Column Date 2009-05-20

Your tax dollars at work

In the midst of the worst economic crisis in over half a century, I thought you'd like to know how some of your elected state legislators have been spending their time.

In Florida (why is it always Florida?), legislators were working hard on a bill that would make sex with animals a third-degree felony (they got into a serious discussion about having sex with goats, a particular concern of the bill's sponsor).

The same week, their fellow legislators in Virginia debated a proposed bill (HB2008) to stop anybody using an "electric personal assistive mobility device" (we call it a motorized wheelchair) from traveling on interstate highways.

Meanwhile, a resolution in the Texas House (why is it always Texas?) called upon the U.S. Congress to repeal seemingly everything passed in the last half century, including the nutrition programs of LBJ’s Great Society, provisions of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act and the federally funded Children’s Health Insurance Program.

And in Washington, local District of Columbia legislators were considering a bill to make it illegal to sell cigars because of their potential to be hollowed out and refilled with marijuana.

You just can't make this stuff up.

While legislators fuddle around, Tannen Weekly readers are trying to help.

A few weeks ago I asked our subscribers to submit names for new cars that might actually help Detroit get back on its feet.

I wrote: "With our economy in serious trouble, I think Detroit needs a bunch of new, more aspirational names to spur consumers to get out there and start buying cars again."

So thank you, Phil Stevens, for suggesting the "Dodge Dirigible" (finally, the perfect name for a monster SUV!) and the "Cadillac Escalate" (the war, since we'll always need more oil with gas guzzlers like this).

Ellen Hawes chipped in with the "Bush Dodge" – perfect for any politician who doesn't want to give a straight answer.

And Marc "Bunky" Victor suggested the "Bentley Bankruptcy" (since he's a stockbroker, maybe he's trying to tell us something here).

Thanks to everyone who sent in names, printable and unprintable.

©2009 Peter Tannen