Why don’t taxpayers get draft income tax returns like credit card bills?

Anna Massoglia, the Editorial & Investigations Manager for OpenSecrets, discusses their work with Radio Active Magazine regular Spencer Graves.  The discussion includes documentation by OpenSecrets of why most taxpayers don’t receive in the mail a draft income tax return like a credit card bill.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gets all the information required to do that for most taxpayers.  OpenSecrets follows the money in campaign finance and lobbying.  Their data document how politicians get elected to ensure that taxpayers are tortured unnecessarily every year, because it’s much cheaper for Intuit and other companies involved in tax preparations to make campaign contributions beyond the means of ordinary taxpayers and pay expensive lobbyists to make sure our elected officials protect the special interests of those corporations against the well being of the vast majority of the US population.  This is bribery by any sense of the word, except for the strictly legal definition.  

The major media have a conflict of interest in reporting on this in two ways:

  1. Major media are recipients of similar largess. They have massive campaign contribution and lobbying budgets and get great favors from congress in copyright law and tax exemptions, which are routinely un- or under-reported.  (Unfortunately, everyone thinks they know more than they do, and few people notice when a media organization underreports issues for which they have a conflict of interest.)  
  2. Media corporations could offend some of their major advertisers by honestly reporting on the favors their advertisers get from local, state and federal governmental bodies.  They can only afford to inform the public of legalized bribery if threatened with massive loss of audience from failing to report.  (And few people notice when a media underreports issues for which they have a conflict of interest.)  

Copyleft 2023 Anna Massoglia and Spencer Graves, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 international license

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