Protecting you from free tax filing

The astro-turf campaign by major tax preparers against the IRS’s plans to offer free online tax filing is descending into parody. For decades both Republicans and Democrats have campaigned around programs aimed to simplify tax compliance. Meanwhile the IRS has been fighting to make such a program available to the public over fierce, well-funded political opposition from both parties.

Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, has found the perfect ally in their fight to stop the simplification of tax payment – Grover Norquist, far-right icon and President of Americans for Tax Reform. Perhaps it’s from Norquist that they learned how to organize “grassroots” outrage against yet another example of IRS oppression.

The company may have discovered that a public political campaigned aimed to “protect my massive fortune from the effects of competition” somehow failed to generate enough energy. Instead they are sponsoring a “Stop IRS Takeover” website. They are campaigning to stop the “Big Government” takeover of tax preparation the evil Obama Administration.

From the Communists over at ProPublica:

In an emailed statement, Intuit spokeswoman Julie Miller said, “Like many other companies, Intuit actively participates in the political process.” Return-free programs curtail citizen participation in the tax process, she said, and also have “implications for accuracy and fairness in taxation.” (Here is Intuit’s full statement.)

In its latest annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, however, Intuit also says that free government tax preparation presents a risk to its business.

Roughly 25 million Americans used TurboTax last year, and a recent GAO analysis said the software accounted for more than half of individual returns filed electronically. TurboTax products and services made up 35 percent of Intuit’s $4.2 billion in total revenues last year. Versions of TurboTax for individuals and small businesses range in price from free to $150.

So far not even Tea Partiers have been gullible enough to fall for this. Perhaps if Intuit had invested more energy recruiting Glenn Beck instead of Norquist they could have laid better astroturf. Nonetheless, the company has been consistently successful in blocking efforts to simplify tax filing.

The mechanics of this so-far successful campaign provide disturbing insights into the way Washington works. This is the kind of issue that should be at the center of the Republican agenda, yet it’s clear that much of what IS at the center is designed to distract the public from this problem and feed this monster.


Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Taxes
191 comments on “Protecting you from free tax filing
  1. texan5142 says:

    CaptSternn says:
    April 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    Obama is petty, petulant, self-serving and greedy (that can describe almost all democrats, RINOs and other leftists). He will say anything and pretend at anything to get his way. He was raised outside the U.S. in places that see the U.S. as being evil. He doesn’t like the U.S. Constitution because it doesn’t provide for wealth confiscation and redistribution and it doesn’t include his ideas of social justice. He wants to destroy the private health care sector and have government control it.

    What was it you were saying the other day about liberals and their emotions not fact directing their beliefs?

    Hahahahaha! You are one deranged person.

    • CaptSternn says:

      What part of that is not fact? I wonder if the left ever even listens to what the people they support say?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cappy, your irrational delusional projections are not “fact”. You obviously don’t see or hear anything you don’t want to.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I will say that is some charming negativity you have going on there Stern.

      I rarely call you names (or even disparage a whole swath of GOP/TP), and it always warms the cockles of my heart to hear that I’m (and folks like me) petty, petulant, self-serving, and greedy.

      I guess, you did say, “almost all”, so maybe I am part of the chosen ones, but this would not be the first time that you’ve called me greedy and selfish, so I doubt I’m one of the “good ones” in your eyes.

  2. kabuzz61 says:

    This is for Homer and JG concerning the bait and switch with the border deportation numbers.

    The counting switch, she explains, originated in a policy change in which the Border Patrol began handing over to ICE many of the people it had been immediately returning across the border. Now, after processing and penalizing them, ICE removes them from the country, often at a different location along the border.

    The policy aims to separate illegal border crossers from dangerous smugglers who helped them. And by penalizing them, it aims to reduce the likelihood that they will cross again.

    The numerical effect, though, is to include the Border Patrol “referrals” in the ICE count of “removals,” and thus both sets of government data are counted as deportations. In previous administrations, those caught at the border were not counted as deportations, Ms. Vaughan says.

    To account for this difference, she counts the total number of illegal immigrants sent back as reported by all immigration-related agencies, starting with President Eisenhower. What she finds is that the real deporter in chief was President Clinton, who sent an annual average of 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of the US. Obama ranks seventh, sending an average of 800,000 per year packing.

    “Yes, on paper, the number of deportations did hit a record,” says Vaughan, speaking of the Obama administration. “But the types of cases counted to achieve that record changed dramatically.”

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Now Buzz…I appreciate the additional data. However, it seems as though you (inadvertently I’m sure) stopped your copying and pasting right at the point where there was a different interpretation of the data.

      You will also note that you fail to mention that the different method of counting deportations started under the Bush administration.

      So, let’s back up a bit. Based on your comments and the link you provided, it seems that you would agree that Obama has greatly increased the number of “at the border” deportations, also known as “returns”.

      Sending folks away before they get into the country would generally be viewed as a good thing by folks on your side, so I’m not sure how you are complaining about that.

      The reason these folks get tossed into an ICE lockup and then “returned” in a different location is that it has been shown that this reduces the number of repeated attempts at crossing. The Bush folks figured this out, and the Obama folks kept doing it. Hard to argue that it is a bad thing.

      What your folks are complaining about is the apparent reduction in “removals” in the interior of the country, and these would be what is generally thought of as a stereotypical deportation.

      The funny part about this complaint is that your link (and all other links) highlight that this number is a reduction from 2009/2010 (when Obama was President) rather than a reduction in the number from 2007/2008 (when Obama wasn’t President). Kinda makes you wonder why that is, but I think you know why that is.

      As noted below, the Obama administration has focused efforts on deporting folks with other criminal histories.

      Previous administrations deported or “removed” 90% dishwashers in restaurants with no other criminal histories and 10% of people with other criminal histories.
      The Obama administration has deported or removed 50% dishwashers with no other criminal histories and 50% with other criminal histories.

      How on earth is this a bad thing?

      I understand that may on your side would like to deport every undocumented person in the US. That would be catastrophically foolish, but that would not be the first GOP idea that is catastrophically foolish.

      Given that we do not have the resources to round up and deport everyone, doesn’t it make sense to focus those resources at the borders to stop people from coming in and then to focus on folks with other criminal histories when looking at the interior of the country?

      There are conservative groups running ad in Hispanic communities saying “Obama talks about immigration reform, but he is deporting a record number of people each year” at the same time conservative groups are saying “Obama is cooking the books to inflate the reported number of deportations”.

      So yeah, you folks know the numbers, and were it not for politics, would be thrilled with the numbers.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The ATEP program started under Bush43. But they weren’t counted as deportations until 2011.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I’m trying to find that data point, and I cannot find a good source Things I’m reading say the count started in Bush’s last year in office when the program took off and then it increased under Obama.

        If it didn’t start until 2011, Obama’s 2009 and 2010 numbers look spectacular.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, the highest rate of deportations using the original procedures was Clinton. Obama changed the procedures in 2011 to get higher numbers to tout for his faithful to repeat. (Enter you) You even said further down in the thread that they are not deportations but now they get counted as such. Please show a link where Bush changed the procedure.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s the problem, HT. If we priovide links, you will claim it isn’t a good source. Before 2011, the times to measure deportations were extended beyond the deadlines to pad the numbers. Again, the program didn;t start in 2011, only the counting it as deportations started in 2011.

        You don’t really think Obama wants to make enemies of hispanics, do you? He will end up doing that with the PPACA, even if he doesn’t yet know it. But by then he will be out of office and can’t run again.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…depending on how you define deportations, Clinton ranks below Bush 43. It seems that the definitions have managed to shift since the 70s.

        While I’m looking for the link to confirm or disprove that “returns” didn’t start counting until 2011 (which make Obama’s 2009 and 2010 numbers look incredible), take a shot at the questions I posed regarding how the current enforcement priorities are anything but good ideas and good uses of resources.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…folks on your side are trying to use the numbers against Obama on both sides…saying he is deporting a record number to one audience and then saying he is cooking the books to another audience.

        Buzz…I’m absolutely agreeing that they are conflating numbers, but the numbers are available separately. I’m not repeating anything from the administration. I’m talking about the numbers differences in those numbers, and I know your reading comprehension levels are good enough to understand that, no matter how quickly I type.

        I’m actually trying to figure out what you are complaining about.

        Fewer people are crossing the border. Of those trying to cross the border, we are catching a record number of them. With ATEP, we do a better job of returning them and keeping them out if they try to come back again.

        When focusing on the internal parts of the country, we are deporting a record number of folks with other criminal histories while still deporting well over 100k per year.

        Rather than focusing on work-site raids that do nothing but stir the pot and nap a few undocumented workers, the administration has focused more heavily on the companies that bring in and hire undocumented workers.

