This article was originally published on Humorality, on November 23, 2009.
YouTube May Take Over Education Department
At a Treasury Department press briefing today, Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that Google will begin management of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax collection operation starting on January 1. The company, founded by former Stanford University students Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin, will assume all core operations of the government bureau, including collecting taxes, scheduling audits, and calling delinquent taxpayers at 3:00am.
“Google, with its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto, is a perfect match for the IRS,” said the Treasury Secretary. After order was restored, Sergey Brin introduced the new advertising-sponsored “Google 1040” tax model.
“The goal is to present the most relevant business opportunities to each taxpayer based on their specific financial situation,” said Mr. Brin. “For example, if your taxes go up by fifteen percent or more from the previous year, Google 1040 might display an advertisement for ‘Lieberman-Limbaugh 2012,’ whereas if your taxes go down by the same amount, you would see ‘Obama-Lieberman 2012’ instead.”
The text-only advertising model will extend to all aspects of tax processing, from Schedule A to Form 9984, even though nobody knows what it’s for. A fair system for selecting relevant ads would ensure, according to Secretary Geithner, “that TurboTax always appears first in the list.”
Larry Page discussed some of the more user-friendly aspects of the change. “We’re excited to introduce the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ feature to the core set of tax forms. Instead of filling out all of the line items, taxpayers can, through a simple button press, schedule an audit and possible fines of up to $100,000, or 25 years in prison. Doing your taxes has never been this simple.” Mr. Page demonstrated the new system by typing “Fox News” into the “Taxpayer Search” field. The audit begins next Wednesday.
President Obama, flying aboard Air Force One on his way to an impromptu basketball game in Philadelphia, praised the partnership. “This association marks a big step forward in the synergy between the public and private sectors. The changes won’t be immediate, and we may continue to see unemployment in the twenty-percent range before—all right, very funny. Who put my popularity numbers into the teleprompter?”
Despite the positive reaction from the Administration, some in the business sector were concerned about the Google-IRS relationship. Steve Ballmer, a long-time employee at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, said that the merger “reeks of antitrust monopolistic greed.” And many in the Linux community warned that fanatical elements may try to turn the Google move into a church-state issue, “which would be awesome,” said one programmer.
Congress can override the Executive Order that established the partnership. However, a recently discovered virus on the Windows systems on Capitol Hill has prevented details of Google’s plan from reaching lawmakers. “But we’re not really worried about it,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “It’s not like Google wants access to every piece of data in government computers.”