Like many Americans, I am struggling to understand the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, so I did what my President advised me to do. I went to recovery.com to find out just where my money was going. I guess they’re not quite sure yet because other than a couple of graphs, I was informed to return to the site over the upcoming months when more information will be provided. Feeling adventurous, I clicked on “read the full bill here”. I was asked to “log in” for some reason, which put me in a foul mood, so I used a fake name and address. I was taken to the White House web site where I began to wonder if the Secret Service could somehow find me and charge me with identity fraud. I went back and corrected my login. Cautiously, I clicked on the “final text” of the legislation. I then left the White House site where my almost fraudulent visit was neither informative nor enjoyable, as they had hoped.
The actual legislation finally appeared on my screen, with no fluttering flag or patriotic song in the background, which surprised me. The table of contents was a little intimidating, so I scrolled down to what I assumed would be the meat of it. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to investigate, so I just closed my eyes and stopped scrolling after a few seconds. I landed in the middle of Economic Development Assistance Programs. Not knowing what that meant, I continued scrolling for several more seconds. I reached Energy and Water Development. I wasn’t interested in this either, and I was becoming concerned about the little bar in the scroll column that hadn’t yet moved. I pulled it down to the middle of the document. I get a little impatient from time to time. Finally, something I could relate to. General Tax Relief!
I read until my eyes bled, and still am not quite sure if I’m entitled to a tax break. I seem to be ineligible for most perks, so, unlike my stimulus check shopping spree, I am choosing a wait and see attitude. Does any one know what a mirror code is? There was a lot of valuable information about that, for those who do. There were a lot of directions concerning returning to subparagraph B, blah, blah, blah, and allocation formulas, which I probably would also find annoying. My attention span is immediate, and you’re going to lose me if you make me refer back to what I ignored to begin with.
I was becoming agitated, so I spit out my nicorette gum, and lit a cigarette, wondering if I might be eligible for a little something if I declared myself incapacitated due to my addiction. The little scroll bar was stuck again, so I moved it about three quarters down to General Provisions. I learned about ERISA and PHSA amendments. Well, I read about them, uh, skimmed them, lightly, actually skipped over them, thinking again how I hate anagrams. Before reaching the point of mummification, I thought I should at least read the last page. Etiquette demands an expression of gratitude for even the smallest of gifts, so I thought the sponsors of this package would insert at the very least, a teeney weeney “thank you” at the end, but obviously no one thought anyone would actually get to the end. Apparently they were correct.
In today’s news conference with the governors, my president didn’t like the criticism about such issues as broadband because they were such a tiny part of the bill. “If they are insignificant in the grand scope of things, why not dump them?” I snarled. I was immediately repentant for my outburst, realizing that “we the people” have neither the intelligence nor the qualifications to make the determinations that weigh heavily upon our leaders. However, the more I think about the massive ramifications of this action, the more I wonder why I didn’t stand up sooner in support of the ridiculous idea of sending each taxpaying citizen a big fat check and letting us repair our own damn economy . I figure through my investigative efforts, I now know as much about this Recovery Act as our politicians. At least I made the attempt….sort of. Maybe we should all open our windows and scream “IT’S MY MONEY AND I WANT IT NOW!”