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This week has been a tough one for the IRS. The agency is in the eye of a public relations storm involving taxpayer money, the cupid shuffle and a Star Trek spoof that wasn’t well received. 

The unflattering news developments date back to 2010. To prepare for a $4 million conference in Anaheim, the IRS used over $50,000 of tax payer money for conference training videos.

Although designed to “engage manager and help facilitate a connection between executives and managers,” the general response to the videos –which feature the dance routing made famous by 2007 in Cupid, and an utterly terrible (yet hilarious) ode to Star Trek –hasn’t been positive.

Reuters reports:

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee, said he was up at 3 a.m. watching the Star Trek video trying to find a way the cost could be justified.

“I swear I do not see the redeeming value,” Cummings said.

Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel, who started in the position on May 22 after President Barack Obama fired Werfel’s predecessor, told lawmakers that the IRS is “an agency in crisis” and pledged to clean up its reputation.

The tax agency has been under fire since early May, when IRS official Lois Lerner publicly acknowledged that IRS workers had inappropriately targeted Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status and apologized for the behavior.

 

IRS official Frank Finkus later apologized. “The fact of the matter is, Mr. chairman, it’s embarrassing, I apologize,” he said before lawmakers.

The IRS has spent $50 million to fund their conferences between 2010-2012.

Check out the Star Trek video below.

Photo: YouTube

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