        I get you may like to round everyone up and send them home, but given the resources available, I do not know what you rationally would do differently.

        If this was the immigration record of McCain/Palin, folks would be suggesting adding McCain to Mount Rushmore.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I do not think you could find a single instance of my ignoring any links you have provided. I think it might be a good policy in general to avoid links to FoxNews or MotherJones if we want the other side to believe them, but I was sincere in asking you for some site for when the numbers started getting counted differently. I’m not reading anything that tells me that, and I cannot find an “official” document.

        I’m more interested in having accurate information than scoring political points with you folks who are never going to vote for a candidate that I would like.

        Pew Research looking at Homeland Security data has 2008 data with 360,000 “deportations and expedited removals” with 29% of these folks being criminals.

        Assuming Obama didn’t start counting differently than Bush until 2011, Obama has an unprecedented success rate of deportations.
        2009: 393,000 deportations, with 33% being criminals
        2010: 385,000 deportations with 44% being criminals
        2011: 392,000 deportations with 50% being criminals

        Heck, the “real and true” numbers would be better if Obama didn’t start counting them until 2011.

        How would you classify this as anything but an unqualified success that should stir parades for Obama by GOP border security hawks?

        Assuming you don’t have a magic wand that creates more border guards, more fences, and more ICE officers in the interior at no cost to taxpayers, sincerely what would you be doing differently than Obama?

        Focus on catching folks at the border? Check
        Deport more criminals? Check
        Deport folks in a way to make it harder for them to come back? Check

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, HT, I am not trying to pad the numbers at all. That is what the Obama administration is doing. But he does talk out of both sides of his mouth, and he orders illegal aliens in custody to be released. He even has his catch and release program.

        Obama is petty, petulant, self-serving and greedy (that can describe almost all democrats, RINOs and other leftists). He will say anything and pretend at anything to get his way. He was raised outside the U.S. in places that see the U.S. as being evil. He doesn’t like the U.S. Constitution because it doesn’t provide for wealth confiscation and redistribution and it doesn’t include his ideas of social justice. He wants to destroy the private health care sector and have government control it.

        I wouldn;’t be suprised if he sees individual liberty and rights the same way Bill Clinton did, that people should not have them if they do things he disagrees with. The PPACA certainly leans in that direction, as do his actions in getting it passed.

        Once elected, he went on a world-wide apology tour. Even now he wants to weaken the U.S. as a global power. He failed to negotiate keeping troops in Iraq, basically handing it over to al Qaeda (I would bet Saudi Arabia has a hand in that to thwart Iranian influence, just as they said they would do if the U.S. left Iraq).

        He has set a time when the U.S. will retreat from Afghanistan, and his foriegn policy only helps al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, through inaction, speeches and sometimes supporting them with military force, but only when “leading from behind”.

        He has completely failed at dealing with Russia. He cancelled the missle defense system and offered a reset button to Putin and Russia. In response, Russia reclaimed Crimea. Not that I care so much about that, but I am coming to understand that we, the U.S. and NATO, promised to defend Ukraine with military force if they demilitarized. Only hearsay on my part, will need to do some reasearch on that. But if it is true, Obama has failed in a terrible way.

        There is very little positive to say about our sitting president. He allowed the military to go after and execute Osama bin Laden. Emphasis on “allowed”. He has allowed the Gitmo prison to contune, though he vowed to shut it down.

        I do believe he did the right thing with the pirates back in 2009. He actually stood his ground, and permitted the military to take action when the negotiations led to unacceptable demands. And really, that is the only positive thing I can say about his presidency at this point. Maybe I am forgetting something that you can remind me of?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Neither link was from the sites you mentioned. But what about those sites? Do you just attack the source because you can’t refute the facts? Do you not know that has many articles from the left? Articles that make me want to scratch the glass off my monitor and kick the computer into submission? Surely HT, you would not dismiss a news source because of what you have been told, you would actually go there and see for yourself, right?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, how can you NOT know what I am saying. I said JG commented that deportations were up under Obama. I refuted it by definition. Where you are coming from God only knows. You seem to move the goal posts when you wish.

        No one on ‘my side’ said they wanted to deport all the illegals. We do say they should never become citizens unless they get to the end of the line. It is your side that wants to discount the illegal and unfair activity going on.

        Captain, wait until November when the senate and house are GOP. Maybe at that time we can get the DOJ to enforce all the laws.

        Homer if the high numbers or deportations are up because of Obama, is the IRS targeting TEA Party groups because of Obama also?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I read all those links before I posted a single thing on this topic…those links are generally where I’m getting my numbers too (or at least they reference sources for the numbers). There is nothing in those links that disagree with the numbers we are discussing.

        As before, I have never disputed a link you provide, so stop the silly whining about people dismissing your links. You generally don’t provide links to any data. You provide opinion, normally incorrect opinion, but opinion nonetheless.

        Rather than going to fox, washingtonpost, blaze, or motherjones, start channeling your inner-researcher and go find the actual numbers. Math is your friend. Blowhards with a computer and a publication deadline likely will be your enemy.

        Your multi-paragraph “I dislike Obama because he dislikes America, freedom, and apple pie” is kinda tired. Some at least moderately rational people would seem to believe he is kind of fond of America.

        The “Obama is petty, petulant, self-serving and greedy (that can describe almost all democrats, RINOs and other leftists)” shtick is as tiring as it is boring as it is wrong as it is just plain silly. Essentially, “all you people not like me kinda suck” is just sad.

        Your xenophobic “he was raised in places outside the US that view America as evil” is actually well beneath where I thought you were. You have an interesting definition of “outside” the US”. The folks in Hawaii are probably going to want their federal income tax back. Seriously, you are better than that.

        Disagree on policy. Disagree on principles. Arguing that your side loves America more is the second to last refuge of a scoundrel.

        Buzz…my goalposts on immigration have not changed a bit. By any metric, we are doing better as stopping people from crossing the border, making it harder for people to try to get back in once we kick them out, and we are deporting substantially more people with other criminal histories than ever before.

        I glanced through most of my posting on this topic, and I’m pretty sure I never said, “Obama did this” or “because Obama that”. I think I’m pretty clear with the “Obama administration” and “numbers under Obama” when describing things. If I slipped up, I apologize, but I think you read well enough to understand the administration versus the person. Remember, reading is FUNdamental.

        Yes, the Obama administration is conflating numbers to make them look good and trying to separate them when he thinks that will make him look good. No kidding. I’m also shocked there is gambling going on in this establishment.

        I’m pointing out that there is nothing in the deportation/returns/removal numbers that you don’t like and about which you wouldn’t be singing from the rooftops if they occurred under McCain/Palin.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Just for you Buzz…While I was heartened to hear that you don’t think anyone on your side wants to deport all illegal immigrants, I wanted a bit more than your opinion. Fortunately, the google machine works.

        More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported

        Do you wonder what the political party breakdown is for a number like that? Fortunately, there are some data for that too.

        According to another the Reuters/Ipsos poll. 75% of Republicans think all or most immigrants should be deported. In fairness, some 20-30% of Democrats believe that too.

        Now…let’s go to our Tea Party favorites and one-time Presidential frontrunner, Michelle Bachman. In attempting to draw a distinction between the RINOs Newt and Perry, Bachmann went “deport them all”.

        Trust me…you do not want to pick random GOP/Tea Party members and google “their name illegal deportation”

        It will make you cry.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Houston, have you forgotten that Cappy feels private businesses should be allowed to racially discriminate, proudly flies the Confederate flag, feels Whites are more discriminated against than minorities, refers to the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression” with a straight face and without any sense of irony or embarrassment, and his diatribe is just champing at the bit to scream “Obama is a Nigerian born Mooslim!” ? And when Cappy grudgingly acknowledges Obama did anything right, he gets no credit whatsoever for bold and courageous decision making and just “permitted” and “allowed” others to do what’s right. Give me a break. Any “polite” discourse with that crap and calling it for what it is just legitimizes crap.

        No, Cappy is not “better than that”. What you see is what you get. If it smells like a pile of poop, it ain’t a rose. And good luck scraping it off when you step in it.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Correction, meant to say “Any ‘polite’ discourse with that crap and NOT calling it for what it is just legitimizes crap.”

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Let’s get a little deeper into this.

      A huge part of the GOP’s complaint can be summarized with this quote:

      “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it’s just highly unlikely to happen,” John Sandweg, until recently the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an interview.

      That just drives folks on your side crazy, but where would you rather spend your time, effort, personnel, and money?

      We do not have unlimited resources, so where do we put what we have?
      a) At the border with people coming in
      b) In the interior with people who have other criminal histories
      c) On the “run of the mill” immigrant here illegally

      I think everyone (including you) would agree that the first two are a better target than the last one.

