New York Times reporter Robert Pear ought to consider moonlighting as a stand-up comic in the tradition of Steven Wright.
Wright's deadpan delivery is legendary. Pear's deadpan lines in his article about the immense paperwork burden heading the economy's way in the form of requiring IRS 1099 forms to be issued to each and every person paid $600 or more during the course of a calendar year for any and all goods provided or services rendered are remarkable.
Of course, if Pear chooses to get on stage with his act he'll have to come up with a more humorous topic. The nightmare that could be visited upon American business and really the American economy is pretty stunning -- and don't for a minute think that individuals with hobbies that break even or possibly lose money every year and don't ordinarily bother to file tax returns for their activities (because they aren't required to) aren't going to be affected.
What follows are a few of the choice one-liners found in Pear's September 11 article ("Many Push for Repeal of Tax Provision in Health Law") that appeared in the paper's Sunday print edition on Page A25:
The reporting requirement is expected to lead to a significant amount of revenue — $17 billion over 10 years — to help pay for the expansion of coverage and other health initiatives.
I told you this guy Pear is a laugh riot. He actually expects readers to believe that businesses will spend untold millions on forms, postage, and handling of literally hundreds of millions and possibly billions of 1099 forms but will, even though these costs are fully deductible, still have to fork over $1.7 billion more every year in personal and corporate income taxes. In reality, where Pear, the Times, and Washington's lawmakers clearly don't live, the amount collected after considering the effect of the extra costs imposed will necessarily be much less, and could conceivably be a big fat zero.
(the 1099 reporting provision) drew little attention at the time — it was one of more than 15 revenue-raising measures in the bill — and many lawmakers were apparently unaware of it when they voted for final passage of the legislation.
Wow, is this guy a master of understatement or what? Surely a reporter of Mr. Pear's pedigree will recall that Nancy Pelosi infamously said just weeks before the bill's final passage that “... we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Robert Pear, New York Times reporter extraordinaire, know that "many lawmakers were apparently unaware of it when they voted for final passage" because they were directly unaware of anything in the bill. Why? Because they never read it, period.
Pear had help with the final howler I'll cite from Nina Olson, national taxpayer advocate at the IRS, whom the New York Times reporter should consider taking on as a standup sidekick:
“The I.R.S. will face challenges making productive use of this new volume of information reports,” Ms. Olson said.
"Challenges?" Shoot, they'll have to rent hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space just to accommodate the tidal wave of incoming paper, find a server farm to store the data that comes in electronically, and employ an army of people to enter the data and sift through it.
Seriously, the fact that Congress even has to engage in the exercise of repeal shows how derelict those who voted for ObamaCare sight unseen really were. That's not funny, and that the topic deserved a more informative treatment by the Times should be, well, ap-Pear-ent.
A related post is at BizzyBlog.com.