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.


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