Video: The creepy “we know where you live” tax amnesty ad

posted at 3:35 pm on May 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

I’m a little torn on this ad. I don’t find it odd that the tax man knows where people live, or even their tax status. One would have assumed for decades that the government on every level keeps a close eye on those issues. On the other hand, with narration straight out of Eagle Eye, this ad doesn’t exactly seem like a friendly invitation to take advantage of a tax amnesty that forgives all of the penalties and half of the accrued interest. But hey, the computer in Eagle Eye was friendly enough, too, wasn’t it? Er …

Daily Dis’ Yoda-like verdict: “Sounds good, this ad does not.” Maybe not, but delinquent taxpayers probably won’t get a better deal — and this one only lasts until June 18th. Perhaps Pennsylvania would get a better response if they didn’t make compliance sound so ominous. They can take some comfort in knowing that the state wouldn’t have had to enact a tax amnesty if they really did have this kind of power. Julianne Moore, call Harrisburg when you get the chance …


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Skynet!

pseudonominus on May 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Wait for the healthcare insurance tax!

Johan Klaus on May 3, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Tom, tell them you are an illegal alien and all will be forgiven.

RobertInLexington on May 3, 2010 at 3:37 PM

They are certianly planning on having something for those 15k new IRS agents to do.

Akzed on May 3, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Good. We need more tax cheats put away. I will never get my unicorns or butterflies unless my Big Uncle beats the crap out of all the selfish holdouts. Give into the force.

Limerick on May 3, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Holy Crap. The whole “satellite eye from space looking at your house” thing is unbelievably tone-deaf.

Jaibones on May 3, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Run, Tom! Ruuuunnnn!!

Emily M. on May 3, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Maybe the Jonas Brothers live in that house …

lorien1973 on May 3, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Skynet!

pseudonominus on May 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM

I miss that show.

Dasher on May 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Robin Hood arrested on charges of disabling IRS-owned surveillance satellites; Lady Sarah is reportedly gathering a rescue team.

BobMbx on May 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Big Sis…?

Seven Percent Solution on May 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

As long as they refuse to know where 12 million illegal aliens are, this is a sick joke.

profitsbeard on May 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

profitsbeard on May 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Silly goose. Illegals can get free housing in many states. Of course they know where they are.

lorien1973 on May 3, 2010 at 3:48 PM

As I said before, I actually thought this was parody. The fact that this isn’t belies either painful tone deafness or intentionality. Either way, this isn’t good

Had no one in the creative department seen Minority Report? Read 1984? Seen Enemy of the State? Good lord.

Diane on May 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

But hey, the computer in Eagle Eye was friendly enough, too, wasn’t it? Er …

Actually, in retrospect I should’ve been rooting for the computer and not Shia LaBeouf in those final minutes.

Doughboy on May 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Off topic…notice now how Drudge has many more up to date reports…Hot Air is starting to falter and lag behind, here are just a few that Hot Air would normally be right on top of:
UN Climate Chief: Kyoto Protocol in Jeopardy…
Obama administration cancels offshore SAFETY awards; BP a finalist…
MOVE OVER, BANKERS: BIG PAYDAYS FOR CHIEFS OF TOP MEDIA COMPANIES…
3 more states want federal Guard mobilization…
Man, what is happening…more concerned about advertising?

right2bright on May 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM

So imagine you sit down for dinner watching Fox News and the 30 second cable ad targets you for being late on your mortgage, electric bill, water bill, license renewal, insurance coverage, smoking in the garage, taking a leak in the flower bed or sneaking home from a night on the town.

fourdeucer on May 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM

What’s that old saying about a government fearing the people?

Or, how does that go?

FOWG1 on May 3, 2010 at 3:52 PM

One Thing: Knowing where you live.

Another Thing: Telling you, “We know where you live.”

exception on May 3, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Holy Crap. The whole “satellite eye from space looking at your house” thing is unbelievably tone-deaf.

Jaibones on May 3, 2010 at 3:41 PM

And the “Nice car, Tom. Nice house,” part?
Be a shame is something happened to them, wouldn’t it.

Count to 10 on May 3, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Sweet Jesus. That is creepy.

milwife88 on May 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Actually, in retrospect I should’ve been rooting for the computer and not Shia LaBeouf in those final minutes.

Doughboy on May 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Yes, yes …….. we know.

The popcorn in the left hand of the guy sitting next to you camouflaged a video camera. We now have your dissidence on file.

oldfiveanddimer on May 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I heart Big Brother! Oh … and Big Brother is sooooooo constitutional.

-crr6

darwin on May 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM

“Tom, we know you didn’t vote for His Majesty Obama in 2008, so who do plan on voting for in 2012? Tom? Tom. Tom?”

Bishop on May 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Purple SEIU tee shirts will shield you from satellite photography, and from government scrutiny. Get yours today!

There’s nothing wrong with catching tax cheaters and making them pay (with interest and penalties), but the implications of this little production are quite disturbing.

