That’s a Mighty Big Postcard, Mr. Ryan

Matt Yglesias has unkind words today for Paul Ryan’s alleged “tax return on a postcard.” As he notes, we pretty much already have this in the Form 1040EZ, which would fit on a postcard if it weren’t for added fluff like room for your name and address and spaces for you to sign at the bottom. If anything, though, I think Yglesias is too kind. Here is my annotated version of Ryan’s postcard:

In other words, cut the crap. If you have simple wage income and take the standard deduction, your taxes are already postcard simple. For anyone else, the tricky part is calculating your income based on the rules passed by Congress and enforced by the IRS. Ryan’s postcard does nothing to change that, which means that in real life your postcard will be accompanied by dozens or hundreds of pages of additional worksheets, schedules, and references.

But who cares, right? Honesty is for suckers these days.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate