Obamacare Roll-Out a Fiasco? Big Surprise.

Some bits and pieces from here and there:

  • I’m about the biggest tax resistance history nerd there is, and still I had no idea that was the 100th anniversary of the “Turra Coo”.
  • Ruth Benn looks back on the life of war tax resister Sallie Marx, a fixture of the New York war tax resistance scene.
  • Erica Weiland has assembled a good set of practical reminders for war tax resistance at the end of the tax year.
  • The only surprise to me in the disastrous roll-out of the new government-run health insurance exchange websites was that it was a surprise to those in charge that it would be a disaster. The government just isn’t very good at developing and deploying big, modern computer applications like these. There is a lot of graft and red tape and politically-generated inefficiencies, and they don’t have access to the most talented workforce or the best technology or techniques.
    • The IRS, for example, is still struggling to get CADE up and running. This project, which was designed to replace their CoBOL, batch-processed, tax account dinosaur, has had more delays and cost overruns than I can count. The latest audit of phase two of the project, which was supposed to go live in , then was delayed to , and then again to , with the cost doubling along the way, will not meet its new deadline either: “The CADE 2 database’s lack of accuracy, completeness, and availability prevents it from serving as the trusted source for the downstream systems… [and] the solution architecture of the CADE 2 database interfaces does not meet the IRS’s business needs because it does not meet performance expectations and creates resource contention situations between servicing online transactions and query operations. In addition, the lack of security systems integration prevents transaction-level tracking of employee access…”
    • Meanwhile, in Congress passed a law that required the IRS to permit people to access their IRS account on-line… like people do with their banks or other such things. The law set a deadline of . That is to say, they had eight years to come up with it. In , the project was declared a failure and abandoned “due to a lack of an effective enterprise-wide eAuthentication strategy” and, though the legal mandate is still in effect, the project still has not been completed, fifteen years after the passage of the law. Furthermore: “No overall cost estimate exists, and there are not enough details on goals, deliverables, future online services, and time frames to be able to assess progress.”
  • A number of cable television operators in Vidarbha banded together and simultaneously shut off their services for several hours to protest a high entertainment tax on their industry.