Letters to the Editor
Cheaper yes, better no
Steve Kelman's article praising NASA's "risk-taking" administrator missed
the point ["Don't pounce on failures," April 24]. The question is why it
took three successive mission failures before an "independent panel" was
brought in to review the situation.
One wonders if top NASA managers were so busy basking in the glow of the
"faster, better, cheaper" limelight that they forgot to listen to their
people. Lower echelon folks are the first to know when frugality has pushed
the project to the ragged edge and beyond. That begs the culture question:
Would anyone who raised early concerns still be considered a team player
by the administrator?
If Kelman's math is correct, the "new age" NASA leadership has been unable
to improve on the mission success rate achieved by the old NASA "bureaucrats,"
despite having far better technology and ample data from the successful
missions. That's food for thought.
Michael D. May
General Services Administration
Get rid of the e-filing middleman
I'm glad Jim Wyant had a good experience e-filing using TurboTax [Letters,
April 17]. However, I think Intuit has a way to go. Actually, I think the
Internal Revenue Service should eliminate the middleman and permit taxpayers
to e-file directly with them.
I tried e-filing with TurboTax. For the federal return, Intuit indicated
the transmission was successful. However, I never got a receipt that the
IRS accepted the return. So after several weeks with no receipt, I filed
to the IRS using paper. Intuit's failure to process my electronic return
thus resulted in a delay of my refund.
I also tried filing my Maryland return electronically with Intuit. I got
an error message, which seemed to indicate to me that Intuit had programmed
the state tax for Maryland incorrectly for electronic filing. So I filed
my Maryland return the old-fashioned way, too, but didn't have the delay
I had with the IRS since I knew immediately that Intuit wasn't processing
Intuit batted 0 for 2. Get rid of the middleman!
Environmental Protection Agency
Send your letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.