Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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Amusing subject line that alludes to the topic of this entry.

There are few people more rah-rah America than I am, but I'll admit right up front that one of this country's faults is how frequently some company enlists government support to keep its business model functioning long past the sell-by date. In this case I'm thinking of the Internal Revenue Service, and how thanks to lobbying by tax preparation companies they have not set up any kind of electronic filing: which is to say you can file electronically, as long as you're willing to hand over forty bucks to some bunch of bottom-feeders for the privilege of sending way fewer bits than it costs to transmit their corporate logo. It really struck home how little sense that makes as (for reasons too boring to go into) I was using one of those fill-in PDF forms to do my 1040. It offers no advantage over paper forms: you just click in fields and type in the numbers, instead of writing them with a pen. You still have to do all the math yourself, then print it out and drop it in the mail. But for cryin' out loud, this obsolete iBook in front of me has more computing power than the entire planet did in 1965, is it beyond the realm of possibility that the form could at least do all that subtract-line-5-from-line-6-then-go-to-line-8 crap for me, and then I could send the result to a web site? Apparently so, he grumbled. Wouldn't want to wreck TurboTax's business model.

Sooo anyway I owe the Feds $511. And the august state of Illinois $69. I shouldn't complain about not getting a refund, because what that really means is that I got to temporarily keep an extra $511 and earned a few bucks in interest on it instead of the government earning interest on my money then handing it back half a year later. But it's interesting how one's psychological reaction is exactly the reverse.

On the plus side of the ledger, I did have corn on the cob for dinner tonight that I cooked myself. It may not sound like much to the more cooking-enabled among you, but trust me, a new recipe no matter how simple is always a big step for me. Note to self: next time it would be handy to have one of those grabby things for taking the corn out of the pot, and some of those pointy things for holding the corn without burning yourself. Also, steam up some baby carrots or something to add variety. But as a proof of concept it was still very tasty.
Tags: news of the world, personal
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