Home / Now That We’ve Spent It All, It’s Time to Tax

Now That We’ve Spent It All, It’s Time to Tax

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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.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • Doug Hunter

    Some cities already have fees for police response to vehicle accidents, etc.

  • Please excuse me Joanne for starting the comments off thread, but I thought anyone stopping by might get a lift out of this. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s schlock TV. The lady rocks. Just put up your feet for a few minutes and enjoy.

    B 🙂

  • B-man,

    What a find! She made my day and I love that song. Unbelievable.

    Thanks for posting it. It makes want to play Les Mis all over again.


  • Cindy

    Awww B,

    Should I spare you? Nah. I couldn’t sleep anyway, and now those rotten people have annoyed me. So those creeps have found something they think worthwhile and now she’s redeemed in their eyes? I only wondered how they would have treated her had she not had such a lovely voice. What a horrible show that is.

    Sorry for the rant B. She was wonderful.

  • Isn’t she great? What a treat!

  • Why? I think those panelists were fine.

  • Thanks, B for hijacking my article, but hey, it was worth it…


  • Joanne. That’s exactly what he did.

    A heck of a way to shut somebody down when you disagree with them. A real clever maneuver.

  • Well, I may well disagree with Joanne, but it wasn’t my goal to shut her down. It was simply one of the first articles up and was ripe for a lot of comments, so I figured a lot of you would see the link. I’m sure the comments will go forward actually dealing with her article.

    The panel’s response to Ms. Boyle was perhaps the most genuine I’ve ever seen likely owing to how delightfully unexpected her performance was.

    I picked up on this via CNN’s AC360 last nite. It was truly great to see. I also harkened back to the “Where the Hell is Matt” video on Youtube that Cindy enlightened us with a few months back. It, too, is in its own way delightful.

    BTW – Thanks to whoever who “hreffed” my link. I just forgot to do that in my zeal to communicate.


  • Baronius

    Great voice. Speaking of voices, Joanne, have you ever considered running for office?

  • “The panel’s response to Ms. Boyle was perhaps the most genuine I’ve ever seen likely owing to how delightfully unexpected her performance was.”

    Exactly. The entire clip was a delightful thing to watch.

  • Hmm… run for office? No. There are too many skeletons in my closet, and besides that, I’m a bi-atch. But if you know of a good literary agent, I’m in the process of trolling for queries.

    I thought there was plenty of fuel for the proverbial fire in my post, but I guess I wasn’t politically incorrect enough to cause a conflagration.

  • Cindy

    My reaction was to both panelists and the audience.

    The panel’s response to Ms. Boyle was perhaps the most genuine I’ve ever seen likely owing to how delightfully unexpected her performance was.

    Why unexpected? Based on what? The way she looks? The way she dresses? Where she lives? The way she speaks?

    It doesn’t warm my heart to see a bunch of shallow people be delighted in finding something the deem acceptable in a person they have prejudged as an incompetent based on the most superficial qualities.

    I suppose that is why this show is a big hit. I can’t say I’ve watched it, but I have seen enough bits to understand what it’s based on. I read an article that explained how poor performers are intentionally selected so they can be humiliated. This is apparently seen as great fun by the viewers.

    If a person they considered physically attractive and sophisticated came out instead–would they doubt her competence?

    I have to say I am pretty surprised no one even understands my reaction. Do people really just so completely take for granted that it’s okay to humiliate people they find superficially unattractive or to judge them as lacking?

  • Well, it just goes to show, Cindy, how people’s perceptions different. I may grant you your general point in principle, but in viewing and reviewing this short seven-minute clip – and I had, I loved her voice and delivery so – I haven’t seen anything inappropriate, nothing (to say the least) that would justify (in my eyes) your negative reaction. I think the panelists were most professionals in their responses before and after; and the same goes for the audience. In short, I haven’t seen any discrimination at all on a/c of her looks.

    Sure, skeptical they were, because it was a high claim. But other than that, it was the most delightful viewing I have seen in years.

    So in my mind, everybody behaved immaculately, considering the nature of the show. I find no fault whatever.

  • I understand what you are saying Cindy, and I agree. I’ve not watched this particular program as it is a British show. I have watched the American versions which are basically the same.

    In watching one does have to deal with a certain amount of disgust regarding how many of the people are humiliated. However, these people go out of their way to put themselves in a position to be humiliated. It’s obvious that many of those hapless souls know full well that they couldn’t sing their way out of a paper bag, yet they stand up before the limelight and embarrass themselves, usually for whatever portion of their respective “15 minutes” doing so may bring them. They could have stayed home – remained content with singing in the shower or in their cars on the way to work. But no.

    I have also been involved in performing, and Cindy, you know of my son’s involvement. A great deal of the entertainment industry makes judgments based primarily upon appearance. It is simply a fact of life in the business. Certainly, Ms. Boyle was unfairly judged before she ever sang a note. It was part of my point in providing the link that she proved them all very wrong.

    Boyle will no doubt do well in the upcoming weeks, having made quite an initial splash. She may even win the competition. But down the road and regardless of her talents, she may well prove to be a hard sell.

