is simply killing off private sector jobs and moving them to the public sector.

    This is the change we can believe in with Obama.

    Oh, I long for the days when we used to be a free people. I don't like living under an Iron curtain. I feel it already.

  12. In a CNBC poll, 71% of respondents view themselves as losers in Obamas economic plan.

    My guess is that those that view themselves as winners are those that are getting their houses for free from us.

  13. Anon 9:48

    Care to guess the origins of this job description?

    Manages an assigned shift and oversees the effective utilization of employees, skills development, employee relations, production, quality, work environment, safety, policy administration, discipline, cost control, staffing, and problem solving. Assures production within established product specifications, monitors quality, and assures production of sufficient quantities to meet production schedules.: Organizes and coordinates daily work activities of personnel. Ensures operation within agreed budgets. Investigates ways to reduce waste, down time, and the manpower and effort needed to produce products without sacrificing quality. Controls labor costs by monitoring hours, overtime, schedules, breaks, wages, and attendance records of personnel. Performs operational audits. Recommends and implements equipment changes. Disseminates organization's policies and communications. Ensures a safe and efficient work environment. Reports any incidents or accidents. Supervises, evaluates, trains, disciplines, and develops subordinates.

    That's right: Mickey D's - They pay drop outs a higher starting wage as shift supervisor than CBE pays a high school or college grad.

    Are you proud of $10 per hour starting wage? Adjusted for inflation, (not counting what's about to happen) that's a wage scale that destroys the state of Iowa...what's wrong with you!

  14. THE "RICH" defined at households earning $250,000 are not only going to see their income taxes go up when the Bush Tax cuts expire in 2010, they are going to lose deductions for owning a home too.

    What's next - will they round up all the entrepreneurs and professionals and just shoot them like they did in Russia and Cambodia? Will we have our own version of the killing fields?

    "The healthcare reserve fund will receive $30 billion in annual receipts by limiting the amount that households earning over $250,000 can claim in deductions on items such as mortgage payments."

  15. the only upside to this for me is to watch the reaction of our local limosine liberals who had no idea what change was and now they will pay pay pay and pay some more - happily, I'm sure.

    They thought they were just silencing those goddamm prolifers. I wonder how they feel about "change" now.

    I hope Warren Buffett loses all of his money to Obama's CURE for America.

  16. Anon 10:58,
    It was not my intent to get into a pissing match with you as to which is a better job...Collections Rep with CBE or Shift Supervisor with McD's. At a time when any kind of job is at a premium, I think our elected officials should act in a manner to save or create jobs, not eliminate them. Doesn't the President want to create jobs? Dare I say that, in my opinion, this is a good job for someone a year or two out of high school with no intention or opportunity to further their education? Dare I say that this is a good job for someone who may not be the primary breadwinner in a family?

  17. How about the kid out of high school that needs the night job to help defray the costs of college during the day?

    Suddenly we are debating what is a good job in Iowa? I know a group of friends who think any job right now is a good job.

    Are we going to follow Lord Savior Obama over a cliff without engaging our brains and thinking for ourselves?

  18. Rich Democrats don't pay taxes.

  19. Isn't this the outfit that Nussle went to work for?

    $14.75 million Iowa Tax dollars - which we do not have - is going to this private sector company in South Dakota - the friendliest of all tax states.

    So, the HQ sets up in SD where they pay very minimal taxes compared to IOWA and then, take IOWA taxes to expand their for profit enterprise, of which none comes back to me, as the financing source.

    Nice. Remember Gateway Computers? Let's fix our taxes so the HQ gets set up in Emmetsburg and we take SD money to expand an IOWA for profit private sector company.

    What would be wrong with that? This is assbackwards stupid!

    The Iowa Power Fund Board is scheduled to vote this afternoon on whether to approve a $14.75 million grant request from Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Poet LLC for Project Liberty.

    The $200 million project, which has already received $80 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding, would expand a 50-million-gallon-per-year dry mill facility in Emmetsburg into a 125-million-gallon biorefinery that can produce ethanol from corn fiber and corncobs.

  20. Steve Deace will have on Ann Coulter today!!!

  21. why can't we figure out a way to have the HQ's of business locate here? Why are we sending OUR TAX dollars to private businessmen in South Dakota? they take all the profit and we are left with nothing but expense.

    We pay South Dakotans to compete with Iowans using our own dang tax dollars against us?

    Why do we do that?

  22. oohhh...this is why we are raising gas taxes. The ethanol industry requires it.
    Though the study found no fundamental barriers to large-scale production of biofuels, it noted that gas prices would have to rise to make production more feasible.

  23. Is Rants on board with the gas tax or is he against the gas tax? How do I find out which R's are FOR the gas tax and which ones aren't?

  24. Why would any business set up shop in Iowa when you can go to SD? Iowa is hostile to business and SC is business friendly.

    No brainer--go to SD.

  25. Now we have Obammy taking whacks at business which should kill even more job creation.

    Democrats are economic illiterates.

    God help the US of A.

  26. heh heh heh heh. makes those goddam prolifers a little less onerous as a group of voters doesn't it? Their most radical idea is just to let the baby live.

