Tuesday, February 07, 2012

At the DMV

At the DMV today, it occurred to me that the DMV is the great equalizer. Great or small, rich or poor, no matter who you are, or what you do, you have to get your registration renewed. If you have a car, that is.

There was a time when, as the maxim goes, there were two things one couldn't escape: death and taxes. Well, we all know that the death part still applies, but how about those taxes?

If you happen to have been born right, like Mitt Romney's sons, you can get away with keeping $100 million in a trust account with your name of it, tax-free. Mr. Romney claims not to know anything about the money that was in his now defunct Swiss bank account as it was part of what is called a blind trust. Do you suppose that trust is the same as our national motto, "In God We Trust?" In God, we place blind trusts?

Moreover, if you happen to be the head of a Fortune 500 company with subsidiaries overseas like Bain Capital, Exxon-Mobil, or General Electric, there is always some legal loophole hanging around that enables you to escape paying millions of dollars in taxes. These are the "entitlement programs" Republicans don't want to talk about. These are the entitlement programs that won't go anywhere if you put another Republican in the White House in 2012.

So, as I waited for my number to be called, I thought about how it is that someone can be pulled over by law enforcement and issued a citation, often in excess of registration fees, for simply being a few days over their vehicle registration deadline date while others can go for years, even a whole lifetime, without paying a nickel in taxes. Who pulls them over? Isn't that what the Attorney-General is supposed to do?

On my way home, I wondered what kind of system is this free enterprise that it's only free for zillionaire CEO's or their progeny, and very costly for the rest of us.