Congress Probes IRS Tax Dollars Spent Making Star Trek Video

You may not like paying taxes, but taxes fund the government and are necessary. Still, government waste is like lemon juice in a paper cut. I’m no judge of what’s wasteful, but the idea that the IRS is spending money producing a video parody of Star Trek? Priceless.

Yes, the IRS goes boldly where no man has gone before. And like a space tourist, the IRS wrote a check to do it. Some headlines suggest the price tag was $4 million. Actually, the IRS studio itself cost around $4 million but the Trekkie movie was around $60,000.

In fact, that was for two movies, the Star Trek parody and a skit based on Gilligan’s Island. SeeRepublican demands copy of IRS’s ‘Star Trek’ parody. That’s quite a double feature and is no fictional Argo-style movie. Does the IRS even need a studio? Apparently. The IRS TV studio is in New Carrollton, Maryland.

But the controversial movies are proving to be elusive, a kind of limited release. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, Jr. M.D. (R-LA) asked the IRS to hand over a copy of the Trekkie video. See March 20, 2013 Letter to Acting IRS Commissioner MillerIRS videos are usually boring. One involving a Star Trek parody and a skit based on the television sitcom Gilligan’s Island? You can just see Mr. Spock raising an eyebrow. Fascinating.

Within the last few weeks accounts of IRS abuse and harassment has been prominent on television and on the Internet. First, the story of non-profit status denials to Tea Party and other conservative groups angered conservatives nationwide. Next we heard that thousands of your hard earned dollars were spent by the IRS to purchase a movie studio and make silly movies. Then we heard that they spent $50 million on employee conferences and retreats in just two years! Here are some of the stories if you missed them:

In this IRS “Star Trek” parody/training video, they kept talking about anarcy. It seem his alien planet was in a state of anarchy because these “good” public servants were having difficulty collecting taxes from the people. I’m sure this is how people in the IRS see themselves, but I for one would like to see them get in their “IRS Enterprise” leave my planet alone.

Anarchy, literally a system without leaders, is really just the absence of political governance. As an advocate of anarchy people call me an an anarchist. While I maintain that anarchy would result in societal harmony, the term was often used as a slang meaning disordered social chaos like what we saw in   “A Piece of the Action” from the Star Trek original series.

STPieceoftheActionA Piece of the Action” was a second-season episode broadcast on January 12, 1968.  After observing the state of society on Sigma Iotia II, Spock deduced that it had to become united, or else descend into total anarchy. So without much thought, Kirk arranges for Bela Oxmyx to be the “top boss” with Krako as his “lieutenant.” He says that the Federation will stop by once every year to collect their cut.

Many people who watched this episode just accept this idea that the government needed one leader. But how did that work out here on planet Earth? This idea of one central government is seldom questioned but it should be, in the same way we should question the conventional wisdom about anarchy being a bad thing. With Star Trek technology, it is now possible to turn the thinking on it’s head. We have the technology to decentralize government to such a level that it boarders on anarchy. In such a world, humanity would thrive, but the chief obstacle to this better future for humanity is entrenched political structure like the IRS and the Federal Reserve system that they work for.

After returning to the Enterprise, Spock is curious to know how Kirk plans to explain to Starfleet why a ship will need to be sent to this planet every year to collect the Federation’s “cut”. Kirk explains that the money, while nominally due to the Federation, will actually go into a trust fund to finance the necessary projects to reorient the planet’s culture to a civil society.

McCoy admits that he has forgotten his communicator down in Oxmyx’s office. Kirk notes that many of the basic principles of the Federation’s technology can be determined by analyzing a communicator. The Iotians have already demonstrated that they are highly skilled at imitation and innovation, and it may only be a matter of time until they use the communicator to figure out how to duplicate the Federation’s technology on their own — and then they may want a “piece of our action”.

In our world, we have the IRS looking at anarchist who use Bitcoin and demanding a piece of our action. Maybe this parody video didn’t miss the mark by that much.

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