Friday, May 30, 2003

You can pay my taxes



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If the U.S. Senate catches a nasty STD (Springer TV Disease) and starts televising debates on "The Transsexual Bikers Who Marry Their Dobermans Act,'' we will owe it all to Sen. George Voinovich.

Voinovich is doing his best to drive Ohio voters into the eager arms of Springer, the King of TV Land's raincoat district, who has apparently run out of ways to disgust Americans on TV so he's considering a run for the Senate.

Voinovich, R-Stingy, drew a line in the sand and refused to support President Bush's tax cuts if they went a dime over $350 billion. When the bill passed, his press release crowed that it came in at $349.667 billion.

It sounded like France declaring victory in Iraq.

Not available on TV

For weeks, Voinovich made it sound like the federal government was about to have its furniture repossessed and Uncle Sam would soon be sleeping in a refrigerator carton behind the bus station, eating cat food and patching his shoes with old newspapers.

A USA Today story got into the act and even said the federal budget was "threadbare."

Sure it is. And the Pacific Ocean needs salt.

If you believe that, you may already be a wiener. And here's First Prize:

If you think the government won't have enough megazillions to spend on paper clips and "personal days" at the Dental Floss Regulatory Agency; if you think your taxes just can't be high enough to keep the tires inflated on the federal manure spreader - then I will gladly let you pay some of my taxes.

And when those tax cuts kick in this summer and we get a $400 check for each child we claim on our 1040s, you can send that money to me if it makes you feel guilty. I promise to use it to stimulate the economy, by spending it immediately on things I don't even need.

Something tells me I won't get any takers. But I've always wondered why the people who oppose tax cuts never volunteer to pay extra. Why don't they just return their refunds or designate an extra 40 percent to the fund for needy politicians?

They're like the guest who doesn't bring anything to the picnic, then says, "I really shouldn't" as he scarfs up the last piece of cake.

At no 'cost'

Most news stories about the tax cuts told us how much they will "cost" - which is like telling us how much the Brooklyn Bridge costs, if you are stupid enough to buy it. I figure if we don't send it, they can't spend it - and it doesn't cost me anything.

But what the stories almost never mentioned was how much the government spends. The latest budget calls for $2.2 trillion. I'd write that number out, but they don't let me use that much ink.

I'm sure Congress would spend a lot more, but they haven't appropriated $800 million to invent a number for it yet.

Or put another way, tax cuts of $350 billion add up to a decimal point in the federal budget. Parking meter chump change.

Or about the amount Democrats will have to spend to convince voters that Jerry Springer is not a creepy low-class Caligula - he just plays one on TV.

E-mail pbronson@enquirer.com or call 768-8301.




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