April Fools

That’s what the wife and I are.  April fools.  We’ve been buying a computer tax program and filing on-line now for over five years.  We bought and installed the program over a month ago.  The son calculated and filed his taxes.  He has to pay $24.  Nobody is ready to pay taxes, even if it is only $5.  Everybody hopes for and expects a refund.  The daughter took the program to her house and put it on her computer; it will do up to five returns.  She did her taxes, and has a small refund coming.  The grandson has his first (part-time) job.  He did his taxes and got a thousand back, part of which he gave to his Mom.

Unlike Americans, who have to file by the fifteenth of April, Canadians have until the end of the month.  Good intentions did not get our taxes done until the last minute.  They’re due no later than midnight, Monday, the 30th …today.  We finally finished them late yesterday afternoon.  We file together, but not as a joint file.  We split certain income and expenses.  The program balances taxes owed.  We will have to pay $252.  Canada’s bureaucratic system prevents us from sending the government that amount.  First, I have to give them my $650, upfront.  Then, whenever RevCan gets around to it, they will send her a refund for $400.  Well, somebody gotta pay for that socialized medicine.  I just hoped that it would be more somebody else, and less me.

For twenty years, at the plaza four blocks away, there were a Pizza Hut, and a Taco Bell, side by side.  Two years ago, the Pizza Hut closed down.  A new restaurant just reopened in the same building.  It’s a glorified pancake house, headquartered in B.C., like a Denny’s, or perhaps IHOP.  Last Saturday, the son and I stopped in to the Taco Bell, for a late lunch, about three PM.  I met the daughter of the Polish contessa, or maybe the sister of the Canadian Tire clerk.  As we entered, there were the usual inner/outer double doors.  On each of these doors, at adult eye height, was a notice stating that this particular Taco Bell would be closed as of Saturday, April 28.  Just inside these doors was the access door to the washrooms.  There was another copy of this notice there, and possibly copies on each of the washroom doors, I don’t know for sure.  I didn’t use the facilities

There was only one customer when we entered, a 20ish young woman.  Since the place was almost deserted, the male counter clerk had come out to do some clean-up.  I said, “You’re not even gone, and I miss you already.  Do you get to transfer to another location, when they close this place?”  The female brain-trust perked up.  “Oh, they’re closing this restaurant?  How do you know?”  Well, for the clerk, the answer would be that he works there, and management tells him things like that.  For the son and me, I pointed to the notices on the doors and told her that we read them on the way in.  “Oh, I didn’t look.  I guess I missed them.”  Please tell me that she walked here.  I shudder at the thought of her driving a car.

They say an honest politician is one who, when he’s been bought, stays bought.  My provincial representative has been bought.  She’s a she, and she’s been the rep. for this riding for 22 years.  She’s quite a worker, and very influential.  She’s never openly expressed a desire or intent to be the leader of her party.  Twice though, she’s been made Deputy Premier to a male.  The latest one, when they opened a dictionary to the word bland, his picture fell out.  The ruling party has a minority.  They can get enough friendly votes to get most bills passed.  They just floated the budget and, instead of doing the hard, right things to strengthen Ontario’s economy, they went with political expediency.  The ruling party had to woo the number three party with some money for their favorite projects to assure enough votes to get the budget passed.  The balance is still close though.

This female politico is sixty-five years old.  If she retires now, she will get a gold-plated government pension that most of us could only dream of.  The Provincial Premier has offered her a five-year contract as the CEO of the Provincial Health and Safety Bureau.  She’s been making $118,000 a year as our representative.  This offer lets her start collecting that outrageous pension immediately, and guarantees her another five years at $168,000 a year.  It also reduces the opposition by one vote on the budget vote.  A by-election can’t fill her seat till long after the vote is taken, and it removes a trouble-maker who might have led a campaign against the spendthrift party’s financial plans.

I don’t think the Premier himself is smart enough to have come up with this plan.  Somebody in his circle though, has used our rapidly diminishing money to ensure that they can spend more of our rapidly diminishing money.  If we’re going to go bankrupt anyway, perhaps I could move to Holland or Greece.  Thank God my pensions and benefits plan are guaranteed by the Federal government and the American, Big Three, auto-makers.

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