Daily Archives: January 25, 2008

Death and Taxes

Everyone’s talking about the “economic stimulus package” that’s rumbling around Capitol Hill this week. Gerry‘s written about it here, The Naked Messenger gave us an economics lesson here, and Bo‘s got a post here. I’ve been listening to seemingly endless NPR stories about it and seriously? ALL I can think of is this exchange between Leo and Charlie in the third season of The West Wing.

Charlie was expecting a tax refund, but instead ends up owing about 400 bucks. Mystified as to how he messed up the math, he goes asking around and gets this as an answer:

LEO
Yeah, it sounds like you’re getting tripped up by 1783.

CHARLIE
Which is?

LEO
HR 1783; it’s a tax rebate from last year.

CHARLIE
Why would that affect my return for this year?

LEO
Did you get a tax rebate last year?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

LEO
There’s the answer.

CHARLIE
Where’s the answer?

LEO
Your rebate came off of this year’s taxes. That’s how we paid for it.

CHARLIE
Hang on. The money I got back last year has to be paid for?

LEO
Yeah.

CHARLIE
That’s not a rebate; that’s an advance.

LEO
Well, technically I guess…

CHARLIE
Not technically. This is like getting a Christmas bonus and having it deducted from your January paycheck.

LEO
This doesn’t sound like very patriotic talk to me, Charlie.

CHARLIE
It’s not. Why did you call it a rebate?

LEO
So people would spend it. If they thought it was an advance, they might save it.

CHARLIE
It was an advance.

LEO
Did you spend it?

CHARLIE
I paid my VISA bill.

LEO
We would have preferred it if you ate in a restaurant or traveled.

CHARLIE
Me too.

LEO
Well, in any event… [puts out his hand]

CHARLIE
What? [Leo starts wiggling his fingers] Oh, what; are you the collector?!

BARTLET
Leo.

LEO
He used the rebate to pay off his VISA bill.

CHARLIE
It wasn’t a rebate; it was an advance.

BARTLET
A trip to Banana Republic would have killed you?

s03e17_312.jpg

Sadly, truth is stranger than fiction (and, I’m betting, not nearly as witty).

image credit (click to see full size)

15 Comments

Filed under Blogroll, duh!, dumbassery, Friends, frustrations, funniness, General Bitching, politics, social issues, strange but true, television, Worries and Anxieties