Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taxes? We Don't Pay No Steenking Taxes...

Here in the city of the perpetually offended - or, as my pal and former colleague Dusty ( calls it, "America's Kegorator", we take our taxpaying as serious business. Nobody in Madison missed a beat last fall when the big pols said paying taxes was patriotic. We pay 'em in full, and we pay a lot of 'em in Wisconsin. None of this "I didn't know having a car and driver or luxury jet available 24/7/365 was taxable" around here. We know what a free ride is. Those dern flatlanders charge us a buck and a half to cross their state line heading south from Beloit on I-90. Then they nick us for nearly a buck every 7 miles or so on the Northwest Tollway. Even with my I-PASS, I pay a "reduced rate", but it still costs me about seven bucks in tolls every time I drive to Chicago. By the way....ya gotta wonder when they'll take Rod Blagojevich's name off all those toll booths. In the Badger State, you don't pay a dime to drive on our roads. Jim Doyle's name isn't on any toll plazas....just on that sign that says "Welcome to Wisconsin".
Methinks Mr. President has made a huge stumble with this whole Daschle deal, and with Treasury Timmy, as well. As I've said here before, I'm not a fan or follower of national politics, and apparently most of the dirt that's been uncovered about Daschle was available to fans long before it hit the headlines. Turns out not only did he "forget" to report his livery arrangement to the IRS, but most folks probably weren't aware that the service was provided by a Health Care Industry Titan. We turned control of medicine over to the insurance companies a long time ago, but I think most 'sconnies would rather not have somebody with such tight connections to the health care industry trying to "reform" it. Come to think of it, here in the seat of government for the state, where pickup trucks still outsold sedans when the car business was alive, we don't have much in common with folks who have somebody else provide them a car and driver, except of course for the guv. He gets a Crown Vic and a State Trooper to drive him around. That's OK with us. We know that lots of corporate big-wigs get a leased luxury car as a perk, even in Madison, but they still do their own driving.
If Mr. President is going to convince us that there's going to be change, he needs to make sure the folks he wants to be on the front line aren't tax cheats, and aren't in bed with the industry they're going to "reform". But give the Pres props for manning up on the national TV network newscasts, admitting he screwed up. He gets a "do-over" on this one, and his Mulligan had better be straight down the fairway this time.

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