On Tax Day, everyone's mad about something.
Tea Partiers mark this as their symbolic anniversary. Yet rather than celebrating with joy, they observe it with anger - angry at the size of government, the direction of our country and the perceived wrongs of how tax dollars are spent.
The Left is also showing it's mad-as-hell and not going to take it anymore. The Occupy Wall Street "Money out of Politics" and "Political Action" working groups are gathering at the steps of the Farley Post Office to demand the 1 percent pay their fair share. MoveOn members are hosting a separate gathering targeting Bank of America,
The Tax Day intensity isn't just seen in the streets. Senate Democrats funneled the energy of the 99 percent into a push for the Buffett Rule yesterday, a policy that would require the highest-earners to invest more back in our country's coffers. Senate Republicans, unsurprisingly, blocked a vote on this proposal.
CREDO Action, the progressive online powerhouse, went further than the Democratic Party, rallying members behind a petition arguing the Buffett Rule isn't enough. And the two parties' presumptive Presidential nominees have spent the weekend talking tax fairness and tax returns.
But I'm mad at something else this Tax Day: the widely-circulated report on how lobbying-created corporate corruption has made our taxes more complicated and expensive to file. I am someone who doesn't mind contributing to my country via taxes (I'm no Warren Buffett, but we should all pay our fair share) but like most Americans I can't stand filing. It's stressful, time-consuming, costly, and leaves me with negative feelings toward what is essentially a patriotic act: Investing in America.
The IRS already receives a tremendous amount of information from employers and financial institutions, and Congress could direct it to take steps that would save Americans 200 million hours of tax preparation and two billion dollars. But lobbyists have made sure Americans don't see these savings.
Now, like friends on the right and left, I'm mad on Tax Day too. And while OWSers, Tea Partiers, MoveOners and Club for Growthers may all have directed their energy on somewhat different targets, I'd encourage them all send some outrage at the tax preparation industry lobby. That would allow us, on this Tax Day, to all agree on something.
And for those of you who'd rather not be mad, there is an alternative… a guerilla drive-in protest against corporate tax dodger GE sounds like one set of organizers decided to express political frustration with a smile.