Alex Ebert, whose band Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros is best known for its song "Home," is promoting a new website that lets Americans visualize where their tax dollars go vs. where they wish the money would go.
[As an aside, when I called up the 4 million-plus-views-strong YouTube video for "Home," a TurboTax ad played first.]
TheNewIRS.com team actually complements Whitehouse.gov for providing "a great interactive webpage to see what tax money goes towards on a national level," but faults it for only letting you see what happens after the fact. The goal of TheNewIRS.com site is to let tax filers find out whether their wishes for where tax dollars go after this year's April 15 filing deadline match up with reality.
The new site features an interactive and shareable infographic that lets you divvy up a circle by choosing the percentages of where you would prefer your tax dollars to go. Tax allocation choices include national defense, health care, education and training, and about a dozen more. Some basic identifying info is also requested so that results can be better compared with others. You can also easily share your choices with others via social media, as Ebert himself did on Twitter, for example.
TheNewIRS.com concept was conceived by Ebert at the Sundance Film Festival's "Hackdance" hackathon. And Ebert the team's visionary -- envisions a series of additional sites that the developers and designers he's working with will create.
"May the ideas of The New IRS become part of the national debate this year and every other until we are satisfied that our vote is insured by the power of our earnings, and Personal Allocation is implemented," Ebert writes on TheNewIRS.com site.
Developer Jason Ayre says the personal allocation tool was put together over a couple of weekends and is based on AngularJS for the front end and Ruby on Rails for the back end.
Data collected through TheNewIRS.com will be published April 17.
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