U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding two bills he has introduced that will crack down on federal employees and members of Congress and staff who are cheating on their taxes. S. 3790 will make federal employees who have seriously delinquent tax debts ineligible for federal employment. S. 3791 will require Members of Congress to disclose delinquent tax liability, require an ethics inquiry, and garnish the wages of a Member with federal tax liability.
"Taxpayers are fed up with those in Washington living under a different set of rules than the rest of America. At a time when Congress may allow taxes to increase on some or even all Americans, Congress should not expect other Americans to pay more taxes when they are not even paying the taxes they owe under the rates they set themselves," Dr. Coburn said.
In 2009, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) found nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees were delinquent on their federal income taxes, owing over $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes. When considering retirees and military, more than 282,000 federal employees owed $3.3 billion in taxes. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported that congressional staff, and possibly lawmakers, had tax delinquency totaling at least $9.3 million last year.
"Legislators and government employees should not be exempt from the laws they write and enforce. The very nature of "public service' demands those being paid by taxpayers contribute their fair share of taxes. They should lead by example or be held accountable if they believe they are above the law," Dr. Coburn said.