Somehow, I doubt the government would be as forgiving if the situation were reversed. Yet government officials can easily express their sympathies to their constituents who overpaid their taxes and are having their refunds, um, delayed until the beginning of the next fiscal year. People who overdraw their accounts are punished by their banks, credit agencies and other lending institutions. Yet when government does it, "ho-hum" appears to be the majority response. Sure, we're in an economic crunch but the citizens are feeling it as much the government. I'm curious as to what recourse there may be for people who've been denied what is rightfully theirs within a timely fashion. Perhaps if the citizens all got up and declared that they are in an economic crunch next tax season and refuse to pay their (underpaid - since most people have their taxes taken from their paychecks directly) taxes, maybe people would start to realize that it should be they who have the power since they are the ones funding government and not the other way around.
For those incumbents who survive the 2010 elections (on both sides of the aisle), maybe it would be worth stripping them of the monetary accoutrements of power next tax season and see if turnabout is fair play (with the government).