If you owe the Internal Revenue Service money, chances are you will be harassed until you pay up or at least make arrangements to do so. Unless you happen to be doing business with the IRS.
IRS Inspector General J. Russell George revealed last week that nearly 1,200 vendors who have contracts with the agency owe a total of $589 million in back taxes. Just 50 of the vendors have set up payment plans to deal with their debts.
In their written response to George's report, IRS officials said - wait for it - they are "committed to improving the controls" over vendors.
If taxpayers had a dollar for every time a government official has made a similar promise, we'd be well on our way to paying off the national debt.
Obviously, the IRS should stop paying vendors that won't pay their taxes. Private businesses operating the way so many government agencies do would not last long. Why do taxpayers allow such mismanagement?
More to the point, why do we keep re-electing members of Congress who permit it?