      Deportations of people apprehended in the interior of the U.S., which the immigration agency defines as more than 100 miles from the border, dropped from 2009 to 2013…no one denies this.

      Of those 100,000+ people deported, 80% came to the attention of immigration authorities after criminal convictions. How is that not a spectacular thing?

      Your other complaint that the folks are processed through an ICE lockup and then returned elsewhere, rather than just doing a “catch and release” putting them immediately back on a bus, is that now those folks have a formal deportation on their records.

      Interestingly, entering the country without legal authorization is not a crime. But once a person has been formally deported, he can be prosecuted if he reenters the country. This is what has greatly increased during the Obama administration.

      How is this a bad thing?

      • DanMan says:

        Homer, are you advocating for illegal immigration?

        The GOP can use Obama’s lies against him if he is going to allow them, and he does because he lies so much and does it publicly. If he is telling one audience his numbers of deportations are at the highest they’ve ever been and then another audience don’t worry I’m not really deporting that many but I have to say I am then that’s his problem that he created and he has to deal with it. We get that liberal democrats deal in lies as a matter of policy and their constituents are okay with it.

        You say we don’t have resources? We have plenty. Every law enforcement officer can be a part of enforcement. Every employer can verify legal status if E-Verify were available. It would take very little effort on the United States side of the equation to make it impossible on the illegal immigrant’s side when it comes to straightening out this mess. All democrats and several repubs are refusing to do anything though.

  3. way2gosassy says:

    On a most decidedly positive note, I would like to thank everyone who responded with positive and much appreciated advice and suggestions for my little enterprise.

    • Tuttabella says:

      You are very welcome, and the overall increase in positivity is appreciated.

      When did you say you’re moving to Tennessee?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Are you saying I’m not a positive person and are you trying to get rid of me?

        =) Just kidding. We are shooting for May but I will still keep up with the blog if for no other reason than to see what your charming but “misunderstood” friend is up to. Again, just kidding!

      • Tuttabella says:

        Sassy, many of my friends are misunderstood but they are all charming, some more misunderstood than others, with Captain Sternn the most charming of them all. 🙂

      • CaptSternn says:

        Thank you, my dear lady. Good luck with the move and garden, Way.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Thanks guys! I do hope you consider me your “online Friend” Tutt.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Sassy, of course, you’re one of my dearest online friends. You and I go WAY back, since we first met on the Chron. I may not be partisan, but I definitely have favorites, that I will admit, and you are one of them. I don’t care about political persuasion, as long as you are NICE.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Well thanks Tutt! and right back atcha!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, I just feel all left out here. Nobody understands me. 😉

        Well, Tutt does, thankfully.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Well we certainly didn’t mean to leave you out, I will say you have never called me names even when we didn’t disagree but I will defer to Tutt the “charming” part! =)

      • CaptSternn says:

        It’s all good, Way. Gave me a chance to complain about how “misunderstood” I am. I have been harsh and shallow at times, on auto-pilot and condescending. I wasn’t always that way, and Tutt snapped me out of it. I am still harsh and hard, and very stubborn, but I try to not be hateful or call people names. To me, that messes up the position and the argument.

        I do agree that Tutt is the more charming, intellectual, thoughtful and polite half. She is a real treasure and I am blessed to have her in my life and more so to have her as my lady. Isn’t that why people refer to the lady as the better half? (grin)

      • way2gosassy says:

        Well I certainly can’t argue with that!

      • Tuttabella says:

        And I’m blessed to have Cap in my life. We met on the Chron, of all places, and found we were surprisingly compatible. He is mellow, low-key, laid-back, and patient. Fortunately for me, because I can be rather complicated. In the real world, he is the cheerful, friendly one. I tend to be rather standoffish.

      • way2gosassy says:

        That is funny because the picture I had of the two of you were the exact opposite although I suspect there is a goodly amount of steel in your backbone Tutt!

      • Tuttabella says:

        Sassy, he and I like to joke that we are “the redneck and the schoolmarm.”

  4. DanMan says:

    Speaking of taxes and the IRS and how smidgeons of corruptions are blossoming into an unbridled growth of felonies, y’all seeing where Lois Lerner not only coordinated suppressing conservative groups prior to the 2012 elections, she did so with both DOJ and the FEC.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Awww, Danny is pulling “data” from another inbred wingnut site again for his fake conspiracy theories. The only “facts” are the direct quotes which only indicated she was looking into investigating non profit “charities” that were violating their non profit charter by wading into political advocacy. And it has already been proven and noted that “left wing” non profits were also looked into. So there goes your fake conspiracy theory.

      And your “factual” source has already had to correct itself on major misstatement of the facts, noting the DOJ contacted her as opposed to vice versa as originally incorrectly reported. Significant skewing of the facts to support a fake conspiracy theory that falls apart after minimal inquiry and correction of the real facts.

      Danny major fail again with the facts, the truth, and reality. But thanks for playing and further marginalizing yourself.

      • DanMan says:

        what did I say that wasn’t factual lightweight?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Learn to read. For comprehension Danny. I said everything not in quotes in your source.

        No conspiracies, no nuthin’. Which is what you usually have.

      • DanMan says:

        Lerner herself is quoted as her testimony says she “can’t confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum.” She later added, “The one with the names used were only know [sic] because they have been very loud in the press.”

        Kind of refutes your assertion that both sides were targeted from the source that did the targeting. The word charity never appears in the article either. You kind of made up some retort then ascribed things that aren’t so to me.

        You are hilarious when you hoist yourself on your own petard bubba but you do it so often is what makes it even better.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Danny Dunce, just because your single outdated wingnut source doesn’t state it means that is the final story. You really are that pathetically incompetent in your myopic bias?

        “The Internal Revenue Service, under pressure after admitting it targeted anti-tax Tea Party groups for scrutiny in recent years, also had its eye on at least three Democratic-leaning organizations seeking nonprofit status.
        One of those groups, Emerge America, saw its tax-exempt status denied, forcing it to disclose its donors and pay some taxes. None of the Republican groups have said their applications were rejected.
        Progress Texas, another of the organizations, faced the same lines of questioning as the Tea Party groups from the same IRS office that issued letters to the Republican-friendly applicants. A third group, Clean Elections Texas, which supports public funding of campaigns, also received IRS inquiries.”

        Oh and speaking of “misdeeds” by the IRS (which had a George W. Bush appointee running the office in Cincinnati in charge of the investigation by the way), it looks like the IRS inappropriately gave right wing Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS a pass in their investigation.

        “At the same time the IRS was investigating smaller groups applying for 501(c)(4) status, it gave a pass to larger organizations like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS or Bill Burton’s Priorities USA that were allowed to receive anonymous donations — groups that were overtly political and heavily involved in the 2012 campaign.”

        Such outrageous liberal bias! Give it a rest. You lose yet again with your false “facts” Danny Delusional.

      • DanMan says:

        Your WaPo citation doesn’t refute anything I said, only things you say I said. Lois Lerner testified she knew of no targeting of the left. And then she took the 5th. Judicial Watch’s article is by no means outdated, it just took awhile for the FOIA material to be delivered. here’s what’s really funny about you again my angry little fiend, you declare TownHall an inbred wingnut site and then you link WonkBlog, which is a blog funded and distributed by WaPo. Too rich.

        You mention WaPo indentified 3 liberal groups. Care to tell us how many conservative groups were flagged?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        There is no doubt that Lois Lerner is guilty. Her standing on the fifth AFTER she gave broad testimony is very telling. If it wasn’t for that one TEA Party woman who refused to be intimidated we would never have learned how corrupt Obama really is. The ticking continues as will Bubba’s denial.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Your original incorrect “pronouncement” Danny:

        “’all seeing where Lois Lerner not only coordinated suppressing conservative groups prior to the 2012 elections, she did so with both DOJ and the FEC.”

        First of all your source had to correct itself and acknowledge the DOJ contacted Lois Lerner and NOT vice versa. So how is SHE coordinating when she is contacted out of the blue?

        And how is that targeting wingnut groups exclusively as it was claimed when liberal groups were also investigated and ONLY a liberal group got busted and had to pay back taxes?

        Maybe wingnut groups were more willing to violate the IRS rules?

        Again how are they “targeted” when liberal groups were also investigated and ONLY a liberal group was busted. AND Karl Rove’s group got a free pass?

        You’re flailing again Danny. Which is why you gutlessly called for the wingnut posse to join in to beat me by bullying force rather than facts.

        Proud of yourself Danny? No wonder no one in your family likes you.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Awww, Danny screams for help because he is so clueless and unable to factually argue his point so a fellow clueless wingnut steps up for him with more factually challenged crap. This is your cavalry Danny? Custer would feel redeemed.

