Today is Tax Day…

…and millions are suffering from the same lobbyist-controlled mess that creates excessive noise and other aviation impacts. Here’s a comparison:

My 2016 Tax Experience

I have always done my own taxes, using paper forms. My taxes are simple, and yet they get more and more nerve-wracking each year. As I approached the deadline this year, I actually entertained filing electronically, but only because the IRS website had a glitch causing one form to not download. I needed a PDF copy of the Schedule A form. There were other copies available, but access required me to sign up with parasitic tax-related dot-com websites, which seemed like a bad idea. Alternatively, I considered driving into town, firing up the car just to get one piece of paper. That seemed wrong so, with encouragement from the irs.gov website, I chose to follow a click-trail and began online filing, using Intuit Turbo Tax.

Now, this was supposed to be a free filing service. Free. That seemed fair and familiar, too; my annual cost to file has always been zero, for nearly forty years. So, I spent a few hours inserting bits of data, into a long click-trail of windows. I was unable to see the full picture, how any piece of data fit with any other piece of data; it was kind of like viewing the world through the eye of a needle. It felt very disconnected, the same way tweeting too often can make the whole world start to become an unfocused blur.

A couple hours into this process, a new window popped open, telling me I had to pay $30 to go any further. My instinct was, OK, let me just gather all the data I gave you and go elsewhere. But I couldn’t; the software was designed to NOT ALLOW access to my data until I paid. I took a short break. When I returned, I went back and inserted more data, hoping it would resolve the ‘pay $30’ problem. I was then told I had to pay $55 to go any further. I momentarily entertained throwing my laptop out the window, but thankfully dismissed that idea. A calm began to return when simplicity prevailed: I resolved I would get the paper forms and do what I always have: submit a paper filing.

How is this Just Like the Av-Gov Complex?

The evolving income-tax filing scenario shows how lobbyists are guiding the regulator (IRS), in what effectively is a ‘collaboration’ that further empowers the industry while diminishing the powers of the citizens. Exactly the same pattern we see with FAA, over and over again.

Just as we find it more and more difficult each year to fulfill our tax-filing responsibilities, so too we find it more and more impossible each year to be good citizens, meaningfully engaged in the process of ensuring a proper balance between air commerce and local quality of life. The lobbyists, particularly Airlines for America (A4A) with their huge push for the near-total waste of NextGen implementation, simply own FAA; they are doing everything they can to destroy our rights as individual citizens, and this includes destroying our critical responsibilities to participate in a vibrant Democracy. Intuit, A4A, and others who lobby our agencies and our elected officials are killing the Middle Class, just as surely as they are killing Democracy. All for greed.

This is why we need reform. This is why entrenched establishment politicians – from both major parties – need to be voted out, replaced with individuals who care, who will not be owned by corporations and money.