Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit funded in part by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, has launched a 30-second television advertisement in Wisconsin that asks, “Who decides Wisconsin’s future: Voters or government unions?”
Charles G. and David H. Koch are primary financial supporters of the Virginia-based political organization. The ad goes on, “…Government workers fight to keep benefits far better than the private sector. Governor Walker has the courage to do what’s right for Wisconsin.”
The Center reported in October that Americans for Prosperity was one of the groups benefiting from new rules in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that has opened the floodgates to increased corporate and individual spending on politics. Americans for Prosperity, a group dedicated to the “return of the federal government to its Constitutional limits,” has state chapters all over the country.
ProPublica: What’s really going on with Wisconsin’s budget
Transcript of prank Koch-Walker conversation
The Internal Revenue Service posted its worst performance in years in getting tax refunds to the public—about 3.3 million refunds were delayed through last August.
In addition, the delays cost the IRS $12.6 million in interest on refunds, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
It was the worst refund performance since at least 2005.
Seventy-one percent of all individual taxpayers filed online, which saves the IRS considerable funds. Each electronic return costs the IRS 19 cents and its paper counterpart $3.29. Consumers didn’t take advantage of other programs intended to expedite the process for both the IRS and the taxpayer: one would have provided refunds on debit cards, for taxpayers without bank accounts, but the program was rarely used in 2010. The GAO criticized the agency for not taking into account key factors in it how it assessed the program, adding the “IRS risks not learning the real reasons for low participation.”
One big frustration for taxpayers was waiting for their return, the report said. The IRS had designed a new Modernized e-File system, which was supposed to cut down on wait time and generally streamline the process, as well as replace the IRS’ old system. But the new system didn’t work as well as intended, the GAO report said. IRS officials have decided to use the new system along with the old until 2012. The system was plagued by problems, including delayed acknowledgements and slow servers, and the IRS said many consumers turned to traditional filings out of frustration.