Is it a tax or a penalty?
Before I dig into the realities of my essay title, I wish to make a few remarks on the art of obfussing, which is, or ought to be, the verb form of obfuscation. There are certainly times when things need to be unclarified in the interest of good mental health. A clear view of our present circumstance could be very upsetting, and with that in mind, I direct certain comments to the title of my essay. Be prepared to take a short break from serious thinking..
My first impulse is to say, yes, it is surely one or the other or maybe even both, but when you get right down to the nub, it is just a distinction without a difference. The large number of people who do not have jobs might have time to ponder this, but a busy working man is more likely just to fan himself in his idle moments.
He knows that a penalty and a tax are about equally taxing in the long run and feels disinclined to tax himself with any further consideration of the issue at a time when the weather is taxing him to the limit.
Republicans have been charged with just saying “no” long after it went out of style, if it ever was in style, so you can see why they might want to go with most any kind of distinction opportunity available to them. Difference is a cake walk but distinction is much harder to come by, no matter how slight the difference between difference and distinction.
To the hard-headed realist who asks, “What is the difference in cash money?”, choosing distinction over difference is just six of one and half a dozen of the other, but the true spin doctor knows it is mighty important what you call a thing. It comes down to which is the badder word, tax or penalty. To the fellow just wanting to hang onto every cent he has, the distinction makes little difference.
There is another aspect to the matter that has been seldom mentioned. If it is a tax, you might be able to take it off your income tax, but if it is a penalty, it is just money down a rat hole or maybe just money into some rat’s pocket. Strict literalists may contend that rats do not have pockets, but we higher level thinkers know better.
If the penalty becomes a felony and a felony disqualifies a person from voting, this thing will surely work in the ultimate favor of Republicans. Whoever heard of a Republican who lacked the money to pay a tax or a penalty? Of course, Democrats will try to provide waivers for all their ranks who claim to be indigents and unable to pay, whether it is a penalty or a tax. In order to have indigents, we need first to have digents, but I am a little unclear as to exactly what a digent is. I suppose they are folks with money, but that is just a wild guess on my part.
Lemme see now, where was I? I guess I better stop and go see if I took my pill today. Ever since WWII, I have been a little leery of pill boxes which can give you a very distinct sense of security. which does not make a lot of difference after you are shot.
The Friday box is empty, but I cannot remember whether this is Friday or Saturday. I will figure it out in a minute because I remember that the Fourth of July was on the 4th and that was on Wednesday. Was that two or three days ago? Which is better, to take two pills or to skip a pill?
Getting back to whether Obama is a natural born citizen or not, we are going to have to clear up the meaning of natural born. It should mean not by Caesarian, but how in the world did Ceasar get into this discussion?
I hope this makes the whole business as clear as mud which sometimes covers the ground but has not been seen in these parts for months. I think some confusion arose when some language guru decided that making things clear is clarifying and not clearifing. Know what I mean, Vern?
— Toby Hightower
Year seven smooth as one through six
On June 16, we hosted our Seventh Annual Lady Viking Shootout. Twenty-four teams, representing 12 different counties from Indiana and Illinois, participated. We would like to thank each of those teams’ coaches, players, and parents for coming to West Vigo for a great day of girls basketball.
We would also like to thank Beef O Brady’s for their continued food donations and support to our hospitality room (have to keep coaches, referees and parents happy!), that was very much appreciated by all. A huge thank-you to Mike Stoffers for finding and assigning all the officials and a thank-you to each of them for spending a part of their Saturday with us. Another thank you to Greg MacDonald, our West Vigo athletic trainer, for all his help with taping ankles and attending to any injuries, which thank goodness, there were no major ones. Also, a thank-you to our administration for allowing us to continue to host this event.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank our team parents for spending an entire day working in a gym or concession stand for the betterment of our basketball program.
Lastly, to my mom, dad, Mike and Justin Gant, Rob and Jonathan Virostko for helping us in whatever way was needed.
Thanks again to everyone for making this event run itself.
— Ryan Easton
Lady Viking Basketball West Vigo High School
West Terre Haute