        One more time buzzy (and get off that false cross already), Lois Lerner apologized for lower level employees inappropriately taking shortcuts to bring down the workload and a George W. Bush appointee Doug Shulman was in charge of that division. And no teabagging groups were penalized (although a liberal group WAS) and Karl Rove’s group was inappropriately given a pass.

        It’a right wing conspiracy by Obama!

        That’s how stupid you sound Danny and buzzy. Par for the course though.

      • DanMan says:

        Typically a coordination would require more than one to accommodate the term. Note the email exchange originating from Lerner. Your ‘out of the blue’ addition is conjecture.

        The original author corrected herself but I had nothing to do with it and her correction did not change the implications of the discovered e-mail and it’s implications.

        Lois Lerner testified she did not target left leaning groups. She is the subject of my post. Bring whatever you want into the discussion but don’t attribute it to me.

        My relationship with my family is fine. How’s your’s now that you bring it up.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Lois Lerner testified she did not target left leaning groups. Or right leaning ones. She admitted they made mistakes in attempting shortcuts to go through their workload. You are focusing on one point in time with an incomplete picture of the situation where a more complete one has been out for a while now now.

        Which only goes to prove you’re a (not very good) wingnut attack troll. And now a gutless backtracking one now that your crap has been proven to be…crap.

        My relationship with my family is better than yours. But that’s not saying much is it Danny? Based on your pathetically sad and telling self aggrandizing overcompensation false anecdotes.

      • texan5142 says:

        kabuzz61 says:
        April 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm
        There is no doubt that Lois Lerner is guilty. Her standing on the fifth AFTER she gave broad testimony is very telling. If it wasn’t for that one TEA Party woman who refused to be intimidated we would never have learned how corrupt Obama really is.

        There is no link to Obama, that is number one, and number two, just because she exercised her rights does not make her guilty. One is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

      • DanMan says:

        hey look! a liberal that still has hope!

      • DanMan says:

        er right bubba, it’s not like we can’t read her quote in the article

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Well, constitutional scholars are saying that since she made a broad on the record statement about this manner, she waived her fifth amendment right due to past court cases where it is determined it is unfair to use the record to declare your innocence but then plead the fifth to keep from answering questions about the issue she brought up.

        I typed that slow so I hope bubba can get some of it.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Glad you acknowledge you can’t read for comprehension Danny. Acceptance is the first step towards recovery.

  5. […] every so often fro the right on how ludicrous the tax code is and how it should be simplified. Protecting you from free tax filing For decades both Republicans and Democrats have campaigned around programs aimed to simplify tax […]

  6. John Galt says:

    Oklahoma’s governor yesterday signed a bill that bans cities and counties in that state from establishing minimum wage laws above the federal level or minimum benefits packages. This was in response to an effort in OKC to raise the minimum wage in that city. This is more evidence that Republicans’ talk of local control is a lot of hot air. What they really want is to concentrate power at the highest level of government controlled by Republicans. The Democrats want the same thing, but are at least slightly more honest about it.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Let’s see, the senate and house representatives elected from every part of the state voted to save small businesses but JG says local control was lost??? I think the efforts in OKC and elsewhere were represented. Plus incorporated cities and towns operate by charter/approval of the state.

      But JG see’s nothing wrong with Obama telling local authorities to leave immigration laws to him.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Local government governs best?

        So, Enid, Oklahoma decides it is best for them to implement a minimum wage that his higher than the prevailing socialist minimum wage, and that local control is taken away from them?

        The representatives from the “rest of the state” out-vote the one representative from Enid, but the folks in Enid know what is best for them, certainly better than the the representatives from OKC who vastly outnumber the representative from Enid.

        Now, that doesn’t sound all that “conservative”.

      • John Galt says:

        It isn’t Obama. Immigration is a federal matter by law and has been for decades. I haven’t heard the GOP suggest changing that to allow the Joe Arpaio’s of the world do this job. Plus, the Obama administration has deported more people than all previous administrations combined, so it is apparently doing a far better job (if that’s how you see it) at immigration enforcement than any of its predecessors.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turning people away at the border is not deporting them, John.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, what Captain said.

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy doesn’t keep up with all the reporting changes Obama is making to make comparisons much to difficult for today’s press to keep up with. ‘Yo Cuffy, he’s also changing the way he counts the uninsured rate, the way he calculates unemployment rates and inflation. Did you miss those details as well?

      • John Galt says:

        Gee, silly me. And I was remembering all those stories about liberal immigration activists who are angry at Obama for deporting so many people. Not refusing them entry, actually deporting them. It’s running at about 390,000 people per year. Again, to emphasize for the deniers: these are people detained IN THE UNITED STATES and then returned to their country of origin. In no year has the Obama administration deported fewer people than the maximum number expelled by any previous president.

        But, hey, Sternn and Dan, you believe whatever you want to. Facts just get in the way of a good narrative of outrage.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      The moderately tired rational against a minimum wage is trotted out here:

      “Most minimum-wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry-level jobs. Many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.”

      That has enough truth mixed in with the misinformation that it allows it to be spun lots of ways.

      While it is true that “many are high school or college students living with parents in middle class families”, the word “many” leads to lots of interpretations, especially when the sentence above used the word “most”.

      About 75% of people earning minimum wage are over the age of 20. It is true that most are single, but about 40% of minimum wage earners over the age of 25 are married.

      Another very important thing to note is that the question is very different if asked:
      “Who earns the minimum wage?” versus the question,
      “Who would be affected by an increase in minimum wage?”

      There are a whole lot of folks who make just over the minimum wage, and those generally aren’t suburban teenagers looking to earn a little walking around money.

      Let’s take a look at who would be affected by a move to $9 an hour:

      about 85% are at least 20 years old.
      About 50% are full-time employees, working at least 35 hours per week.
      Another 35% work between 20 and 34 hours per week

      There Heritage Foundation loves to mention that the majority of people earning minimum wage do not live in a household under the poverty level, and you will hear lots of folks parroting that.

      When you hear that, keep in mind that the poverty level is $23,000 a year for a husband, wife, and two kids. Good luck with that.

      If you are a poor married couple, with one earning $6,000 a year and the other earning $10,000 a year, congratulations, you are not in “poverty”. Good luck developing new skills or getting an education when living on that thin of a margin.

      Undoubtedly, some suburban teenagers would benefit, but over half of the people affected are from families making less than $40k a year and most of those are under $20k a year.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        My the statistical wizard is at it again. It is like having 15 million uninsured and making 200 million insured bow to the 15. How about all the Texas representatives that did not want Obamacare and got it?

        How about the couples living on the minimum wage also getting healthcare, food stamps, electricity adjustments, CHPS, etc. Add all of that up.

        Your picking and choosing is amazing.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Why does anyone care about the age of the worker? The issue should be the perceived value of the work, not the perceived age of the worker.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        So….buzz…let’s raise the minimum wage and then cut some of that gov’t spending.

        That would seem like the more conservative approach.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bobo, that is actually a good point. Do away with the minimum wage and base pay on the value of the work done and what people will accept for that work.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      JG, Obama changed what is considered deportation and that is now holding them at the border then releasing them. Get your facts straight before you eat up the talking points.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…this stream is drying up, but I wanted to jump in on this because I hear your claim so often, yet there is no data to suggest the claim is true.

        It is correct that the Obama administration often counts “removals” and “returns” in their total deportation numbers. It probably is important to note that this method of counting started in the Bush administration rather than as an attempt by Obama to “cook the books” on the numbers.

        When looked at separately, the Obama administration has increased the number of “removals” (this would be what most people think of as deportations) and the number of “returns” turning them away at the border (even if spending a little time in an ICE lockup before being sent home).

        So, Obama increases the number of “returns”, which is a great thing in that the undocumented folks don’t ever get into the country.

        Obama increases the number of “removals”, which you all think is a great thing too.

        I think more importantly, the percentage of removals for people that have criminal convictions has doubled over that found in previous administrations.

        So, Obama is deporting more people, and a greater percentage of those people being deported have other criminal convictions.

        How is this not a great thing?

        So, you will see and hear folks on your side say, “Obama’s deportation numbers are exaggerated because he is lumping together returns and removals”.

        That is exactly true, but then no one ever seems to follow that statement up with, “But even when you separate out the returns and removals, Obama’s numbers are higher, and he’s doing a better job of deporting criminals than did other administrations”.

        No snark here. I understand the need to play political games and to be fast and loose with our words.

        Do you not know the breakdowns of the numbers or do you understand the breakdown but are using a nice soundbite the score political points with people who do not know the breakdown?

