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FOX "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript - Wasteful Spending

Interview

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: House Ways and Means Committee chair Charles Boustany joins us. Nice to see you, sir. I should say you're on the subcommittee. Thank you, sir. Nice to have you.

REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY JR., R-LA.: Thank you, Greta. It's really good to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so what is going on with the IRS making these "Star Trek" videos and "Gilligan's Island" videos on our dime?

BOUSTANY: Taxpayers are furious about this. I'm furious about it. You know, the IRS has come to us repeatedly wanting more resources to hire more people, claiming they cannot do their job, they -- you know, they need more resources, and yet they do something really outrageous like this, which is a complete waste.

And I spoke with the acting commissioner of the IRS earlier today, and he admits that this was completely wasteful and should not have been done. And we're going to sit down and have a talk when I get back to Washington to understand further what they're doing with this studio because I can understand it's -- you know, at some level, it's important to make educational videos, but to spend...

VAN SUSTEREN: That's not their job!

BOUSTANY: ... $60,000 for a six-minute video which was completely wasteful is a mockery and it's a joke. And it's...

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait a second, Congressman!

BOUSTANY: ... and it's something that really, really infuriates the taxpayer.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, they're not in the education business. They're in the tax collection business. So I don't care if they make an education video. Now, you say this is a -- they -- they claim it's a training video. I watched them, and it says things like "an engaged team is a successful team." Really? Is that the kind of blather we need to have the IRS agents -- we need to put in a video so they understand?

The video is a terrible video! It's not a training video at all! And worse than that is that while you and I are outraged at the $60,000 to build a -- to make a "Gilligan's "Island and a "Star Trek" video, is the cost just for this private studio that they own was $4 million to us last year! It's, like, costs keep exploding!

BOUSTANY: Right. The commissioner told me that this studio's been in existence with the IRS for quite some time. But he's going to have to come clean and really account for what they're doing with this. I can understand, you know, certain types of training videos being used and that sort of thing, but why should the IRS have its own studio? I mean, how many other agencies have studios like this?

VAN SUSTEREN: But Congressman...

BOUSTANY: I mean, we've got...

VAN SUSTEREN: But Congressman...

BOUSTANY: ... to root out this waste and...

VAN SUSTEREN: But I mean, just what you say just sort of sets me on fire! I mean, you say that the acting commissioner says, Well, the studio's been there for quite some time. Well, that's a really bad excuse! He's the acting commissioner. If he knew about this studio, if he knows it costs $4 million dollars a year and if he knows they do these stupid training videos, which I don't think are necessary, why in the world didn't he do something about it?

Instead he tells you, Well, it's been there for quite some time. And another way -- another way he's saying is that it's -- it's -- you know, it's a usual operation.

BOUSTANY: Well, they weren't going to do anything until we demanded to see the videos, and then we demanded that they be released. And you know, they were going to basically cover this up. Now, the fact of the matter is, it's an outrage...

VAN SUSTEREN: Doesn't that outrage you? I mean -- but I mean, what - - I mean, like, when you...

BOUSTANY: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: What -- I mean, why did -- I mean, when you talked to the acting commissioner, didn't you call him to the carpet? I mean, he's giving these excuses! I -- you know, I -- you know, I read your letter and I could see that he's giving excuses to you! But (INAUDIBLE) it's not him taking responsibility, really digging in for the taxpayers and doing something!

Instead, he's saying, Well, it's always been that way. Yes, that's a mistake. Well, that happens to be his job to be in charge! And what he's in charge of is actually ridiculous expenses! and it's costing us $4 million a year, whether he started it or not! It still exists! We're paying it!

BOUSTANY: Well, Greta, what really outrages me is they've come to my subcommittee multiple times, claiming that they need more resources. They cannot do the job they're tasked with, and that is providing taxpayer service and enforcement. And the fact of the matter is, they ask for resources and yet they do this?

And we're going to look at every bit of what the IRS is doing. My subcommittee is going to go full all-out into a thorough investigation of all their operations.

We got to do this for the sake of the taxpayer. And I don't want to hear any more talk about needing more resources at a time when we're running massive debts -- massive debt and deficits. We got to get a handle on this and we are going to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: I bet if you dig a little deeper, it's more than "Gilligan's Island" and "Star Trek"! It's probably "Green Acres" and "Beverly Hillbillies" and everything else! I mean, it's -- you know, it's probably stunning! I think the first thing you ought to do is ask for the keys to that studio and put it up on the auction block, see if someone'll buy it. I don't know why the IRS needs a studio. They're not -- they're not a movie business, they're in the tax collection business. But good luck, sir.
BOUSTANY: Well, that's right. And it begs -- it certainly begs...

VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead.

BOUSTANY: ... the question as to whether others have these kinds of studios, as well.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, and I bet if you dig a little deeper, you'll find a lot more things. We certainly have found a lot of things going on in the GSA and other places. But Congressman, thank you. And good luck. And I hope that -- I hope you have a lot of good fortune getting this money back, or at least stopping the IRS from doing this. Thank you, sir.

BOUSTANY: Thank you, Greta. Great to be with you.


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