I'm all for the government cracking down on collecting child support payments, and taking the money directly out of IRS payment seems like a winning plan. But the $2 billion that the government has collected so far isn't all from deadbeat dads. I, for instance, am part of the 39% of those who had money withheld for an unpaid federal debt. And I still don't know why.
I apparently owed the federal government $89.49 and they took it from my rebate check. I got a letter in the mail from the Department of the Treasury that told me, "As authorized by Federal law, we applied all or part of your Federal payment to a debt you owe." Then it gave an address and phone number for a Birmingham, Ala. processing center.
I called, of course, and all they could tell me is that the Transportation Security Administration had taken my money. They said they could give me their main number. They might as well have offered to give me the number for the White House to ask President Bush what was up with my payment. I didn't figure you could just call a mammoth government agency and get any kind of response.