Tuesday, March 10, 2009

'Dear IRS' Rant Against Taxes Hits Nerve

The man who wrote a letter to his local paper titled “Dear IRS” is getting rave reviews from taxpayers all over, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Check out a snippet of the article regarding the letter below.

It began as a joke, a way to let off a little steam -- now "Dear IRS" has infiltrated the nation's newspapers, Internet blogs and Web sites, and it continues to spread.

Once tax season hit, Ed Barnett was feeling sour. After simmering for a few weeks, he poured his frustrations into a letter to the Wichita Falls (Texas) Times Record News, which was published Feb. 6.

In it, the Wichita Falls native and former Times Record News staffer apologized to the Internal Revenue Service for his inability to pay income taxes this year.

After listing several dozen reasons why -- he's already paid cigarette, dog license and social security tax, to name a few -- he asked for the same treatment Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel of New York, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Barney Frank of Massachusetts, ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner received: "no penalties and no interest."

"I don't think people realize all the taxes we pay every day," Barnett said. "The letter wasn't meant to be a public service, but I think people are tired of the irresponsibility of Congress."

The nation's taxpayers seem to appreciate Barnett's cool sense of humor and playful jabs at government officials -- newspapers from Dallas to Florida have run his now-famous work. He's received calls from Arizona and Rhode Island for permission to share his letter. It's been forwarded back to his e-mail account multiple times from friends and family.

"It's pretty wild," Barnett said. "I'm sure it's going to get me audited! I had no idea this was going to happen."

While he's new to such widespread recognition and acclaim, this isn't Barnett's first letter to the paper, and it certainly won't be his last.

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