    Personally, I fell in love with her from the get go. But the money people in the entertainment world may not be so inclined.

    What I embraced was the fact that she not only sang the song well, but she “owned” it. She could play the part (Fonteyn) in Les Mis. Her performance was great. I’ve watched it half a dozen times and will watch it again.


  • I can see Cindy’s point and it’s a valid one; however, it’s true that people DO judge a book by its cover. It’s unfortunate, but true. Especially if you’re an artist or creative, you have to present an entire “package” that’s easy to sell. At least all three judges admitted to their shallow preconceptions and gave her a thumbs up.

  • B-man,

    I feel you’re falling into the same trap as Cindy is. Forget about the entertainment industry and making points IN GENERAL. Watch this particular clip and tell me whether there’s anything offensive in there. That’s my whole point. Forget f . ing generalities. One case at a time.

  • I haven’t seen any shallow preconception, Joanne. None whatever. Just the usual skepticism concerning talent.

    I find it rather amazing that you and Cindy seem to associate it with looks. I have not from the very get-go. We all know that talent and looks don’t match. So unless you’re simply rebelling against the Hollywood idea and the concept of the image – and I have no problem with that – your criticism of this particular clip (and I stress the word “particular”) then you’re standing on thin ground.

    Both of you have got to be able to get away from the general critique of society so as not to cloud your judgment in individual case.

  • Hmm… run for office? No. There are too many skeletons in my closet, and besides that, I’m a bi-atch.

    Ummmmm… Since when were those disqualifiers?


  • She didn’t say that? You’re pulling my leg.

  • Susan Boyle brought tears to my eyes. I’ve watched that damned video at least 50 times in the last 12 hours and I love it. We are a culture preoccupied with appearance which (like it or not) lessened our expectations on what we would hear. When I saw Ms. Boyle come on stage, I saw a plain version of Mimi Bobeck and what I got was a modern day Eileen Farrell.

  • Same here, Silas. Yes, I was f . crying and watched it only ten or twenty. I still disagree with the general assessment that either the panel or the audience were in any way at fault. Which has got nothing to do with the general critique of society. But in this case, the two are separate.

    The only thing I’m kind of surprised: they ought to have offered her a contract rather than sending her back to her “village.” So that, if anything, was in a manner of speaking, a cheap shot and a statement on the industry in general. Other than that, if was perfect in every sense of the way.

  • Clavos

    Cindy #13:

    Dead on.

    I was disgusted at the attitudes, not only of the panel (particularly that smarmy Simon Cowell), but also the general audience’s.

  • It’s in the eye of the beholder, Clav.

    I’d love to see you in that seat and see how you’d project.

  • Baronius

    I don’t think the first reaction was to her looks, so much as to her look. There’s a certain British type, the saucy middle-aged eccentric, that we don’t really have in the US. She looked the part.

  • And excuse me for saying so, but I’ve got to.

    You’re letting your philosophical attitudes interfere with and affect your perception. Which, BTW, I find it kind of odd because you don’t strike me as a particularly sensitive, people-person. If anything, the individual cases should lead on to formulate their general conception of things, not vice versa. To allow otherwise is to allow prejudice, and I’m certain you see my point.

    Of course, I’ve got nothing else to go by except meaningless pixels on the screen. And therefore it stands to reason that my impression of you is way off.

    Still, I felt it kind of important to communicate it to you.

  • I haven’t notice any kind of reaction, adverse or not, to her first-time appearance, Baronius. It was a talent show, and it lived up to the expectations. I think some people are just trying to make much ado out of nothing.

  • Cindy


    I didn’t say looks, I said image, and prior, I included a list of possibilities.

    Well, it just goes to show, Cindy, how people’s perceptions different.

    I find that people’s perceptions often differ according to whether or not they examine their actions and beliefs and whether they consider it important to actively work toward living justly or fairly or whether they just accept things being the way they are because–that’s the way everyone else is or the way things are. To me the world is what each person is. We can change it when each of us changes ourselves–not by accepting it as it is.

    I am happy to see that people made acknowledgments of seeing a similar thing and I am thrilled that Clav and I see eye-to-eye on this. I was getting a little disillusioned for awhile.

  • Cindy


    Since you are okay with personal analysis, then it’s fair for me to present my own.

    Regarding what you said to Clav:

    You’re letting your philosophical attitudes interfere with and affect your perception.

    Actually, I think that might be just what you are doing. So, you won’t mind that I say, it seems you are capable of insight if only when you project your actions onto others.

    Which, BTW, I find it kind of odd because you don’t strike me as a particularly sensitive, people-person.

    Again, your perception seems based on your own blindness.

    Regarding what you said to Joanne and me:

    Both of you have got to be able to get away from the general critique of society so as not to cloud your judgment in individual case.

    Since you feel that it’s acceptable for us to tell each other how to improve ourselves so bluntly, you also won’t mind me saying how I feel about this.

