As tax season rages on and people across the country cut checks to Uncle Sam, it is nice to be reminded how their well-earned tax dollars are being used. Take, for instance, a newly revealed video produced by the Internal Revenue Service that uses all things Star Trek to teach burgeoning tax agents about their jobs. We’ve since seen the video go viral, and the clashing of the political and entertainment worlds as people debate both the appropriateness of the video and its atrocious production value. Oh, and it has even reached the attention of a former captain. Learn more after the jump.
CBS News obtained the video and first reported the story last week, but it has gone viral online since then. They report the video was produced in 2010 to open a series of training seminars for IRS employees that would act in lieu of face-to-face interaction. The five-minute short came with all the Star Trek fixings like Starfleet uniforms and took place within the U.S.S. Enterprise, but also apparently came with a $60,000 price tag. This prompted many to question the merit of such an investment when the government producing it is trillions of dollars in debt. As you can imagine, the video immediately became a rallying cry for fiscal reform advocates, while many others shared it simply because it was a horrible parody of a beloved franchise that elicited a few chuckles. Really, it’s the type of viral video the internet was made for.
With the video and the controversy behind it spreading, it was only a matter of time before Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, had the opportunity to view it. He tweeted his thoughts on the matter earlier this week:
So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) March 26, 2013
Sounds like some IRS personnel might have some explaining to do to their Starfleet superiors in Washington. You can watch the entire IRS Star Trek parody video below, and afterwards, give us your thoughts in the comments section. Is this is a gross misappropriation of public funds, or just a really hokey training video?