“Me and My $600″

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It’s tax time again folks, and it’s that time of year when you give Uncle Sam your hard earned bucks to pay for things that the country needs.

In the last few years though, doesn’t it feel like our taxes are going to pay for Uncle Sam’s not so secret cravings for guns and booze (and by booze I mean power, as you can get drunk on both)?

I’m all for paying taxes to go to things that help pay for things that we need, you know like bridges that aren’t going to collapse and levees that won’t break, but hey, at worst, I would be happy with highways that aren’t filled with pot holes, or maybe just some up to date text books for the school kids of the country. But I’m just a typical white person or scumbag elitist that thinks I know how to help poor people or hold my elected leaders to any sort of a standard, heaven forbid, a moralistic one.

But wait, before I start feeling bad about being mad, this week is the week when dissenting Americans are given reaffirmation for their dissent. We can disagree with things because we are “tax paying Americans” and that reminds us that we are the ones paying for this war, and when Dick Cheney says “so what” to the notion that two-thirds of the people in this country are against the war in Iraq, we should at least be allowed to call him out on his countless number of screw-ups and lies, (and perhaps slap that smirk off his face).

All that aside, this year of paying taxes is exciting for some because the administration is trying to boost the economy that they claim isn’t struggling by giving millions of Americans a $600 check.

It seems to me that the administration has been running our country into the ground, and this is their arrogant “a little something for the effort” attempt at slipping a $20 into our shirt pockets “for our trouble” while we look for the broom and the Fallujah-sized dust pan to clean up their mess.

At this point, unfortunately, I will take that $600 and I will await its arrival in the mail with a welcoming-party waiting along with me on the front porch. Lemonade will be served as well as hot dogs and burgers.

So, if I want to do my part to stimulate the economy, I need to do the American thing and take that $600 and spend it somewhere. And like any good American, I need to spend it at a large shopping mall or commercial plaza where little shops are housed. You can pretty much go anywhere for this, as malls and commercial shopping plazas are pretty much as prevalent as Starbucks, McDonalds and Walmarts. They are like drug dealers and crack whores on the bad blocks of your favorite cities: There’s one on pretty much every corner.

So, in anticipation of spending my 6 “Benjamins”, I figured I’d do a little online research to see what I can buy with that kind of money. I mean, $600 when I was a kid was essentially life-changing money, and it’s funny that the administration is acting like this stimulus package is going to “stimulate” in a life-changing way when in all actuality it will be more like a “Dick (Cheney) Tease.”

Retail stores are actually vying for your “6 bennies” by putting together these new tax refund promotions. It’s all pretty shameless. They don’t want your business, they want you to spend it all there, in one-stop shop fashion, give us your $600, dammit.

But, hey, I’ll do my part and spend it on some stuff I don’t need to help stimulate the economy. So, where do you go when you need to buy some useless stuff in bulk?

The Internet, of course.

Craig’s List and Ebay are two subcultures of the universe that I try to steer clear of. They freak me out, kind of like online dating communities and local gyms. There are lingos and etiquettes and rules that I don’t wish to know or abide by, kind of like how I’m embarrassed because I know certain “slang” terms in text messaging because I have younger sisters.  “OMG, I love Verizon, they have the best reception. LOL G2G :)

So, perusing through the two mediums for things that I can buy for $600 here on the Eastern Shore, I was given no less than approximately 10,000 options.

It’s amazing how the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is so damn true on these two sites.

I figured out that I can fill up my car 12 times with $600, and I also figured out that I could buy 117 pounds of Spam if I was so inclined, or if I really wanted to get crazy, I could purchase a creepy van from an Ocean City resident that is selling one on Craig’s List for $600. And it’s already pimped out for those hoping to abduct people rather than pick them up if you know what I mean.

With all these choices, I know not what to do. I mean, I could buy a plaid sofa or a used Gibson knock-off guitar that has been sitting in someone’s attic for the better part of a decade off of Ebay, but I’m firmly convinced that winning the bid for products on Ebay is more satisfying and rewarding than winning the product itself. I mean, the excitement created in the last moments of an Ebay bidding war is the most excitement that some people ever get. I think that Ebay, on the bad side, is a gateway drug to online stock broking, and that could be dangerous for someone with a $600 refund check, no knowledge of the stock market, and a desire to invest it in pork bellies or frozen orange juice for the chance to double their money on the backend.

But alas, none of this research matters in the end, and I’ll tell you why.

Despite all the plans that I have for me and my $600, it will end up realistically going to bills like gas, electric and of course petrol for my SUV.

And on top of that, my accountant just called and told me that I actually owe the government way more than $600.

Maybe I’ll try to swallow that bitter little pill by telling myself it’s an investment in the country.

But that just makes me LOL.

Email me at domspino@yahoo.com.

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