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Editorial: IRS ‘Star Trek’ parody your tax dollars at waste

Somebody beam up an audit.

The Internal Revenue Service, the agency that strikes fear in the hearts of Americans with that five-letter word, has apologized for wasting around $60,000 on a video parody of the television show “Star Trek.”

Think “sorry” works for the average taxpayer who doesn’t file expense reports correctly? Well, not so much.

The 5-minute 27-second video, posted on YouTube, includes an elaborate replica of the Starship Enterprise bridge, Star Fleet uniforms for the IRS’ frustrated community theater contingent, and production values that include music, sound effects and cut-away editing to the engine room, where a frantic Scotty dries equipment with two blow dryers. What it lacks is any salient information regarding the nation’s complex system of taxation. The IRS says “there is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources.”

You think? Even the real Capt. James T. Kirk, aka actor William Shatner, has tweeted he is “appalled at the utter waste of U.S. tax dollars.”

How this piece of drek could be considered a training video — and make no mistake, it opened a 2010 training and leadership conference — defies logic in any galaxy. Especially on the heels of an investigation into 77 General Services Administration employee conferences that cost the public more than $6.7 million, including that $800,000 lavish convention in Las Vegas, Nev., and a more than $250,000 one-day employee reward and motivation event in Crystal City, Va.

The captain in the $60K “Star Trek” parody has the audacity to decline pricey coffee out of respect for his per diem while his crew members mock the salaries of public servants.

Here’s a message for the next IRS training meeting: How about respecting the taxpayers who pick up your salary and finance the government by not wasting their money and your time?

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.