Feds Do Things on THEIR Timetable

It’s okay for Congress to wait until the last minute to do its job — but it is not okay for the citizens. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in 4 years, and Congress is waiting until the last minute to address the “fiscal cliff” issue, but what if you waited to the very last moment to do your tax planning? You’d be up the creek, thanks to that same procrastinating government.

First, the IRS announces on the Friday before the long Christmas weekend that they were going to take it upon themselves to stop issuing tax-id numbers at 3 p.m. on December 27. You can’t open a bank account without a tax id number. Indeed, it is nearly impossible to make a substantial gift without a tax id number — and a lot of residents of the Town of Greenwich wanted to do just that before the gift-tax reverted to its high rates on January 1.

Then, the Post Office decides to close at Noon today — the last business day of the year. Want to mail your Connecticut taxes to get the deduction in 2012? Don’t count on the Post Office for a 2012 postmark.

This is the same Post Office that installed P.O. Boxes in its new branch in no logical order. Do you think PO Box 141, for example, is between 140 and 142? Wrong! It is between 66 and 211, with box 30 to the north of it and 161 to the south of it.

This is also the same Post Office, or Postmaster, who when the lower Greenwich Avenue landmark Post Office closed and moved up the street, decided to make it tougher to mail anything on lower Greenwich Avenue. The Post Office replaced the double-load mailbox in front of Richard’s with a single one PLUS reduced the number of pick-ups at that box to one a day (at 11 a.m.) rather than the three pick-ups they used to make. To compound the problem, they remove the mailboxes from in front of the People’s Bank on Greenwich Avenue, and in front of the old Post Office building.

Government and its agencies are supposed to SERVE the people. Instead, they seem to be working actively to provide disservices to the public. But I guess we get the government we vote for.