IRS Star Trek Parody Video: They Cost How Much, Again?

The IRS has not had the best of times in recent weeks. Beset by a scandal in which high-level officials were accused of specifically targeting conservative political groups for review, public anger with the agency has now turned its attention to a number of training videos put together by the IRS for its employees. In the wake of the Obama administration's crackdown on gratuitous executive agency spending, the IRS videos were put together in place of even more expensive training gatherings and conferences. The videos depict parodies of Star Trek, Gilligan's Island, and the Cupid Shuffle.

Watch the bizarre videos below:



 

Cringe-worthy acting aside, these videos are a truly head-scratching boondoggle. At an estimated cost of $60,000, surely it would have been cheaper to feature in-person training at the conference at which they were shown, instead of sinking time and money into constructing an elaborate set and producing such truly bizarre training films.

No, in the context of government operations as a whole, $60,000 is not very much money, but a drop in the bucket. However, the creation of these videos represents the sometimes mysterious nature by which the federal government spends money. Moreover, given the national belt-tightening resulting from the federal sequester, a $60,000 training film depicting government employees poorly impersonating a vulcan does not resonate well with a public that is getting used to reduced federal government services. For now, though, we may enjoy these videos for the hilariously bad art that they are.

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Ben Rimland

Undergraduate at Columbia University studying International Affairs. Sometimes hipster.

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