Tax Freedom Day, “King” Charles And Shameless Vote Buying In India
April 22, 2011 by Chip Wood
*Congratulations! Now you get to keep some. Shame on me. I failed to mention that Tax Freedom Day occurred on Tuesday, April 12. In case you’re not familiar with the phrase, it’s a calculation of when the money you earn is yours to keep, instead of going to Uncle Sam. This year, the Tax Foundation tells us, the average American will work 102 days — in other words, from Jan. 1 until April 11 — to pay his or her tax bill. Despite the so-called tax cuts, Americans this year will pay more in taxes than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined.
*Make him king for a day. I’ve never had a lot of sympathy for Queen Elizabeth’s oldest son, Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor, otherwise known as Prince Charles, the heir to the throne of England. He was 2 years old when his mom ascended to the throne; now he’s 62 and still waiting for his big chance. Bob Green, my favorite Chicago columnist, has a great suggestion: Before it’s too late, why doesn’t Queen Elizabeth make her son King for a Day? As Bob points out, there are a lot of baseball players in the U.S. who were thrilled to make it to the majors for just one game. And I loved his final thought: “What a moment it would be when Charles, leaving the throne after a single sunset, looked over at William and, with a father’s smile, nodded and tossed him the keys.” Ah, would that it could really happen.
*Getting serious about buying votes. A report from Tamil Nadu, one of the states in India, says that politicians there have taken vote buying to a whole new level. Not content with promising more grain subsidies (the Indian equivalent, I gather, of “a chicken in every pot”), candidates for public office are promising voters bus passes, sheep, gold necklaces, free cable TV hook-ups and my favorite, blenders. The race has come down “mostly to a contest of who can offer a longer list of government-financed freebies,” one newspaper reported. Hey, at least they’re more honest about it than our politicians.