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21 April 2007 @ 12:18 am
Fiscal Musing  

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Two thoughts on taxes. (That I meant to post two and a half weeks ago when I actually did them):

  1. The first thing that TurboTax told me was that starting this year (so next years taxes) same-sex partners who are registered domestic partners in the state of California must file using one of the "Married . . ." options. This information elicited the following reactions (roughly in this order, as close as my random-access train of thought gets):

    1. Yay! Recognition! A step forward! That's great!
    2. So, wait. The general idea is "Pay as though you're married, without getting the benefit of actually being so." That kind of fiscal hypocrisy fits the conservative (if not the religious) agenda perfectly.
    3. And it also means that our tax code is more progressive than our civil code. What the fuck does that say?

    So, I guess it sucks in the short-term, but it gives me hope for the long term. Anything we can do to erode the "defense of marriage" bullshit is a good thing in my book. On the other hand, it's not something that affects me directly, so I'm sure there's a whopper of a consequence I'm not considering.

  2. The alternative energy credits apply to HYBRIDS? What kind of half-baked crock of shit is that? A lip-service, incremental (at best), stop-gap, Band-Aid solution that ignores the environmental impact of the production and destruction of all those batteries?

    Where the hell is the tax credit for my alternative fuel vehicle?!? You know, food.

    No. Seriously. I'm not saying I should be able to write off a decadent evening at Millennium, but maybe on a pure caloric intake level vs. the distance commuting I spend on the bike. Ok, so it sounds like the paperwork would be a hassle, but I'm keeping track of it all for weight reasons anyway.

 
 
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: "It's a Sin" — Pet Shop Boys
 
 
 
stealthymonkey on April 21st, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
Wow. My pondering answers to your notes...cause I would have been struck by them too:
1.) w00! Yay, some kind of weird recognition where it isn't expected!
2.)Erm, wait...you're right.
3.) Yes. God money and all.

And the hybrid thing? It's a start- you can't 'proove' that you cycle and take public transport nearly everywhere. But a car? You've got a money trail prooving you own it. It ain't much, but hey- it's something.
Erik Oganeriktheplaid on April 21st, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
And the hybrid thing? It's a start- you can't 'proove' that you cycle and take public transport nearly everywhere. But a car? You've got a money trail prooving you own it. It ain't much, but hey- it's something.

My issue is not really with the fact that the alternative energy credits not applying to my bicycle, but with the fact that they now apply to hybrid vehicles. I think the credits are very important, as we need a solution to oil dependence, and they're being diluted by including hybrids, since they are (at best) an incremental improvement over gasoline cars, the creation & disposal of batteries are non-trivial environmental events (especially on a large scale), and the holier-than-thou attitude of many hybrid owners who don't realize that their minor decrease in carbon-emissions doesn't warrant their smug attitude makes me want to stab them in the face.

Ok, maybe I should go eat something.
Erik Ogan: flip offeriktheplaid on April 21st, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
This is really just an extension of the ire generated by the recent law to allow hybrid vehicles in the HOV lane. They're no way as efficient as a carpool (or a motorcycle, for that matter). And they lead people to think they're solving the problem, rather than just slapping a band-aid over top of it.