When the economic stimulus program was first announced, I wrote about my concern about the costs of administering this program. I was right to be concerned because the cost was worse than I thought it would be. In a report before the House Ways and Means Commettee, James R. White for the GAO (Government Accounting Office) states that the rebate could cost the government $862 million. $297 million of that was allocated to the IRS, SS and Financial Management Service as part of the program to cover printing, technology and postage costs. The biggest cost is the loss of collection income. In order the staff the call centers in response to the high number of Stimulus calls, collection staff was relocated to the call center which resulted in a decrease in collection work and the potential loss of $565 in new income.
Congress dropped the ball on this program. They caved to Presidential and public pressure to give away money. But they didn't think through the program or it's costs though. They are now dealing with voters who didn't qualify or got less than expected because of the rules of the game. Rules they created but want to blame on the IRS. They have cost us revenue from collections, and just wait, they will blame that on the IRS also.