    Class warfare has started and it's going to bite hard on the Limosine Libs who just wanted to be seen as being as cool as Oby. What they didn't know is that Oby hates them. HATES THEM!
    "Furthermore, said Collender, in the current economic and political climate, "the wealthy are not as well thought of as they have been in the past."

    He also noted that exit polls from last year's presidential election showed those making more than $200,000 a year tended to vote for Obama rather than Republican John McCain."

  27. democrats are just illiterates, period.

    Literasly - "gov chug a lug"

  28. I have to turn off all media. The tsunami of change is making me want to bury my head under the covers and never come out.

    Oby just announced that they will exploit the war dead by letting tabloids in to cover the gruesome seen with camera's, reporters etc. I guess it must be for titillating purposes. It sure isn't because they care about the war dead or their families.

    These are really evil people. Evil.

    Makes me want to hang out more with those goddamm right wingers. They sound quite lovely, kind and peaceful.

    They just want to let the baby live.

  29. Obama just announced a massive tax increase on the elderly who live mostly on interest, dividends and social security.

    Those poor little ole ladies now will have to pay 20% tax on the interest they earn on CD's. This is massive and huge and hurts them tremendously.

    Any human being that owns a CD will have their taxes increased

    Obama - that's not the rich you just F'd. It's my poor little ole grandma, who does NOT make $250,000 a year.

    Obama is evil and hates old widows.

  30. Did anyone see/hear the head of the UAW is now telling union members they need to start accepting retirement packages offered by GM? His reasoning was essentially "settling for less is better than getting nothing when GM goes out of business."

    It's almost like this union thug realizes they've demanded themselves out of jobs! That only took 50 years...

  31. I have discovered that I really want the big 3 automakers to go out of business.

    They suck. Ivey league educations suck. People from the 60's generation suck.

    They broke everything. Everything is broken adn the 60's generation did it.

    I wish they would have taken their own advice back in 1968 and not trusted anyone over 30. Perhaps they knew themselves well 30 years ago. No one should trust anyone over 60. They suck.

  32. 2:05 - are you special edm or just a flat out liar? The families of the deceased have to agree to the coverage. You have the stones to call the widow of one of our soldiers evil?

  33. Using private collection agencies just made poor business sense and IRS management acknowledged that but the Bush administration wanted to outsource government work. The private contractors were getting a 25% commission to collect easy cases while IRS employees who cost about 10% of that collected the harder cases. It doesn't take a genius to realize that giving IRS more resources is a the better option.

  34. No widow worth her stones would allow the media to exploit her dead husband just for someone elses political purposes.

    Of course, the 9-11 widows did just that but then again, they were liberals.

    Liberal widows who exploit their dead for political personal gain - suck.

  35. Grassley and Harkin work to fix Braley and Pelosi's effort to kill the jobs of over 60 Iowans in Waterloo:

    Private Debt Collection Firms Find Supporters In Senate - Congressdaily (a Publication of National Journal)
    Friday, Feb. 27, 2009

    A fight over the IRS' use of private debt-collection firms might be looming next week as the Senate takes up the $410 billion FY09 omnibus spending bill, which would cut off funds for the program. An aide to Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley today said he is weighing his options regarding the measure, which is amendable. The aide said the IRS debt-collection program is under the jurisdiction of the Finance Committee, not Appropriations, and that it is premature to end it before more thorough study. The Senate will take up the omnibus Monday.
    There is bipartisan support for the program in the Senate, including from Agriculture Chairman Tom Harkin and Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer of New York. Joined by Grassley, they wrote today to Treasury Secretary Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman that they believe not enough data is available to make "an informed decision ... about the program's long-term effectiveness." The IRS said this month it would conduct an independent review, which is due out as early as next week, but the senators wrote that more time was necessary to study the issue. The timing of the report as well as the omnibus provision could impact next week's pending contract renewal for two private collection firms, CBE Group Inc. and Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc. CBE is based in Iowa, the home state of Grassley and Harkin, while Pioneer, a subsidiary of SLM Corp., or Sallie Mae, is based in Arcade, N.Y. The senators wrote that almost 200 jobs in the two states could be lost if the program is cut. "Given the current economic crisis, such job losses should not be forced to occur before" the program is thoroughly evaluated, they added.
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of private collection firms also oppose the provision and are urging that it be stripped from the omnibus. In a letter to lawmakers this week, the Chamber's chief lobbyist, Bruce Josten, wrote that the IRS and private firms "have been working in partnership to collect back taxes efficiently and cost effectively, while protecting taxpayer rights, privacy, and security." The program, in place since 2006, has come in for scathing criticism from the National Treasury Employees Union and the IRS' National Taxpayer Advocate. House Democrats have repeatedly tried to kill it. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis, D-Ga., Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and others introduced legislation this month to repeal its authority. Critics argue the IRS has spent about $80 million on the program while only netting $60 million in revenues. Private firms net $13 million in commissions. National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley referred to private debt collectors as "bounty hunters" who "collect taxes from vulnerable people for profit" in testimony submitted to Lewis' panel this week. "The last thing people need when they are straining under job losses ... are bounty hunters breathing down their necks," she said.
    by Peter Cohn