Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The IRS has proposed an experiment in which millions of Americans can submit simple, pre-filled tax returns. One would hope the IRS finds the test positive and saves filers an annual headache. But, one company sees it as a threat to its business and is lobbying against it -- Intuit, the maker of TurboTax. Rather than opposing it in the open, it has been using lobbying shills who are doing its work for it without attribution. They have sparked a faux grassroots campaign to protest the IRS action. Apparently Intuit doesn't want to be seen as against a program that might benefit Americans, but it does want to kill it. There is a cliche that describes this -- trying to be half-pregnant. If one is opposed, it is better to say so publicly and make the argument even if the rationale is self-serving. Sneaking around is bound to be outed, as it was in this case. Not only does Intuit come off as self-interested, which it has a right to be, but it seems craven. The campaign has backfired on the company, as it should have. Maybe now, it will present its case to the public transparently.