        If you have any data that is contrary to what I’ve outlined above, I’d be happy to hear it because I cannot find a bit of data from the right or left that disagrees with those conclusions.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        “Plus, the Obama administration has deported more people than all previous administrations combined, so it is apparently doing a far better job …”

        JG called it deportation. Talk to him HT.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…that is what Obama calls it, what JG calls it, what you call it, and what Bush called it.

        So, I guess my question goes to all of you, but you seem to be the one disagreeing with the numbers, and I’m not sure why.

        My hunch is that most folks on your side (including you) understand the numbers and are simply being disingenuous in an attempt to sway folks who do not understand the numbers.

        Heck, there are conservative groups running ad in Hispanic communities saying “Obama talks about immigration reform, but he is deporting a record number of people each year” at the same time conservative groups are saying “Obama is cooking the books to inflate the reported number of deportations”.

        So yeah, you folks know the numbers, and were it not for politics, would be thrilled with the numbers.

  7. John Galt says:

    Electronic filing is vastly more efficient for the IRS to process. More efficient means they can do the same job with less people and for less money. That’s a win for the taxpayer.

  8. Gee, I certainly trust the IRS to do my taxes. I bet Catherine Engelbrecht does, too.


    And speaking of wonderful “free” compliance assistance from the apparatchiks of the federal Leviathan:

    Had enough guvment yet?

    • texan5142 says:

      Well, three years in a row that I did my taxes the government told me I had made a mistake and they sent me a check for $1000 dollars, so yes, I do trust the IRS to do my taxes. They did not have to say a word, I would not have known.

    • goplifer says:

      So I was wrong…

      • way2gosassy says:

        Or not, everyone I know have had different experiences when dealing with taxes and the IRS.

      • texan5142 says:

        Was this reply for me Chris?

      • texan5142 says:

        Also, is it ever going to warm up, I see it is only 41 in Chicago, 39 in Mankato, Mn. 61 on Saturday will definitely bring out the short pants, tee shirts, and thongs around here. People are just itching to started with spring.

      • DanMan says:

        if it helps you feel better I’ve already mowed my yard more times this year than all of 2011

        btw DanMa’am made a cogent observation that may explain all this persistent cold weather. She noted I had an area of agreement with Obama regarding decriminalizing M13. I believe she said, “perhaps hell is freezing over”.

      • texan5142 says:

        I love mowing my lawn, I have a big yard and I use the time on the rider for reflection and day dreaming.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Sorry Texan it was for Chris =)

  9. geoff1968 says:

    I’m enrolled to practice before the IRS, so I’m deeply involved in the field of taxation. This year I got a few 1099Cs. Word to the wise, insolvency. Complete the form 962 and tell Uncle Sam “Dude, I’m broke.”

    I’ve buried a lot of bodies over the years, and I’ve learned one thing. The Code is your friend.

  10. way2gosassy says:

    Off topic but I have a serious question that may have an effect on taxes. My husband and I are moving to a small town of 288 people in a poor section of Tennessee. We bought a 100 year old home with an acre of land. The house is in excellent condition but could use some modernization and we plan to use local craftsmen to do the work aside from that we know that the local food banks are having a very difficult time keeping up with the demand. I thought that we might be able to augment the food pantry by starting a community garden. Any ideas or advice?

    • CaptSternn says:

      That sounds like a good odea, Way. Good luck with it, and read up on canning to preserve the veggies. My parents have had gardens for years, a summer garden and winter garden, but that would be winter in the Houston area. My mom would do a lot of canning with what we didn’t eat or give away.

      This summer we aren’t having much of a garden. My pop just passed away, so mom only planted a few tomato plants and a couple of bell and jalapeno plants. I didn’t even till, she just kind of raked up two small rows. Maybe next summer I will do more. Maybe this winter. Time will tell.

      Anyway, enough of that. Now if you want advice on how to grow some really, really hot jalapeno peppers, or any other kind of hot pepper that makes them far hotter than normal, I can do that. My jalapenos are usually hotter than store-bought habaneros. They make store-boght jalapenos look like bell peppers.

      FYI, use soaker hoses rather than sprinklers, especially if you have tomato plants. Maybe you already all knew that, so forgive me for making suggestions that you probably don;t need. But you did ask.

      • way2gosassy says:

        The climate there is pretty close to here just a little more seasonal. I already do know how to garden and can. The problem is that food pantries cannot accept food that is home preserved or cooked. They can and do accept fresh veggies ergo the community garden idea. We are not physically capable of doing a garden large enough to do much in the way of donating but I thought that a community garden would add benefits other than food. Fresh air, working to grow your own and making associations within the community. I am just not sure how to get one started.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Sassy, I think it would be cool to be a teacher in a rural community such as the one you describe.

      • way2gosassy says:

        There is an elementary school just down the street there and I thought about volunteering some time there as well.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “The problem is that food pantries cannot accept food that is home preserved or cooked. ”

        Bah! What is up with that? It is like the City of Houston outlawing private charity for the homeless.

        Well, you still have a great idea. Wish you the best of luck.

      • John Galt says:

        I find it sad that homemade stuff is often not welcome at schools and community events. We’ve experienced this at schools. There are a lot of people with food allergies, religious strictures, food fetishes, and simple preferences that will freak out about the unknown ingredients in Grandma’s famous carrot bread. My feeling is that these people should exercise caution at bake sales rather than lawyering up. Unfortunately, this degree of common sense seems to have been lost in modern society.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I agree John but those aren’t the only issues that prevent the use of fresh homemade foods in pantries. It’s the regulatory rules from local and federal health agencies that control everything from content labeling to sanitation and what exactly pantries are allowed to distribute.

        My cousin volunteers at the local church pantry and they get pretty hefty donations from a Panera Bread bakery and local grocers for dry and canned goods. ( Mostly scratch and dent stuff and stuff close to expiration). What most of these folks need more than all these high carb foods is fresh vegetables and meat and fish so they can balance their diets better.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Sassy, since this town you’re moving to has such a small population, I’m guessing local politics is very important and it pays to have connections. Do you know anyone in that town, or will you be arriving as a total stranger? The local regulations may not be that strict to begin with, or not strictly enforced, or how strictly they are enforced may very well depend on who you know. I have heard of FDA inspectors, though, showing up out the blue, dropping in on people selling eggs from their own hens out of their home.

      • Tuttabella says:

        I meant USDA.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Other than my cousins who have only lived in the area for a year and a half I will essentially be a total stranger. Politics in the area are very right wing evangelical and very localized. Being an Independent that leans left on social issues and a little right on fiscal and foreign policy issues I am not sure how well my politics would be received. They tend to have 100% faith in local government and 100% distrust in state and federal government. It’s funny that business regs are practically non existent but regs on charities and charitable organizations are strict and strictly enforced.

    • goplifer says:

      We keep a garden at the church for the food ministry here and it works out pretty well. Never had a problem distributing fresh vegetables. It would become more complex if they were prepared. For example, if we were trying to pickle them. Need permits for that sort of thing because, well, people get hurt. The church kitchen has a regular inspection permit, so we can prepare and serve meals.

      A local charity will probably take the fresh vegetables. It’s a great idea. I’d love to have a patch of land somewhere for a little farm. Sounds like an adventure. A slow adventure…

      • way2gosassy says:

        What I am hoping for is to get it started and then have the people that benefit from it eventually take over the day to day care for the bulk. I would also like to help the long term unemployed with access to a computer and internet access for job hunting and maybe training. The unemployment rate there is almost a percentage point higher than the national average and stubbornly higher in rural areas near the Appalachain foothills.

      • objv says:

        Sassy: If the unemployed have kids on a school lunch program, they are probably eligible for $10/ month internet and a computer for $150 plus tax through programs like the one offered by Comcast.

        Does the area have a library? Free computer and internet use are usually provided there. When my brother-in-law lost his job, he made use of his local library almost every day. In any case, it might be a good idea to work with the library – if there is one – since there is more of a likelihood that they already have internet access and perhaps the space.

    • objv says:

      One interesting alternative to having to use your own land is helping people start small gardens of their own. When I moved to New Mexico last year, the soil on our property was so poor, I had to go to the square foot gardening concept. I was pleasantly surprised at how much produce my two little 4′ x 4′ plots provided. This year, I’m adding another square and looking forward to lots of tomatoes, herbs, cilantro, parsley, peppers, strawberries, Swiss chard and some veggies I haven’t decided on yet. The bunnies or chipmunks got to my lettuce last year, so I’m not sure I will plant any this year.

