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.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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