following essay was originally sketched out back in May of 2006.
It is being presented here as a From the Backpack special, but…
haven’t been able to track down any records showing it was posted
on the In
My Backpack web site, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find
out that it was. On a few occasions there have been some changes
and updates made around The ‘ville. Some involved computer issues,
some general redesigns and overhauls. The end result has been
that a few pieces—intentionally and unintentionally—were once
posted and are not today.
last notes I can find for dates list the most recent version before
this, effectively the final draft version, as being saved on May
have gone over the material from that older draft and re-written
a large portion of it for this posting. In some places, I did
need to remove the original links that had been included as they
no longer lead to active material on internet sites. I have tried
to include enough references and information to allow you to both
understand what was involved and where it had been found.
~ ~ ~ ~
may be the single most upsetting thing our government has done
the link… read the story… come back and find out why I’m ticked
off by it…
American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the
pain of higher pump prices for gasoline…” is how the article starts.
And right there… here I’ll italicize it for you: “Every American
taxpayer would…”… right there is where my problems begin.
one – Does every American taxpayer drive?
two – My wife and I pay our taxes, but file a joint return.
Do we get one check or two? (Article seems to say one.)
three – Does every American drive the same distance every day?
Or, more broadly offered… does every American have the same
demands on their driving? And by that, think… style of car…
ride sharing… personal demands (ones that could be set aside)
versus necessary demands (such as getting to work)… and so on.
Do we all suffer equally?
those questions over, and I think you’ll see where I’m going.
$100 check plan is so ill-conceived and stupid I can barely believe
I’m typing even semi-rational thoughts. And I’m way, way, way
beyond slightly ticked off before we even begin to think about
the amount of the check and how the plan is being tied to drilling
in Alaska. I’m so insulted by it that… well… (one… two… three…
ten… deep breath… ok…)
me tell you about my great uncle.
he may not have the most outgoing of personalities, my great uncle
is a fine American. Served his country in World War II. Pays his
taxes. According to the “every American taxpayer” proposal, he’ll
be getting a check for $100.
side note. Hardly important to the story. To my knowledge, my
great uncle has never, ever, in his entire life, driven a car
as far as three feet. I don’t know if he has a driver’s license
or a different type of photo identification.
have never seen him drive. I don’t know if he has even handled
car keys at any time in his life. Doesn’t matter… check could
be on the way.
commutes to work five days a week. Her round trip… round trip…
can’t possibly exceed fifteen minutes and wouldn’t reach ten miles.
I know. I used to work in the same building. And its door is about
four miles from Mom’s driveway.
that to Tigg and I. We commute together, driving over twenty-five
miles in each direction.
great uncle, doesn’t own a car. Mom for work, at most, drives
forty to fifty miles per week. Tigg and I for work, ride together
for more than fifty miles each day.
every American taxpayer is being hit equally by this gas-price
problem. And since this $100 check doesn’t take into account so
many important and obvious factors, I can’t believe how crazy
people are conscious of the price of gas and how it impacts them…
compact car. Some people use their vehicle for work or perhaps
don’t care… sports utility vehicle. Each… a $100 check.
people commute great distances and share rides with their friends
and spouses to work. Some don’t commute as far and drive alone.
Each… a $100 check.
to state… taxes differ. Everyone… all together… a $100 check.
that said… my hat is off to Senator Bob Menendez. One of his solutions
would be to suggest a tax-free period of time. (MSNBC link no
longer available.) That would balance things out a bit more, though
not iron out all the wrinkles.
I’m not here to rant on and on and on about the reasons why this
is so dumb. Many people I have mentioned it to in the past 24-hours
yelled that the amount of was the truly stunning part, being so
insignificant in consideration of the situation that it was insulting.
I haven’t even hinted about that until this paragraph, but it’s
I want to call this check exactly what it is.
are being held this year. Go figure… the Republican Party, currently
staggering under an amazing string of unfavorable events and public
opinion, are the start of this possibility.
the way all politicians act (although, heck, the Republican Party
and Fox News are the two biggest sources of misguided, unreliable
and flat-out incorrect information in the country), in future
years you can expect to hear all about how (my words): “we tried
to give the taxpayers of this country a break during a time of
energy concerns and financial hardships.” Of course, in 2012,
you won’t hear about how they wanted to tear up Alaska to get
a rate of return on that check they will claim to have tried to
sure, let’s give people some credit. It is a discussion and it
is an option and it is something. Even if it is dumb, it does
at least acknowledge there is an issue.
I can’t quite say that these senators and representatives see
it as a true problem. I don’t believe they care how higher gas
prices change your life or mine. Especially when so many of them
have cashed a check or two of their own over the years… perhaps
from the account(s) of an oil company. But I do believe they care
about how it might change the re-election campaign for this fall.
thing is, this just stinks right out of the gate. It isn’t the
amount of the check or any of several other issues that are valid
concerns. No, the primary thing is that these politicians don’t
appear to be truthfully talking about helping the people and services
that are hurting because of increased gas prices. Instead, they
are offering money to potential voters.
I’m not an idiot. And I’m not proud. If a $100 check or two shows
up from the American government to help ease the pain of rising
gas prices, I’m going to the bank and making a deposit. I was
even the person that noted in other efforts that my political
opinion could be influenced by something like a check for $400.
(My exact words: “I don’t know if I am a Republican or a Democrat.
I think most Americans today feel the same way. We have no specific
loyalty to a certain party, but instead, if we even decide to
vote, believe we can tell the difference between candidates and
decide which one will do the best job for us… What do I know then?
Two summers in a row George Bush told me he was fighting for the
United States government to send me a check. And, two summers
in a row, they did. Yeah George!” That quote is out of context,
but I’m willing to admit I said it.)
just not pretend this check thing is fair, well-conceived, and
designed to address the purpose it says it is addressing. Nope…
nope… and nope.