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Irony in the News

May 5, 2014

Nothing like a dose of irony to keep your day-to-day problems in perspective.

Ironic Revenue Service

IRS_Sign_DSThe Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is a government office that makes sure taxes are correctly paid government-wide. A report issued recently by the Treasury Inspector found evidence of massive tax evasion…at the Internal Revenue Service. It’s reported that more than 1,100 IRS employees were in tax trouble, including underreporting of income, paying their taxes late, and in some cases, not at all for several years. It gets worse. After briefly suspending bonuses to save money, the IRS restored them a year later. More than $1 million in bonuses were given to employees who hadn’t paid their federal income tax, along with permanent raises and extra days of paid time off. “We take seriously our unique role as this nation’s tax administrator,” and IRS human resources officer said in a statement. The agency also pointed out that they aren’t the only guilty parties: In 2011, more than 300,000 federal employees didn’t pay their taxes, amounting to a loss of $3.5 billion.

Irony TV

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments from TV networks wishing to ban Aero, an online service that streams free, over-the-air broadcast networks, such as NBC, CBS, and ABC. Networks feel Aero’s activities constitute theft; Aero lawyers argues that the signals are free, and they are merely lawfully rerouting them. In a hearing, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia expressed concern that the service could one day stream cable networks, which people pay for. “What would the difference be? I mean you could take HBO, right?” Scalia asked. “No,” replied the Aero attorney. “Because HBO is not done over the airwaves. It’s done through a private service.” A Supreme Court justice didn’t understand that, essentially, that “It’s not TV…it’s HBO,” inadvertently echoing the channel’s long-time slogan.

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