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Deep Space W-9: IRS spent tens of thousands producing parody Star Trek ‘training’ video

By Doug Powers  •  March 23, 2013 03:40 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

“Tax long and the government will prosper”

As millions of Americans — myself included — prepare to write checks to the government to cover last year’s tax load, it’s nice to know that the money goes toward things like producing this video that was used to open 2010 IRS training conferences. The video had been requested by a congressional committee and it was dumped late yesterday:

“Space: the final frontier
These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y
Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms
To explore strange new regulations
To boldly go where no government employee has gone before.”

Thus begins a six-minute “Star Trek” parody starring IRS employees and paid for with your tax dollars. It’s not likely to go over well with some Americans and members of Congress, especially since federal agencies have been complaining that it’s difficult to find trims under forced sequestration.

CBS News filed a Freedom of Information request asking for the video after the IRS earlier refused to turn over a copy to the congressional committee that oversees tax issues: House Ways and Means. According to committee Chairman Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), the video was produced in the IRS’s own television studio in New Carrollton, MD. The studio may have cost taxpayers more than $4 million dollars last year alone.
A separate skit based on the television show “Gilligan’s Island” was also recorded, but the IRS did not provide that video. The IRS told Congress the cost of producing the two videos was thought to be about $60,000 dollars.

Video of the IRS’s “Star Trek: Deep Space W-9” or whatever it’s called comes courtesy of Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News by way of Twitchy:

If you’re having trouble with that video try here.

All things being equal I preferred the GSA’s “Angry Office Clown”.

The IRS says it won’t happen again… at least not in the near future because pretty soon they’ll be really busy auditing the people who paid for the video:

“The IRS recognizes and takes seriously our obligation to be good stewards of government resources and taxpayer dollars,” the agency said in a statement. “There is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources.”

The agency said it has tightened controls over the use of its production equipment to “ensure that all IRS videos are handled in a judicious manner that makes wise use of taxpayer funds while ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation’s tax system.”

How can the waste be eliminated? All I know is that asking President Obama to perform a “Jedi mind meld” won’t work.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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