Big Brother is “a big fxxxing deal.”

hillbillyjim on May 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Purple SEIU tee shirts will shield you from satellite photography, and from government scrutiny. Get yours today!

hillbillyjim on May 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM

SEIU will probably operate the damn satellites. Plus, you’ll have to pay a “satellite tax”.

darwin on May 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Hmmm. . . .

Since the government seems to like this approach, maybe they can slightly modify it. . . .”Your name is Jose. You live in a garage in the back of 1451 Dominquez Street in Modesto. You haven’t paid any taxes for the last ten years, and owe us $34,000. Nice pickup truck and flat screen TV you have there, Jose. We know just where you live, and we know how to get what’s ours. . . . .

Narniaman on May 3, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Targets. More eliminationist rhetoric from the IRS.

RINO in Name Only on May 3, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I, for one, welcome our satellite overlords.

Lily on May 3, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Oh SH**. They found me.

Gotta go,

Tom

barnone on May 3, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Around here we call the SEIU the Purple People Beaters

pseudonominus on May 3, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Nice house Tim (Geithner). Nice car too. Did you pay your taxes this year? Did you use turbo tax again? Did you knowingly withold taxes and information during your confirmation hearing?

We know where you live…

OOOPS… Sorry, big brother didn’t realize that you were part of the regime… You are excused…

Kuffar on May 3, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Gotta collect more taxes to subsidize those windmills. Rendell’s Revenge.

petefrt on May 3, 2010 at 4:13 PM

…smoking in the garage, taking a leak in the flower bed or sneaking home from a night on the town.

fourdeucer on May 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Ummmm, you been following me?

BacaDog on May 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Now we know what all the Predator drone action is for in Afghanistan.

Target practice for the real enemy.

Bat Chain Puller on May 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Can’t wait for, “We know where you are and you didn’t get your mammogram and pap smear last year.”

Bicyea on May 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM

The computer in Eagle Eye was like a female version of HAL . . . but only slightly less creepy than the GPS system that locks the Jared guy in the car until he shows it his wife’s new necklace.

Ryan Anthony on May 3, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Even creepier Enemy of the State (1998)

portlandon on May 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Sweet Jesus. That is creepy.

milwife88 on May 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM

It is horrifying. Straight out of 1984.

This ad ran on local TV recently. My wife and I turned to each other and said “Oh, shXt” or “WTF?” or some words to that effect.

UltimateBob on May 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

What’s really creepy about this ad is the fact that that was really somebody’s house – how would you feel if it was your house they used? And your name was Tom?

peski on May 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

They can take some comfort in knowing that the state wouldn’t have had to enact a tax amnesty if they really did have this kind of power.

I’m with AP here; if they had a clue where Tom was they wouldn’t make him an offer he can’t refuse (oops, mixing movie metaphors!!)

E9RET on May 3, 2010 at 4:24 PM

There’s nothing wrong with catching tax cheaters and making them pay (with interest and penalties),

hillbillyjim on May 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM

There’s a lot wrong with it since Tiny Tim TurboTax is in charge. It’s now arbitrary gubmint action and therefore evil.

platypus on May 3, 2010 at 4:25 PM

The government probably already owns Toms house since payment for that TARP money was mortgage notes turned over to Fannie Mae that your bank held on your home.

Bicyea on May 3, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Ed,

The problem is not that the taxman knows where we live, or how much we owe – my guess is that most/all of that info is public knowledge to anyone motivated enough to go and get it. And of course Google Maps is free.

The problem is that the people at the tax office would:

- Engage an agency to pitch them a few ideas

- Approve THIS one in the “paper” stage

- Approve it AFTER it had produced as a video

…and that it would have gotten approval from several people, at (presumably) higher and higher levels, until final signoff.

The problem is that anyone in government would believe that this an appropriate way for them to even THINK about citizens, much less TALK this way to them.

This is the kind of crap that made the Founding Fathers decide to start shooting.

greggriffith on May 3, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I got the willies at first when they said Tom….

tommer74 on May 3, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Exactly; if they REALLY knew where we lived and how much we REALLY owed THEN we would have a real problem. (and they wouldn’t have to run this ad! :> )

If they know someone owed money AND they know where they live then WHY HAVEN’T THEY SENT THEM A BILL? (or a SWAT team)

Dirty little secret folks: (though not TOO secret) just like in criminal law enforcement, the majority of cases are solved through the input of anonymous sources (tip lines) or through government coerced informers (previous miscreants looking to reduce THEIR penalties).

The IRS relies a lot on document matching but with trillions of documents and limited processor speed, time and access, there’s a lot that gets left out or doesn’t go into the mix. They do however take tips from state and local governments (and they return the favor. Run afoul of one and the others will be close behind looking for their cut.)

Why do you think so many folks in government don’t pay all of their taxes? Because they know the odds of getting caught and the cost is reasonable for the payoff.

