Word on the street is that the TARP money has dwindled down to a few pennies. How long does it take to spend 700 billion dollars? It appears it takes just about six months. I wonder if Paris Hilton goes through cash that fast?
Add to that the Über-spending-stimulus fiasco, and I can see that very shortly, it will be time to pay the piper, and that dude isn't cheap.
It’s curious that the cyclical nature of the beast rouses from its wintertime slumber during the week of April 15, or our IRS tax deadline. Spring has truly sprung!
Me and my teabags will be heading up to Lansing for the gala party on Wednesday. I’m sure it won’t lessen the tax burden, but hey, Joe the Plumber is scheduled to make an appearance. It might be cool to meet the working stiff who knocked a presidential candidate off balance, albeit temporarily.
Listen up, America! Prepare to be taxed! You didn’t think you’d get away Scott free, did you? You thought that businesses big and small would absorb the costs of righting the economic boat and for the social(ist) engineering in our near future? You should have listened to your parents: there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Look for new and creative ways for the Man to stick it to anyone with a couple of nickels to rub together. (I always knew the penny would come back into vogue. Good thing I never spend them.)
Let’s get out the Crystal Ball and see what’s coming down the pike:
Everyone Makes the Same Amount of Money
In the New World Order, the playing field will be leveled so we can all be slugs if we so desire. (Or overachievers, heh…) Actually, I’ve been desiring this for years, ever since my husband came up with a five-year plan for retirement. Unfortunately for me, it’s been 18 years since the five-year plan was first unveiled, and retirement seems to be a pinpoint speck of light down a very long tunnel and getting smaller and more faint by the minute.
Since Congress wishes to legislate how executives are paid, I say let them. I’m thinking that people like me who are just scraping past the middle class mark (and those far below) would love to have the same amount of money. I would gladly give up my profits, measly as they are, in order to make what a US senator makes. Throw in those benefits, too. Giving every man, woman and child the same income for doing different things would be humbling and exalting at the same time. After all, we want to be fair, don’t we? Why shouldn’t Oprah/Sean Penn/Big CEO [fill in the blank] make what I/a congressman/a ditch digger [fill in the blank] makes? As a side benefit, if we all bring home what our elected officials make, there will be a decrease in anger directed toward them.
Paying for Health Care
It must be nice to have health care. Back in the olden days, when I was a federal employee, I had a pretty plum plan. Co-pays and prescription costs were low, if I had any at all. Now we have “health” insurance, but with a $10K deductible. It’s only real value kicks in if there’s a catastrophic illness. Even then, I don’t want to find out how much it doesn’t cover when I’m prone and attached to life support in the cardiac care unit. So, yes indeedy do, I’m wringing my hands in excitement looking forward to universal health care. Bring it on, bring it on.
However, health care isn’t cheap. In order to fund such a program, it will be necessary to levy a tax or two to pay for it.
The easiest way is to go after those who burden the health care system as it is, you know, those slackers who smoke, drink or overeat. After all, they’re the ones who are getting the lion’s share of the care. We already tax cigarettes and alcohol, and no state is leading the charge more so than Michigan, where lucky smokers and drinkers who are able cross into Ohio to purchase their vice for a few cents less. So why not tax matches (and other means of inducing fire) and glasses and straws?
As an aside, now is the time to make marijuana legal then tax it and rolling papers and bongs. In addition to an extra source of income, a bonanza, if you will, the warfare at out southern border will diminish to shouting and stateside farmers will have a worthwhile cash crop.
The next thing that should be taxed is carbonated beverages, i.e. soda or pop, colloquialism depending on your regional preference. It appears that one state is thinking of doing that already. Add to that the Salty Snack tax, or the Cheeto/Dorito Tax. Along with the Candy Bar tax, this will take a toll on me personally. I need the income from the office vending machine to put my kids through college, and it will be no fun to fill out an additional tax form.
Next, there should be a surcharge on fast food. Fast food is notoriously fatty, full of sugar and tasty, as witnessed by Supersize Me. Sure it’s bad. Anything tasty is going to be bad for you. Buckets of tax money can be had in the drive through alone. Call it your contribution to our health care dilemma.
Paying for the Environment
In a past life, I was a bona fide tree-hugging hippie-wannabe who had the unfortunate misfortune of being born six years too late. I missed the revolution, man! Although I consider the current definition of “global warming” a device meant to make a few people like Al Gore extremely rich, I’m all for cleaning up the environment. However, such an endeavor isn’t cheap. Therefore, it is necessary to amp up the taxes on gasoline.
Here in Michigan, we already pay a boatload of gas tax. Those same people skittering off to Ohio for their smokes make a pit stop in Indiana for gas — same reason, the saving of a few pennies. Gas taxes should be universal all through the country, making the price of gas the same in Honolulu as it is in Hoboken. I’m thinking in the New World Order, the government will eventually own all the gas anyway.
But there are other ways to soak the consumer, I mean, to fund an environmentally friendly initiative. First of all, make electricity really expensive by adding more taxes to it. No, really. Make it so expensive, no one will be able to use hairdryers, computers or bread machines and we will all be reading by candlelight instead of watching cable TV at night. (Shades of Abraham Lincoln!) Other utilities, like natural gas and water, also need to be taxed heavily, none of this namby-pamby 9% bologna. The only way to make the country conscious of our environmental impact is to hit them where it hurts the most, in the pocketbook.
There should be a surcharge for grocery store purchases. If you buy a product in a tin can or with an overabundance of plastic packaging, tax, tax and more tax. If you refuse to use cloth bags to carry your groceries, tax. In fact, supermarkets should do away with bags altogether. San Francisco no longer uses plastic, and they’re still standing.
For those in the rest of the world who refuse to play along, a protectionist agenda should be incorporated. Damn those Chinese who won’t play by our environmental rules. Even if we clean up our hemisphere, their waste will take a short journey around the Pacific Rim and smog up California. To teach them a lesson, we just won’t buy anything from them. Lack of trade will mean we will owe them into the next millennium, but someone has to make the sacrifice. It also means we will have to do without a lot of things no longer made in this country, including staples, computers, TVs, rubber bands, rulers, clothing, shoes, cell phones, copy machines, toothbrushes… well, you get the idea. But since we’ll all be making the same amount of money for doing different jobs, who cares?
I was thinking that perhaps there could be tax credits for tree planters and gardeners such as myself but that would be grossly unfair to apartment dwellers. Screw it.
The Rest of the World
State and local governments are going to have to give up some of their booty in exchange for being bailed out by dear old Uncle Sam. Cities will have to consolidate and charge for services. Call to 911? Fifty bucks. Pot hole in front of your house? $250. Street lights? Four dollars a week. Tack on top of that extra permits and we’re talking gold mine here. (Hmm… sort of sounds like dealing with Detroit city government. Who knew that they would be on the fast track to administering the squeeze?)
Pet owners should be taxed. People who purchase animals from breeders should pony up a 90% tax, while those who rescue animals from the pound or a shelter give up less. Tax the odor emitted from cows and pigs! There’s no shortage of methane coming from our food sources.
Weather should be taxed! Beautiful scenery! (Think what the Grand Canyon could fetch?)
Even through my delirium, one should see the world as our taxable oyster. We should shuck it.