The Slatest

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Enough With the Freakin’ Tax Postcards

Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and House Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady at the White House on Thursday.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Today’s column is, well, not directly related to the question of Donald Trump’s impeachment. I have to write this thing almost every day, people; sometimes there are going to be tangents. And right now, I have something to say, which is: Enough with the tax postcards.

You can see what I’m talking about above. It’s Trump holding up the card upon which you’ll supposedly be able to do your taxes if the Republicans’ new bill passes.

Screen shot/Republicans

This has been a trope at least since bajillionaire heir Steve Forbes spent several years in the late ‘90s trying to launch a political career premised entirely on the idea that he should pay less in taxes on the income he earned fair and square by being a rich guy’s grandson. The postcard thing was his big selling point—taxes would be so simple you’d just need to fill out this one little card!—and now it’s back.

Here are my problems with the situation:

1. The thing that Trump is holding above is clearly bigger than a postcard.

2. Several of the lines involve deductions which would obviously require an extra worksheet, so you wouldn’t really be doing your taxes “on a postcard,” even a weird big postcard.

3. 1925 called and wants the concept of doing your taxes by mailing a piece of actual paper to the IRS back. E-filing, y’all!

4. The 1040EZ is 14 lines already! They are trying to sell a simplification of the tax code that cuts zero lines from the current existing basic tax form. The “postcard” above, moreover, is obviously not a working model, because it doesn’t include the personal or bank information the IRS would actually need to process your return. Which is the stuff that makes the 1040EZ longer than a postcard in the first place.

Go to hell, postcard!

Today’s meter level is lower than yesterday’s because sometimes the night blogger takes a turn writing the Impeach-O-Meter and gets a little frisky—blogging after dark and all—and raises the meter to 60 percent, which you feel is just a little excessive right now.