Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday each week.

March 16, 2021

For all those wishing for snow, we really did not need this much in such a short time.
Now, for a little humor, depending on which side of the isle your are on.

A FUNNY PLACE TO LIVE!                                                        March 26, 2012
Sometimes, just sometimes, America is a funny place to live. No, that comment does not mean side-splitting laughter or comedy. Today’s edition refers to just how comical it is to take a really up close and personal look at the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd.  This crowd is made up of those who live under the theory that the laws applying to the ordinary class of people do not apply to them – politicians throughout America, the wealthy – and now we find, a percentage of current and retired federal employees apparently live by the theory. 

Back in 2010, this writer wrote, “Like it or not, as a human being existing on this Earth, by accepting all those benefits that make life enjoyable, comfortable and worthwhile, we as individuals accept certain moral obligations. That old, old cliché comes to mind, “Nothing in life is free.” Like it or not, paying taxes on income earned is one of those obligations. The anti-tax movement is ignored for this edition.

As yet another annual tax deadline is upon America – April 15th – taxpayers may find amusing OR NOT, to what a monumental amount the unpaid tax debt for current and retired federal workers has grown.

A report by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) summarized in a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, revealed the latest statistics for which the IRS had available data (fiscal year 2009).

  • 184,240 civilian federal employees owe more than $1.5 billion in taxes;
  • average delinquency rate for this group of federal civilian employees is 3.35 percent (no doubt the beginning of the financial meltdown bears some responsibility for this increase); 
  • the 3.35 percentage was up from 2.29 percent in fiscal year 2008; and
  • the vast majority of federal workers who owe taxes owe them from income they earn.


At the end of Fiscal Year 2009, “only 85,000 of the 284,240 had entered into installment agreements.” The report prompted introduction of the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 828), the legislation that resulted from multiple pieces of legislation (H.R. 4735, 572), to amend Title 5, United States Code.

The substantive points of H.R. 828:

  • individuals with federal tax debt that is seriously delinquent would be ineligible to be appointed or continue serving as an employee of the federal government;
  • seriously delinquent tax debt is defined in the legislation as outstanding tax debt to the federal government for which a public lien has been filed;
  • tax debt that is being paid in a timely manner, or is part of a requested or pending collection-due-process hearing, would not be considered seriously delinquent;
  • job applicants would be required to certify to federal agencies that they do not have such debt;
  • agencies would be allowed to review the public records of applicants or currently employees to determine if a lien is discovered; and
  • if a lien is discovered, agencies would be authorized to ask affected individuals to request the Secretary of the Treasury confidentially disclose the status of that lien.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) opined that “Pay-as-you-go procedures apply to the bill because it would affect direct spending and revenues.”

Among the minority views included at the end of that report:

  • given the high voluntary compliance rate within the federal workforce, H.R. 828 was almost pure symbolism;
  • more than 96% of federal workers paid their taxes on time and do not owe money to the government; and
  • the Committee’s efforts and energy would be better spent by focusing on measures to strengthen the federal civil service and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government rather than by making symbolic gestures intended to perpetuate a negative image of the federal workforce.


An update on H.R. 828 will be provided upon receipt of a response from sponsor Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah 2).

Effort is being made by this writer to determine if such a report has been prepared on members of Congress. Stay tuned.

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at