The IRS Is Trippin’

The IRS is already dealing with a scandal, after they admitted targeting conservative groups for additional auditing purposes. Conservatives were rightly outraged by the procedure through which IRS agents selected these groups, using phrases like "Tea Party" and "Liberty" as criteria for identifying these groups. 

The bigger issue is not the targeting; it's the secret-donor status these groups were trying to obtain. The main focus coming from the scandal should be abolishing the system that allows for it. After all, groups on the Left like the NAACP went through much more stringent auditing in the '80s. 

Instead, the GOP is reveling in their glory after the Birther and Muslim faux controversies were quickly dismissed, condemned, and eventually ignored. However, the IRS is something that actually comes with some bite, particularly after a glance at their budget.

A new House report shows the IRS spent more than $50 million on conferences between 2010 and 2012. Per USA Today:

The conference spending included $4 million for an August 2010 gathering in Anaheim, Calif., for which the agency did not negotiate lower room rates, even though that is standard government practice, according to a statement by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Instead, some of the 2,600 attendees received benefits, including baseball tickets and stays in presidential suites that normally cost $1,500 to $3,500 per night. In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about "leadership through art," the House committee said.

This is not an ongoing problem, however. The IRS has already taken steps to curb their spending, like most offices in D.C. outside of the Pentagon.

IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said Sunday that spending on large agency conferences with 50 or more participants fell from $37.6 million in the 2010 budget year to $4.9 million in 2012. The government's fiscal year begins Oct. 1 the previous calendar year.

Still, expect this to remain in the news for about two to three more weeks as Conservatives use this as an example of wasteful spending by President Obama, because, at this point, they're on a major roll by their standards.

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