      The biggest advantage to individual gardens is that the produce is available as soon as it is ripe. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to walk out my back door and cut rosemary, basil, marjoram, thyme and other herbs to be used in meals I am preparing. The small gardens are ideally supposed to be located as close to the house as possible so that they will be tended more often and so that the owner can prune, weed and water without having to walk a long distance. Additionally, the beds can be raised to waist or tabletop level if the gardener has a disability or back problems.

      The initial cost is the biggest drawback – although the author of the Square Foot Gardening book has several ways to keep costs down and has helped set up programs in many third world countries. The biggest cash outlay is for compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. The squares can be built from scrap untreated lumber.

      Last year, I bought the compost I used. This year I started a compost pile and I’ll have to see how that goes. Being out in a rural area has its pluses. Over the last weekend someone my daughter works with asked her to take care of her eight horses, five cats, two dogs and fish. One of the perks of this gig was to be able to take as much horse manure as we wanted to shovel – in this case 30 bags.

      With the last few blog posts being about technology, I had to smile since I was spending most of my time doing things like throwing hay to horses and shoveling manure. This alternated with my sessions trying to finish up taxes. Guess which I enjoyed more.

      • objv says:

        Whoa … I didn’t expect the link to Amazon to take up the whole page … Sorry about that!

      • way2gosassy says:

        It is a town of 288 people and no there is no library closer than ten miles. The soil is fantastic there and the land I am on is flat, which is not the case in most of the area. The unemployed there are long term and most have recently lost benefits as well as a huge chunk of their SNAP benefits. Healthcare in the area really sucks unless you have a good car, insurance or lots of money. Most of the folks fall between the subsidies and medicaid. The population in this area is either elderly or very young and the resources for many in the area are limited.

      • way2gosassy says:

        The other thing is about becoming a contributing member to my new community in a constructive way.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Sassy, it’s great that you’re doing that. Not just benefitting from living in the community but contributing as well.

        You said in your original post that this would have an effect on taxes. How’s that? Would you get a tax break of some sort?

      • way2gosassy says:

        I am not sure Tutt, I wouldn’t think it would be any different than any other charitable donation. ( I don’t even know how that would be calculated though typically I don’t even claim that deduction) I was thinking that I would most likely have to insure for a greater liability as well as an initial cash outlay for equipment and such that may or may not be deductible. Talking about my idea to some friends they suggested that there may some tax liabilities imposed by the county for “improvements”. Taxes be hard to figure Tutt! But in the grand scheme of things I’m pretty sure I’ll do it any way.

      • objv says:

        Sassy: I’m not an accountant but I take charitable deductions on our family taxes every year. The important thing to remember is that in order to be deductible, charitable contributions (money and goods) have to be given to a qualified organization recognized by the IRS. In case of an audit, you need to have some kind of receipt. Of course, as you mentioned, it is much smarter to take the standard deduction if you don’t have enough other deductions to make it worthwhile to itemize.

        Since contributions other than to qualified organizations – no matter how worthwhile – are not deductible, I would suggest seeing if any of the local food pantries are set up as nonprofit organizations. If they are they could give you a receipt for any goods you donate. As far as potentially setting up a charitable organization for your community garden, you would have to consult an accountant and possibly a lawyer. I admit to completely being out of my depth on that.

        Good luck, Sassy. I’m excited for you.

    • DanMan says:

      “Due partly to technological innovation, we already have a situation where less work is spread among more people, and this phenomenon will increase in the future.” That’s the government your describing.

      Pretty light on details. Where does the money come from to give this income away? If we’re spending $1 trillion now that’s about $3,000/year. And using Brazil as an example of a great economy may need a little tweaking.

    • way2gosassy says:

      I think he’s safe as he always attributes his work.

  11. Crogged says:

    And for the previous entry asking where the growth…….

    And yes, Mr. Baldwin is (insert Kelsey Grammar baritone voice dropping an octave) “loathsome.”

    • DanMan says:

      a sad article from a sad source…wah

      But on that note! I saw a 1964 Ford GT40 sell for over $7 million at the Mecum auction this weekend. And a pristine 1967 Corvette brought $750,000. I was a driver again this year and got to run some really cool cars around the place.

      • Crogged says:

        After I totaled my father’s ’67 Mustang in 197_……well, I’m lucky I’m a father myself.

      • DanMan says:

        ouch! I recall a kid a grade ahead of me took his dad’s 1967 Mustang CS out for a final spin before he handed over the keys to a buyer. He was ripping down a closed road that was being constructed. He didn’t see a section was not poured but there was road on both sides.. Ripped out the bottom of it and broke both his knees.

        You didn’t live in Tanglewilde did you?

  12. objv says:

    Well, you are lucky duckies for getting off so easily. I finally e-filed my taxes yesterday and have already had to amend them this morning. Usually, our family taxes are complicated, but at least this year, we didn’t have to pay exorbitant New Jersey taxes and be sent into alternative minimum tax Hades like the the previous two years.

    I would love for the government to simplify the tax code and have easy, free tax preparation available for everyone, but if the Obamacare website is any indication, it would be cheaper for the taxpayer and less of a hassle to continue to use companies like Turbo Tax which offer an easy user interface.

  13. tuttabellamia says:

    My taxes are simple so I just pick up the form and instruction booklet from my local public library and complete my tax return by hand and send it in by regular mail. I always declare zero exemptions throughout the year so I always get a refund, and I don’t mind waiting 6 weeks or so for my check. Cap frowns on my letting the government earn interest on my money but that’s how i’ve always done it, and i’ve gotten accustomed to getting a refund every year.

    • DanMan says:

      It infuriates me to get a refund. Its the same feeling I get if a check bounces, I have to pay interest on a credit card or I get charged a late fee. Sometimes I pay by August 15th but usually its October. Extensions are your friend.

      • objv says:

        DanMan: Don’t you have to pay interest when filing late? Last year, I filed in August since I didn’t have all the info I needed. I sent the IRS a hefty check in April but still had interest and penalties on the portion I still owed in federal and state taxes.

      • DanMan says:

        We don’t do state taxes here and nope, I don’t pay penalties to the feds if I pay by October 15th. April 15th is the filing deadline, not the payment deadline.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It doesn’t “infuriate” me to get a refund. I would rather pay $100 or get $100 back or break even, be right on the line. But for some reason I got over $900 back this year. Not sure how that happened, all the info is right to make it break even and I don’t like giving the federal government an interest free loan. But then again, hey, I got almost $1,000 back that I wasn’t expecting. Hell of a lot better than when I came up short one year and $2.000 owed turned into almost $8,000 paid. Talk about just giving the federal government free money …

      • DanMan says:

        yeow! that’s a bummer cap. I know when I sold one of my businesses to a local outfit and went to work for them it took at least three years to get the taxes straightened out but I didn’t pay any penalties.

        I’m returning to those ways of averaging and extensions though but whenever possible I try to keep my final check to a manageable level. Heck if I didn’t they’d fine me for that! I’ve had recent refunds but it was because of house sells or some such thing and I am not savvy enough to be that tight with my taxes.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Tough times, Dan. I rode the dot com boom and prospered. I knew it was doomed to crash. I failed to read the timing and impact on myself. Meh, I recovered and moved on to a change of career and am doing fine again. Failure happens. Fall off the horse, get back on again, even if it is a different horse. Accept the responsibility for the failures, pay the dues, get up and go again.

        That is what the leftists don’t seem to understand, where they don;t want to accept responsibilty, take the risk and reap the rewards and sometimes deal with the consequences. Much less take the actions and responsibilities to recover and thrive in the end.

  14. DanMan says:

    I know someone in the tax refund business. He’s been doing this for several years and it’s quite fascinating. The business would not exist were it not for the lucrative EITC program. Pretty amazing to see people give away 30% of their tax refund to get their hands on it quickly and then you realize…they are getting 70% of their money now for nothing at all.

    And now that the g’ment has made it so streamlined and he is able to quickly confirm who will receive their stipend he carries no risk. He takes out a multi-million balloon note on a short term and peels off a nice amount for his efforts of about 2 months/year and enjoys the rest of his time pursuing a little white ball at courses all over the US.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      It’s called desperation Danny. Poor people who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit are poor so they need the money desperately to the point of giving part of it away to get it earlier. Hence the lucrative business of unregulated payday loans at loanshark rates. Don’t think they get too many clients from River Oaks.

      But to insular self absorbed Danny, it’s all about what he can do for himself only and any of his taxes that have to go to others, are for “those nasty money grubbing freeloaders”.

      Whatever makes you happy Danny. If that really does. You sound like a very unhappy dude externalizing your self hate. Whatever gets you through the night Danny.

  15. way2gosassy says:

    The plus side to using software to do simple tax filings is that I don’t have to “tax” my brain to determine what is allowable and what is not and for most folks that is preferable than standing in a line somewhere with a box full of documents and paying a per page fee for a service in which neither method are a guarantee against being audited. For myself I would much prefer to eliminate the middleman and go directly to the source, you are going to pay those taxes regardless so why pay additional fees to get it done?

