Friday, April 15, 2005

Stupid People Stories

     In honor of Tax Day (US) and the fact that I got to work really, really late because the air conditioning guy was really, really late this morning (ever live in the south without A/C? You can't.), here are some interesting news stories.

Geezer Loses Control of Car
     Shocked? An 81-year old woman buying a car in Fort Myers, Florida (otherwise known as the nursing home of the world), forgot which pedal did what in the car and ran over 1) her 88-year old husband (he probably deserved it for bringing her), 2) the car salesman (he probably deserved it for being a car salesman), 3) a parked Honda (it probably deserved it for not being as good as a Nissan), 4) a tree (this one was innocent), and 5) a wall (a martyr, for protecting innocent old people on the other side). The state of Florida, which so recently has delved into intruding on peoples' lives by trying to take custody of peoples' brain-dead wives, needs to take away this woman's driver's license immediately. See The Automotive Geriatric for more on my thoughts about old people driving.
P.S. If you were going to rank the things that were going to send me to hell, this would probably be up there.

Pay Your Taxes
     If you haven't noticed, today is Tax Day in the US. Tip: stay away from the Post Offices. The title is a link to a list of common deductions people forget about. On the list is Charitable Donations and Natural Disasters. OK - first of all, if you're extraordinarily charitable, you might forget about one or two specific instances of giving. I mean, what's $10 you gave to Bobby's walk-a-thon when you're giving $2000 to tsunami relief, you know? But how can you forget to deduct your charitable donations at all? That's like, the most common deduction, after your mortgage. I mean, all the charities advertise it. If you forget this, you're just not paying attention. And natural disasters? I know it's been a busy year so far, but would you really forget that last year your house was hit by an earthquake, caught on fire, and was then looted?

Yes, Virginia, Georgia is a Backwards State
     In local news, the state of Georgia today passed a law allowing the community of Sandy Springs in North Metro Atlanta to become a city, if it wants. Some background: if you don't live in Georgia, you might think that government was tiered. You have your federal government, then your state, then your county, then your city, then maybe a neighborhood association (which is a government, make no mistake). Each defers to the one above and each has its own specific rights that supersede those below. In Georgia, that's not the case. We have more counties than any other state in the union. And most counties have only 1 or 2 incorporated cities. The vast majority of land is unincorporated. So the counties act as if they were cities. And in places where you have both, they compete against each other like little bratty children. Anyway, now that I realize Sandy Springs deserves its own post, I just want to say that it's about time they become incorporated. They've been trying for 30 years and the only reason they haven't yet is because Fulton County is taking their sales tax dollars and spending it elsewhere. Opponents of cityhood are saying things like, "this will cause Fulton to lose millions of dollars." No it won't - the sales taxes will just be going to another part of Fulton - the part called Sandy Springs. Stop competing with the cities and start acting like a county. And while you're at it, incorporate the rest of the county. Damn.


Sylvana said...

I don't claim donations to charities. I give small amounts here and there and never have the right documentation come tax time to deduct any of them. Sometimes it is very difficult to get the docs too. Like every year I donate about $200 worth of toys and $100 worth of food to charities, but they are all drop off sites with no one to write you a receipt. Oh, well. Even though I don't get a deduction, I still give.

sideshow bob said...

I lived in Arizona for a couple years, and my car had no air conditioning. I no longer fear hell.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

I fear the geriatrics driving their Buicks. Why do they always drive a Buick???

Nice site.

Ben said...

Did you see last week's South Park? It was all about old people driving, very funny satire.

I gave 3 bags of clothes to the Salvation Army, so I deducted $100 for each. Unfortunately I had a lot of capital gains taxes to pay.

Sandy Springs should get it's own city. I'm surprised that you agree, Scott. The naysayers main reason for not wanting Sandy Springs to have it's own city is because it goes against their income redistribution plan where money in North Fulton is given to South Fulton where the average income is so much less. Seeing as you are usually in full favor of income redistribution, I'm surprised.

What really ticks me off are the people that call Sandy Springs people racists because they want to incorporate. Is it their fault that the majority of people who get benefits from the taxes Sandy Springs pays are poor black people living in the southern part of the county? It's got nothing to do with race, it's about money, pure and simple.

Mike said...

Interesting post on the counties and city issue. It reminds me of the last election when we had a referendum on whether our borough (Sinking Spring) should merge with the neighboring borough of West Lawn. I remember noticing how the question was worded on the referendum. "Are you in favor of the boroughs of Sinking Spring and West Lawn merging to form one borough under one local government?" I thought the question was worded in order to put a positive spin on it and get it passed. What if they had worded it "Are you in favor of preventing the boroughs from merging?" I think when people aren't familiar with the issues on a referendum or don't care they tend to vote in the affirmative and the people who put it on the ballot knew that.
For the record, the referendum passed and I voted against it. (I was moving anyway and didn't care.)