GOP’s Obsession With IRS Has Cost Taxpayers At Least $14 Million

The GOP’s obsession with hanging the IRS scandal on President Obama has turned into quite a pricey escapade.

The agency, which was found to have improperly scrutinized both conservative and progressive groups in the run up to the 2012 election, the latter a fact that Republicans conveniently ignore, has spent at least $14 million in salaries, benefits, travel and additional costs in responding to congressional inquiries led by House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA).

In response to a request by Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), top Democrats on House Ways and Means and Oversight committees, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that 255 agency employees have spent some 97,542 hours responding to nine months of inquiries and 15 congressional hearings.

Koskinen noted in a letter sent Tuesday that of several ways of accounting for the costs of the investigation, he chose the “conservative approach” that did not include “ancillary” costs of support offices.

The scandal was back in the news recently after Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly pressed President Obama about it during a prime-time Super Bowl interview. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also begrudgingly allowed that the agency targeted progressives in a January interview.

Read Koskinen’s letter below:

IRS Commissioner Response

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: