The check is in the mail. When it arrives I am expected to stand up,
face east and bow slightly as I thank Mr. Bush for his gift. Oh yes,
and remember the subliminal message that I should vote for him in 2004.
Well, no, I don't think so. I intend to endorse it over to some
organization which has suffered from his humongous tax cut. And I hope
that most Americans will do the same thing. Problem is, I haven't
decided which one to give it to but I'm workin' on it.
I cannot possibly discuss the 2001 tax cut of $1.3 billion more
succinctly than Molly Ivins does. "The Bush tax cut, centerpiece of his
presidential campaign and signature issue, is so bad Jane Bryant Quinn,
the business columnist who is not normally given to overexcitement,
calls it 'a contemptible piece of consumer fraud.' Time magazine's
headline is 'Stupid Tax Tricks.' And the best the people who voted for
it can say is, 'Don't worry, we'll take it all back.'"
The first visible result of this piece of confusion was the arrival of a
letter telling us that the checks are coming. The IRS web page says the
money is, "an advance payment of a 2001 tax credit." Go figure. The
first checks were delivered last week.
And how much did this political action cost the American taxpayer? This
may be the most expensive "gift" in history. The mass mailing which
went to 112 million taxpayers explaining that "the check is in the
mail," cost, according to the New York Times, $33.9 million. The
mailing of the checks themselves will presumably cost about the same
amount, plus the cost of cutting all those checks and correcting all the
errors. I didn't bother to figure what it would have cost simply to
deduct the credit from my tax bill next April or how much it will
actually cost me to get my $300.
Since the President has chosen to make the tax cut a political gesture,
let's use it to help support some of the agencies that have suffered
from his policies.
So -- which organization did the tax cut hurt the most? Close to the
top of my list would probably be Planned Parenthood, which is concerned
with women's health and makes contraceptives available to women who
otherwise would not have access to them, not only here but on a
world-wide basis. On his very first day in the Oval Office, the
President re-instated the "Global Gag Rule" by issuing an executive
order to bar federal funding for international family planning groups
that allow abortion in any of its clinics, foreign or domestic. He
apparently does not know that current law already ensures that no U. S.
taxpayers' funds pay for abortions overseas.
Yep, guess I'll send my $300 to Planned Parenthood. But there are so
many other agencies that will need help.
The environmental groups would be high on the list because so many
environmental concerns are under siege, from global warming, to arsenic
in the water to Arctic oil drilling, Groups like the Sierra Club,
Nature Conservancy, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and many more need
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Interfaith Alliance
and other organizations working to defeat the Faith Based Initiative,
otherwise known as Federal Money to Religious Charities, certainly
deserve our checks.
Your own church would undoubtedly be very glad to have the extra money
for its charitable efforts. Several denominations are campaigning
nationally, urging their members endorse their checks over to the
And think of the local institutions -- the Mesa County Public Library,
Western Slope Center for Children, Hospice of the Grand Valley, United
Way, all fine groups in need of financial support.
Or give it to the Democrats or the Republicans. It's pretty small
potatoes for either one, but they can always use it.
One of my friends who is really angry is threatening to swap her check
for 300 one dollar bills and stand on a street corner down town and give
The check is in the mail. Why not make it worth while?