Saturday, April 29, 2006

Gimme a break!

As a hard-working, middle-class, single renter with no children, I have not qualified for the bulk of the tax breaks that Bush has carved out for the rich these past few years. My tax burden is pretty much the same now as it was when Clinton was in office -- actually, it's probably higher because my income has gone up a bit since then. Those of you who have enjoyed the good fortune of tax cuts courtesy of president Bush, don't make the mistake of thinking that they have in any way been distributed evenly among American taxpayers.

Now the Democrats are proposing some tax breaks. Again: I'm spurned! Senator Wyden and representative Blumenauer, both Democrats from Oregon, are introducing bills in their respective houses of congress which would give commuters who ride bikes to work between $40 and $100 per month in tax breaks.

I'll be the first to say that it's a good idea to ride a bike to work -- especially in these days of skyrocketing gas prices. In fact, I used to ride my bike 150 to 200 miles a week just to stay fit. That's less than the miles I commute every week for work. I love riding a bike!

However, now that I'm quadriplegic, it's simply not feasible for me to ride a bike to work. Even if it were possible to fix a wheelchair lift to a tandem bicycle, I'm certain the federal government would not provide me with someone to pedal it for me. Of course, that last statement was silly but there's a serious point behind it. The federal government must, by law, make all programs and services they provide equally accessible to citizens with disabilities. That includes tax breaks.

So here we are in times of record deficits and out-of-control government spending with the government trying to give Americans yet another tax break. Unfortunately, I would not get to participate in this one either. As long as the government is handing them out, I wish at least once they'd give me a tax break!

1 comment:

zenyenta said...

We haven't gotten any benefits from tax breaks either, although your complaint resonates a bit more than ours.

As much as it's very good and virtuous, too, to ride bikes to work, it's simply not possible for a lot of people. There are disability related reasons and lots of others as well. Also, if someone can save by getting to work without the use of fossil fuel, virtue will provide its own rewards. It's those are are not able to change much about their method of transportation that have the larger problem.

Moreover, the hit that we'll be taking with the skyrocketing cost of oil won't be felt exclusively at the gas station. The cost of home energy and all the business costs that will rise because of this will be end up costing us all a fortune. I think that they should forget tax cuts, go after the windfall profits tax and do something seriously constructive with it.