By now you may have seen or heard about the IRS giving a tax deduction of up to $2,000 for buyers of gas/electric hybrid vehicles. You might recall that a 1992 energy law gave taxpayers a $4,000 deduction for buying a fully electric vehicle but now there is a deduction at a minimum $2,000 to allow taxpayers who bought hybrids before this year to claim the allowance retroactively.

There are other aspects of this but I'm not looking at those right now because I don't intend to buy a hybrid car. I have no intention of mixing electricity and gasoline. What am I crazy? I don’t care what the IRS will give me. They may have their rules; but I have my own, and gasoline and electricity simply don’t mix in my book.

However, if the IRS would like to offer some tax deductions on other appliances of electrical in nature, how about giving me something for my telephone answering machine? I got a machine that only answers one of four telephone calls and of course, the one for which it does it give a message is a telemarketer hawking some obscure product or service. Those messages from my kids, grandkids, and doctors, are all left in neverneverland.

Okay, let’s see what else we have. How about a credit on my VCR? I rarely use it. In fact, I never use it. It sits there forlornly waiting for some videotape. Why don’t I use it? Simple. I don’t know how. Unless my six-year-old grandson, Danny, comes a-calling, I have no idea how it works. Shouldn’t I get some sort of deduction or credit for that? For non-use? Heck, I’m energy-saving, ain’t I?

Also, my electric pencil sharpener. Never use it. Why? Cause once it grabs a pencil, it simply won’t let go. It grinds it down to the nub and the only way to stop it is to pull the plug. I do everything in pen now. Much cleaner and safer. How about a tax credit for another energy-saving device?

Hey, look, I’m trying. Global warming and all.

Now, I also have this treadmill. Don’t ask. I paid a King’s ransom for it, went on it four times, and it now sits there, its treads panting to be let go, it’s fancy dashboard with all kinds of cardio-vascular numbers, including fat burn, are beginning to atrophy. Will the IRS give me something for its non-use or do I get punished for not using it and not taking off the small bulge in the stomach that She Who Must Be Obeyed wants gone within a fortnight, or less?

Listen, the IRS is trying to help too. In fact, they are reducing. I just read that they have let go 3,000 employees at their Holtsville, N.Y. compound, a big facility that processes the Northeast section of the country.

I wonder, do those 3,000 workers get any kind of tax credit?

Hey, I also got an automatic putting green thingamajig. Anyone want that? Price is right. It’s free along with a bent driver.

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