  16. CaptSternn says:

    It has always been free to file federal income tax reports. Pick up the forms and books, fill them out, send them in. Well, it did cost the price of a stamp. For years it has been easy to file online for free. So where have the efforts to block it been successful?

    • kabuzz61 says:

      They haven’t. My guess is Chris got hit with a huge tax liability after spending a lot of money on his CPA.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Hmmm…we could take the time to gently disparage the author of the post who so kindly writes things about which we can talk or we could fire up the google machine and learn…

      “Intuit has spent about $11.5 million on federal lobbying in the past five years — more than Apple or Amazon. Although the lobbying spans a range of issues, Intuit’s disclosures pointedly note that the company “opposes IRS government tax preparation.”

      The disclosures show that Intuit as recently as 2011 lobbied on two bills, both of which died, that would have allowed many taxpayers to file pre-filled returns for free. The company also lobbied on bills in 2007 and 2011 that would have barred the Treasury Department, which includes the IRS, from initiating return-free filing.”

      Or you know, Lifer has a bad CPA.

      • DanMan says:

        It appears Buzz is answering Cap’s question about filing for free and you are injecting preparing for free. Intuit’s software prepares a document to be filed. Intuit’s position makes perfect sense. In his opening sentence our humble host has squirrelled the accusation of malfeasance in the same way you have.

      • Crogged says:

        A distinction without a difference. I just paid one of the online services twelve bucks for their ‘help’, of which I would have gladly contributed the entire amount to all federal election campaigns and spared the the Koch’s and the Soros clan (unfair and balanced am I) all the trouble they go to in injecting their millions into politics……….but I do realize making government more efficient does take some rhetorical steam out of some political postures.

      • texan5142 says:

        I am with Crogged…..what he said.

      • DanMan says:

        a distinction without a difference? really? wonder what would happen if you filled out your forms without filing them or filing a form with no income and tax data included.

      • Crogged says:

        Meaning the data is the IRS’s data (thus their intellectual property)–and they could just as easily give us the same forms and processes while Intuit et al figure out a new way to make their money. They enjoyed the ride and contributed to a streamlining of the American way of life, raise a toast to Intuit and see how much of the tab they’re wiling to pick up…….

      • DanMan says:

        the IRS owns intellectual property?

      • Tuttabella says:

        HT, just think, Lent’s almost over, and as of midnight Sunday you’ll be able to release all that pent up snark.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…you know, like many religious convictions, it may not have held at 100%.

        It was more a “reduce snark” rather than “give up snark” type of vow.

        With that said, making a conscious decision not to engage particular folks probably has been a good thing and not something to end just because there is an anniversary of a tiny bunny moving a big rock out of way.

      • Tuttabella says:

        HT, I’ve noticed an overall decrease in negativity on Chris’s blog recently. I don’t know what’s gotten into people, but I like it.

      • DanMan says:

        Its likely because he can’t forward his democrat talking points as suggestions for improvements in a party he doesn’t support. Dems across the board are talking about everything except their record, votes, results of same and such.

      • Tuttabella says:

        I notice certain negative people are absent, and some negative people who are present are less negative than usual.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…I have a hunch is it the most recent topics rather than an semi-religious conversion for folks. We’ve had a string of more “future” oriented posts with a focus on technology changes.

        With an election coming up, many idiots will be in front of lots of people saying idiotic things and taking idiotic positions. There will be lots of meat to toss to us savages.

      • Tuttabella says:

        HT, I’ve also noticed Chris hasn’t been throwing in his usual but often arbitrary snarky reference to the Far Right in his most recent posts.

        As in something like: “Wow, check out all this exponential technological growth. Too bad the Far Right is screwing everything up.”

        It’s like he throws it in just to spice things up. I haven’t seen much of that, nor have I seen any lurid titles to his blog recently.

        Personally, I love to discuss the effects of technology on society, and I’m enjoying the decrease in meat tossing on Chris’s part, the overall decrease in negative tone from everyone.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tutt I believe you have one sided blinders on “negativity” on this blog.

        DanMan says:
        April 16, 2014 at 9:38 am
        “Its likely because he can’t forward his democrat talking points as suggestions for improvements in a party he doesn’t support. Dems across the board are talking about everything except their record, votes, results of same and such.”

        This was right below your post on lack of negativity, refuting your comment and yet you did not address it all. And I guess you also ignored buzzy’s snide remark about Chris’ “bad CPA” motivating this blog post.

        And don’t even get me started on your Cappy’s attacks.

        If you were more honestly balanced about your “observations” it would have more legitimacy than another mere partisan attack masquerading as “observation”.

      • DanMan says:

        not only does bubba have selective outrage, he insists on selecting everyone else’s outrage

      • Tuttabella says:

        Bubba wrote: “This was right below your post on lack of negativity.”
        Tutt replied: I said nothing about a total “lack” of negativity, only an “overall decrease” in negativity, and negative people being “less negative than usual.”

        Thanks for your own negative contribution, Bubba. You would do well to learn from Dan. His negativity has a certain charm that your own negativity lacks. You’re obsessed with perfect symmetry. If it’s said about one side, it must be said about the other, or else you’re not satisfied. Well, there is no such thing as perfect symmetry, or total consistency. Look within yourself and tell us whether you are perfectly symmetrical and consistent in all your views and comments.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Ok, now that I’ve said something nice about Dan and mean about Bubba, in order to be perfectly symmetrical and fair, I now have to come up with something mean about Dan and nice about Bubba, in the same post.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…please understand that I understand you have not a care in the world regarding how I feel about you.

        Your comment above has to be the most disappointing comment I’ve read from you.

        Racist homophobia generally is far from “charm” even if attempted with jokes or when used for shock value.

      • DanMan says:

        Hey! HoustonTraveller and I agree on something! yay!

      • Tuttabella says:

        HT, I may not be heartbroken, but it does hurt a teensy bit to be thought less of.

        There. I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

        I don’t think Dan is racist or homophobic. He’s just misunderstood.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tuttabella says:
        April 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm
        “I don’t think Dan is racist or homophobic. He’s just misunderstood.”

        Again with the weak insipid excuses for biased acceptance of “negativity” when he’s an asshole who agrees with you politically. You can say or do what you want but don’t try to represent yourself as virtuous or above the fray when you’re not.

        At least be honest about your blatant biases. Like I am.

      • Tuttabella says:

        “He’s just misunderstood.”
        Bubba, do you not see the humor in that phrase?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tutt, it’s hard to know when a written comment is meant to be “humorous” or sarcastic, particularly in the context of your previous posts on the topic.

      • DanMan says:

        Not sure what escalated but responding to bubba is what it is. He has no ground in any reality I recognize and flies of the rails so easy I almost feel like I could be charged with abuse just for engaging him. Remember the kid in 2nd grade that peed his pants and was picked on for the rest of the year? That’s our bubba. You kind of feel sorry for him but then he spitballs you and gives you reason to ridicule him.

        But as long as he’s as comfortable with himself as I am with myself I can’t see the harm in watching him get worked up. I’ve gone days ignoring him and will do so again from time to time.

        I’ve got some great material to drop on him but the ones I’ve let out caused such vapors among him and the rucas posse I hesitate to go there again. Watching him fall out over that Dave Chapelle Disney World line was pretty funny though.

        And his projection of himself onto me is kind of a weird deal but again, that’s our bubba.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        DanMan says:
        April 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm
        “He has no ground in any reality I recognize”. And for that I am damn glad and proud. Especially since your “reality” you have to pay $50/hour to escape from/cure/resolve/etc.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        DanMan says:
        April 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm
        “I’ve got some great material to drop on him but the ones I’ve let out caused such vapors among him and the rucas posse I hesitate to go there again. ”

        Suuuuuure Danny. Just out of sheer “consideration” you “hesitate to go there”.

        Thumb suck all you want in your deluded “reality” Danny. We all know how pathetic you are and when you get owned. Especially when your “best comeback” is “I’ve got the goods on you, don’t make me use it”.

        That bluff didn’t work for you in the playground in 2nd grade Danny. But if that is all you have left, well isn’t that special?

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Tuttabella says:
      April 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

      “Thanks for your own negative contribution, Bubba. You would do well to learn from Dan. His negativity has a certain charm that your own negativity lacks. You’re obsessed with perfect symmetry. If it’s said about one side, it must be said about the other, or else you’re not satisfied.”

      Yes Tutt. It’s called balance. Don’t pretend to be when you’re not. That was my point.