    Generally, when I want advice about personal growth, I ask for it. It’s usually from someone I feel is able to raise my awareness because they themselves are self-examining, challenge accepted beliefs, refuse to defend the incantations of the dominant culture, and because they actively try to live with justice and love in mind and therefore participate in making the world a better place.

  • wasn’t this an article about taxes? looks like Jet was right about needing a forum because this is rather disrespectful to the author

  • Apparently Joanne doesn’t mind. See comment #7…

  • Both of those are bullshit kind of response, purely defensive, and I’m not gonna honor them with a reply. In my eyes, you’ve totally discredited yourself. I having nothing more to say.

  • In fact, it shows me the sickness of your mind, always trying to see the negative in everything. Your whole personality is becoming all apparent. I really don’t want to do anything with you anymore. So please honor my request and don’t address me anymore. I wish you the best.

  • Not again!

  • Mhm.

  • Thank you, Mr. Miller, for your great contribution. You’re are as helpful as ever. But I’m certain you already know that, so I am not really telling you anything you don’t already know. Happy hunting.

  • “because this is rather disrespectful to the author”

    I think Joanne – not Jet, by the way – should be rather pleased that her thread receives so much attention. So why should you presume to be speaking on behalf of the author?

  • Roger, El Bicho was referring to Jet’s argument that the oft-neglected BC Forum, of which he (Jet) has been the principal developer and wrangler-in-chief, was a more appropriate venue for off-topic digressions such as this.

    To be fair, the ensuing discussion might have taken place wholely on the editors’ group, so you may not have picked up on El B’s allusion. But I’m pretty sure it did spill over onto the comments threads.

  • Well, it was on Joanne’s thread and I had no way of knowing. And I do apologize therefore for this part of my remark. Suffice to say, the BC Politics site is more than sufficient (thus far) to claim all my attention to the point of excluding all others. But of course with the enemies I make left and right, that may soon change.

  • Baronius

    Since we’re really off-track already, Cindy, what’s your background in linguistics?

  • I wonder about the forum, though? So what are we going to do there? Iron out personal differences, get to know one another, kick ass?

    Just wonder, because the true personality – through the pixels as it were – emerges only when we get down to cases.

    I get it now. It must be a therapy group of sorts.

  • Cindy


    I don’t have a background in linguistics. I have a B.A. in psychology and I want to be a teacher in a high needs school. I’m going for English.

  • Cindy

    You must be thinking about when we were discussing grammar? Linguistics sort of came in in an indirect way, I think.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, that may be even better. There’s this situation I’m dealing with, a friend of a relative who has Asperger’s. I understand that it’s a developmental disorder, but it has some linguistic aspects too. If you could point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it. (Hey, if a thread breaks down, I’m going to take advantage of it.)

  • Bar,

    I have a little (As a high school student, I did a program in a handicapped nursery school.), but not much direct experience with autism or Asperger’s, just so you know that.

    When I looked at autism in the 70s (which is when I did the student program), this is what I personally found promising. I read a book called Son Rise about the parents of an autistic boy who took his care into their own hands. They did an amazing job with him.

    They were so successful, they developed a program for autistic and Asperger’s called The Son-Rise Program. It is very centered on the child. They don’t put limits on the child’s potential. And they are very hopeful and have a very loving approach. They are opposed to behavior modification and force as they feel these push a child away. They believe in building bridges through love and non-judgment and joining with the child.

    If I needed help, this is what I would look at. You can see videos of their story with their son and there program on their web site. They also have a youtube channel with a few videos.

    Also, this looks very good, Wrong Planet. It’s an online resource for Asperger’s and autism. And it looks like it provides some really good support and solidarity as a community for people who are diagnosed (as well as parents). But for the diagnosed, it even has dating and peer support that strengthens self-respect and dignity.

    I hope these are helpful. Let me know how it goes. You can e-mail me if you want through the link on my blog, which I included in this post.

  • Cindy


    I don’t think it will work to tax scenery. I think mostly it’s owned by the wealthy and you know how they feel about being taxed. As Barbara Ehrenreich says, “[I]f a place is truly beautiful, you can’t afford to be there.”

    I’ve read some pretty weird things about the tea party, not the participants, mind you. If I don’t finish an article on it by tomorrow (which is my regular habit) I’ll just post what I found here tomorrow.

  • Ha ha… here I thought I was being obnoxious in writing this article and it took an entirely different yet wonderful turn. Too bad I don’t get paid by page views here, which is why I might repost this elsewhere where I do and hope to God for the same dust up.

  • Joanne,

    You’re all over the place today. It’s good seeing you that active. What wonderful turn are you referring to, if I may ask.

  • Roger, I should be working. At my day job or at my writing, but I’m a world class procrastinator. The “turn” I was referring to was the discussion on Baritone’s link.

    Sometimes I come to BC just to read the comment thread… 🙂

  • I agree with you, Joanne. It did lead us to places no man has ever been before.

    And consider the consequences: broken hearts, breaking the engagement; folded love affairs – all kinds of good stuff that makes life interesting and worth living.

    But seriously, I’m beginning to enjoy your comments; it seems to me you do have a good sense of humor, and it works (for me at least).

    So do it more often if and when you can.