The President we need is someone who would jump on this with a speed and determination that would scare the living crap out of even the most jaded bureaucrats and politicians in Washington D.C.:
The U.S. Treasury inspector general report accuses the IRS of discouraging employees from reviewing applications for the ID numbers, which are generally from non-resident workers.
The inspector general specifically said there were 154 mailing addresses that were used 1,000 or more times on applications, including 15,795 numbers assigned to a Phoenix address.
The report, which evaluated the processing year 2011, also found inadequate controls can result in the numbers being assigned to people who have not proved their identity or foreign status, which can result in fraudulent tax returns.
The inspector general also found 10 individual addresses were used for filing 53,994 tax returns and receiving $86.4 million in fraudulent tax refunds. For example, 23,994 tax refunds totaling $46.3 million were issued to an address in Atlanta; and 2,507 tax refunds totaling $10.4 million were issued to an address in Oxnard, Calif.
In addition, the Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration reports found 10 bank accounts received 23,560 tax refunds totaling more than $16 million -- including: 2,706 tax refunds issued to a single account totaling $7.3 million.
He or she would then:
- Invite the senior leadership of both parties in Congress to the White House for a one hour meeting with the Secretaries of Treasury and Justice.
- Demand an immediate system fix to flag unreasonable numbers of multiple refunds to the same address or account before they are processed.
- Demand that the taxpayer ID system be cleaned up immediately.
- Demand that federal agents and prosecutors descend on those fraudsters like a host of locusts. Not soon, YESTERDAY GODDAMMIT!
- Demand that Congress move on any legislation that might be needed to clean this up. Not after six months of studies, NOW GODDAMMIT!
And if some screaming and ass-chewing or even the humiliation of a public firing is what it takes to get some action, do it.
The President of the United States is the chief executive of the federal government. I don't expect him to root out and find the unbelievable dysfunction detailed above, but when it is discovered I expect him to act, and act quickly and publicly. It's his administration and that's his job.
Now, I realize that politicians like to think big picture, but the biggest picture of all for a president is making sure that the basic functions of his administration are working reasonably well. Not perfectly, just reasonably well. This is not an example of reasonably well.
I wouldn't expect any president to make something like this his full time job, but I don't want to hear one word about grandiose plans or dreamy visions from any administration, Republican or Democrat, that is so fucking incompetent that it sends out 23,994 tax refunds totaling $46.3 million to one fucking address. Fix the basics first.