Remember Leona ‘only the little people pay taxes’ Helmsley? She knew what she was talking about; only the schmucks play the game honestly.

jcw46 on May 3, 2010 at 4:50 PM

“Dirty little secret folks: (though not TOO secret) just like in criminal law enforcement, the majority of cases are solved through the input of anonymous sources (tip lines) or through government coerced informers (previous miscreants looking to reduce THEIR penalties).”

Be nice to your ex-spouse.

misterpeasea on May 3, 2010 at 5:09 PM

profitsbeard on May 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Silly goose. Illegals can get free housing in many states. Of course they know where they are.

lorien1973 on May 3, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Ahem.

Whenever I see the phrase “silly goose” I think of what Nietzsche called his fascistic, proto-Nazi sister:

“A silly anti-Semitic goose“…

but back to Big Guv…

I qualified the invective with “refuse to know…”

Of course they know.

They just don’t know-know.

Which is a no-no.

profitsbeard on May 3, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Dude! I’m waiting for the scud missiles to fly on in at the end. That just made my skin crawl. Isn’t that the exact opposite of the image they would want to be sending out?

Shouldn’t it be like: “We’re Pennsylvania! We tend to your children when they’re at school. We maintain your scenic parks and beautiful neighborhoods. And we can’t do it without you . . .” Seriously . . . calling Dr. Freud.

Pablo Snooze on May 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM

You’re “torn” about this, Ed Morrissey’?!?

REALLY?!?!?

This is the (2001: A Space Odessey) H.A.L. version of

“Let me make an offer you can’t refuse”
or
“We know who you are, and we know where you live.”

Disgusting.
Vile.
Barbaric.
Thuggery.

Lockstein13 on May 3, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Was this ad supposed to be funny? I can’t imagine Americans ever considering it so.

J.E. Dyer on May 3, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Well being as how Tom owes me that money and my family never dodged taxes in any generation, I am not sure what the tax dodging punks are driving at. It’s funny the same people that are proud of spilling young american blood for liberty don’t want to pay for a damn thing.
Yeah, you trying to screw over my country?
Pay up or get the hell out.

Observation on May 3, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Looks like the start of a new map on COD Modern Warfare….The Harrisburg Map!! Tom Price cheats the state gov!!

Caper29 on May 3, 2010 at 6:16 PM

If the Founders wanted us to have an IRS they would have issued us one.

Speakup on May 3, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Thank you, Ed Spendell. Your putrid legacy will live on long after you leave office. When your final term as governor ends, you can spend more time in NYC pursuing your favorite hobby.

Philly on May 3, 2010 at 6:28 PM

PA is so broke they have resorted to these creepy Big- Brother-is-watching-you ads in order to scare state residents into paying up. What not to do during the current political environment. This had to be Fast Eddie’s idea.

Philly on May 3, 2010 at 6:32 PM

Uh, no thanks. I got creeped out by the Magic Mirror on Romper Room.

di butler on May 3, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Fast Edie has depleted every source of income there is for PA. We used to have a rainy day fun. It’s gone. Last year they had to take out loans and IOU’s to pay state employees. I spoke with a State Rep and he said we are probably about two years behind California. All Randell can do is spend, raise taxes and expand gambling. Gambling is suppose to be the cure all for everything here in PA. What a joke.

JellyToast on May 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Creepy-licious.

Mojave Mark on May 3, 2010 at 7:14 PM

There’s a lot wrong with it since Tiny Tim TurboTax is in charge. It’s now arbitrary gubmint action and therefore evil.

platypus on May 3, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Well, yeah.

If we are to have an organized society with our Constitutional freedoms protected from those who would see us harmed, national security with a military to back it up, etc., it would be a bit difficult without tax of some sort. Having said that, having a dishonest spewer of lies and ten-dollar words as SecTreas and therefore top enforcer at IRS is wholly unacceptable.

This unbelievable arrogance has already become ‘par for the course’ for this administration, and the worst part is that they are getting by with the most blatantly dishonest government since ever, thanks to the sycophants in the media.

Something’s got to give.

hillbillyjim on May 3, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Creepy… probably because they got the name, and location wrong….

The Tax cheat you are looking for is Tim… not Tom….. try zooming in that Satellite somewhere in D.C. say… the Treasury office?

Razgriez on May 3, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Wonder who hurts the Federal and state treasuries the most…waitresses not reporting tips and house painters getting paid under the table…or big shots like Geitner who make a hell of a lot more money and cheat on their taxes?

Also, waitresses and house painters can’t increase the deficit nor increase our taxes so I think the moral equivalency thing is pretty much shot there.

The whole thing is about sponging off of millions-a buck here, a buck there-so these punks can get rich. Such a scam, but yet it’s OK with the Libtards because these clowns promise social justice and promise to heavily tax the really rich people and (too many)Conservatives are actually OK with having their incomes taxed (I guess to provide for all the social services and gov’t programs they don’t believe in?).

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 4, 2010 at 2:29 AM

Nothing like a good threat to start ones day. WTH?

Virginia Shanahan on May 4, 2010 at 9:20 AM