January 14, 2008

brilliantly obvious policy

I was reading Barack Obama's website in search of more reasons to convince the Political Schmientist to support him, and came across two proposals that are the kind of thing that make you go, why haven't we been doing that for years?!

First, he proposes that instead of spending hours and hours calculating your taxes, the IRS take the W-2 and investment information that businesses already send them, do a data merge, and send you a preprinted tax return to verify and sign. If you want to do it yourself, you still can.

Second, and this is maybe even more genius, he's proposing having a checkbox on your tax return that will authorize the IRS to use your tax information for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, instead of making you spend hours filling out a separate form.

They're technically simple enough not to get screwed up in implementation, and they make perfect sense. Why don't we do them already?