      “His [Dan] negativity has a certain charm that your own negativity lacks.”?

      Wow that is about as blatantly biased as it gets. My asshole is “charming” and the others are not? Really?

      And glad that Danny finally agrees with Houston and acknowledges he is a total Douche.

      “Charming” or otherwise Tutt.

      Oh and by the way, a sinusoid is a naturally occurring function in nature. So there goes your argument about symmetry and balance not occurring in nature.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Bubba, have I ever said I’m balanced? I TRY to be balanced most of the time, but sometimes I enjoy making the occasional outrageous, unbalanced comment, just for fun. Are you going to rob me of that?

        And yes, Dan’s negativity has a certain charm. That’s not a partisan opinion. That is just a fact.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I think Bubba got his feelings hurt. Maybe you should say he has some “charm” too, Tutt?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And I like to call you on it for the hypocrisy of your trolling Tutt. Are YOU going to rob ME of that?

        Anyone can say or do what they want. Whether you agree with it or not. Not just you Tutt. Isn’t that what a free and open forum means?

        You generically claimed there was less negativity despite Dan, and Buzz, and Cappy spewing their usual attacks so that is just a disingenuous way of stating your partisan biases without claiming to be partisan. Why didn’t you just say there was less left wing negativity? Because you wanted to leave a different impression of yourself.

        And you can call a stinking pile of crap a rose all you want. It will still stink badly like the pile of crap it is. But that’s your prerogative. And my prerogative is to not agree with your false pronouncements. And to state as such.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cap, I already told you that you can’t even make sense speaking for yourself so don’t speak for me.

        I would prefer blatant assholes not be sugarcoated as “charming”. Left or right.

        Got that Cap? Now go piss off and embarrass some more real conservatives with your convoluted “reasoning”.

      • DanMan says:

        The world according to bubba. Fascinating in an incorrigible 4 year old kind of way.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, there has been a lot less negativity, Bubba, despite your best efforts. No wonder Dan calls you part of the “Rucas Squad”. Tutt didn’t do anything to provoke his trolling of her either.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        The world according to Danny. Pathetic in an insecure neurotic kind of way.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Anyone can say or do what they want. Whether you agree with it or not. Not just you Tutt. Isn’t that what a free and open forum means?” – Bubba

        And then turns right around and demands that somebody else leave. Now that there is funny, I don’t care who you are.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes Cappy, you have to defend your woman and I admire that.

        This is an open forum. Everyone can state their opinion. Tutt compared herself to Rosa Parks. Rucas basically said you’re no Rosa Parks. And he is entitled to his opinion. Bias, perspective of whatever anyone calls it. It is NOT trolling.

        I found Rucas “charming”.

        One more time, a rose by any other name…and the converse applies also.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        CaptSternn says:
        April 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm
        “And then turns right around and demands that somebody else leave. Now that there is funny, I don’t care who you are.”

        And Cappy proves he still can’t read for comprehension. Where have I “demanded” anyone “leave”?

        I’m sure Cappy will find some comment and mangle it to suit his biases and false persecution complex. Go for it Cappy. You will only further embarrass and marginalize yourself.

      • DanMan says:

        Well if I trolled Tuttabella I sure didn’t know it or mean to.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Rucas admitted that all he wanted to do was hurt and upset people before that was all over. I am guessing it works the same for you, Bubba. But you can’t bring yourself to admit it openly.

      • DanMan says:

        Speaking of rucas, has anybody checked the snow banks up there?

      • Tuttabella says:

        Bubba asked Tutt: “Why didn’t you just say there was less left wing negativity?”

        Because I was referring to both sides. Kabuzz and Cap have toned it down, and even you (Bubba) and Owl, of all people, had toned it down.

        Bubba, why did YOU not demand that I just say there was less RIGHT wing negativity? Methinks you’re showing your own partisan bias.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Can you please provide the direct quote where Rucas “admitted to trolling”?

        Forgive me if I don’t trust your “interpretation of anything one damn iota Cappy.

        Speaking of which, where is your verbatim quoted proof I “demanded” anyone “leave” Cappy?

        Not going to let you lie and throw a grenade and walk away pretending you never threw it.

      • Tuttabella says:

        A “Rosa” by any other name?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bubba isn’t having a good day. All the talk of gardening and contributing to the local communities seems to upset Bubba, all these people just getting along.

      • DanMan says:

        Not that he needs any help but to save the Cap the strain of callouses on his fingers

        “Got that Cap? Now go piss off and…”

      • Tuttabella says:

        Even Rucas can be charming when he wants to be.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tuttabella says:
        April 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm
        “bba, why did YOU not demand that I just say there was less RIGHT wing negativity? Methinks you’re showing your own partisan bias.”

        Tutt, being disingenuous might work on your slower right wing brethren but not me. You spent most of your initial post claiming Chris was less snarky with the Tea Party and then you claimed certain negative posters are not posting despite Dan, Cap, Kabuzz, and OV still posting their “negativity”. So how is THAT to be interpreted? Are you perhaps referring to bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis not posting? Riiiiiight. Why don’t you come out and say who it is and to see if there is not a bias.

        Tutt I never claimed to be non partisan. I have stated many a times here I am a liberal. You’re not paying attention apparently. Back to the point at hand. Let’s see who you were referring to as to not posting “negativity” lately.

      • DanMan says:

        hey y’all, keep your heads covered. Bubba’s digging from the top of the thread too.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        DanMan says:
        April 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm
        Not that he needs any help but to save the Cap the strain of callouses on his fingers

        “Got that Cap? Now go piss off and…”

        Nice try at willful misrepresentation with the ellipse Danny Douche. Now what were my COMPLETE comments in full and and in context?

        Why THIS is what I REALLY said:

        “Cap, I already told you that you can’t even make sense speaking for yourself so don’t speak for me.

        I would prefer blatant assholes not be sugarcoated as “charming”. Left or right.

        Got that Cap? Now go piss off and embarrass some more real conservatives with your convoluted ‘reasoning’.”

        I told Cap not to interpret my own words for me and to go annoy poor fitty again with his nonsense. NOWHERE did I “demand[s] that somebody else leave” to Cappy or anyone.

        Charming my ass. You’re just a pathetic lying asshole Danny. Cappy just lies and is willfully obtuse. You look great next to Danny, Cappy.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        DanMan says:
        April 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm
        “hey[sic] y’all, keep your heads covered. Bubba’s digging from the top of the thread too.”

        Awwwww, Danny Dunce got owned with real facts one on one so he calls out the wingnut troll posse for assistance to bully me with other wingnuts by sheer force of numbers rather than facts. Go for it. Your lack of courage is telling (and expected) Danny. Nothing surprises me coming from you Danny. The truth shall set you free.

      • DanMan says:

        oh look! he links his own quotes too. He must really mean it or something.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Oh look Danny got called out for being a blatant liar and this pathetic snarky but meaningless diversionary response was the best he could come up with.

        You intentionally and willfully lied and misrepresented my words Danny.

        Proving yet again what an ass and a douche you are. “Charming” or otherwise.

        Own it loud and proud as that is all you will pathetically be Danny.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So Cappy, you are going to use Danny as your sacrificial idiot and not provide proof I “demanded” you or anyone “leave” or that Rucas “admitted to trolling”?

        Great “friend” you have there Danny. I would make sure you pay to reinforce the backside of your Kevlar vest rather than the front side. Especially when hanging with your “loyal” brethren.

      • DanMan says:

        looks like bubba is in that place again, my work here is done

      • CaptSternn says:

        Dan doesn’t need my help, Bubba. When you tell a person to go, well, you are telling a person to go. I don’t care if you believe what Rucas said or not, and I am not here to try to ruin your day.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Can’t back it up can you Cappy? So you crab sideways to avoid acknowledging you were wrong. Real “brave” of you too Cappy.

        And DanTroll admits that trolling is the only purpose of his postings. All sorts of self disclosures by Danny today. Must be trying to achieve some sort of redemption after my putting a mirror to his ugly face on the boards today.

        Acceptance and self awareness. Baby steps but progress. Good for you Danny!

      • DanMan says:

        Hosanna! I am worthy according to bubba

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yep, Bubba, Dan just said pretty much about his posts to you as Rucas said about his posts to Tutt. This is why I often tell you to go back to trolling Dan, because that is about all you do and he not only puts up with t but will throw it back at you. So, go back to trolling Dan.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I guess that is about as close to an honest admission the he was wrong as I’ll get from Cappy. Still more than what I expected of him.

        And Danny, don’t blow your wad just yet. I said you were making progress. You’ve got quite a ways to go before reaching nirvana. And listening to Kurt Cobain won’t get you any closer by the way.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Well, that escalated kinda quickly.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Indeed, HT.

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