"Life's not fair," is the battle cry of the envious, but it's also true.
Through no fault of our own, some of us are born ugly, poor or incapable of laughing at mildly amusing stuff in newspapers.
Laws exist, in part, to balance out some of the unfairness, but those things almost never work as promised.
The Georgia Constitution, for example, says the General Assembly can't "forgive any debt or obligation owing to the public" but somehow it happens anyway.
Unfortunately, these gifts were aimed at people that aren't me. Or probably you.
I spent $500 repainting my boat last summer (actual price reduced because the wife may read this). If I'd waited a year and added a million more coats I could've taken advantage of a sales tax exemption the state now gives to boat owners who spend at least $500,000 on maintenance.
If yachting isn't your thing, local governments are on standby to help the jet set.
Cobb County’s development authority recently approved a $1.8 million deal for an aviation company owned by film producer Tyler Perry, whose checkbook is fatter than Madea after an all-you-can-eat buffet.
If the plan goes through it will refinance a jet with a $35.3 million bond package and give Perry's company, ETPC Aviation, 10 years of tax breaks.
Where was this development authority when I was trying to finance a new car? Why didn't I get a tax break on my major purchase?
The Perry deal was dubbed "Project Meatloaf" to keep it a secret. The name "Operation No Millionaire Left Behind" was already taken.
Some say it's a wise use of public funds to create new and better jobs for working stiffs.
Cobb County taxpayers took on $397 million in debt for the new Atlanta Braves stadium, but did that create new jobs or just move them a few miles down the road?
The average Atlanta Brave is paid $5 million a year. In a fair world the stadium deal would've required all players to buy expensive, fully-taxed homes in Cobb County.
The Braves are owned by Liberty Media, whose chairman, John C. Malone, owns more than 2 million acre s. That's three times bigger than Rhode Island. I'd hate to have to walk down his driveway every day to pick up the mail.
Malone is the largest landowner in the United States. Former Braves owner Ted Turner is now No. 2.
Call me crazy, but there may be more equitable ways to share the economic love than refinancing a famous crossdresser's jet or helping a billionaire build a stadium.
Here's a few ideas that might actually improve things around here:
- HOPE scholarships are first given to those pursuing degrees employers actually want. Art history majors best start saving now.
- Businesses paying every employee enough to not use state welfare benefits are exempt from state taxes.
- Renters with at least a year's worth of on-time payments qualify for zero-interest mortgages and property tax exemptions.
- Residential property taxes will be based on the purchase price of the home, not the addled math of some government flunky.
- Any stadium financed by us has to have a really good team playing in it.
- Publicly-financed jets are required to fly me somewhere awesome whenever I'm unchained from this computer.
If any of those sound unfair, you're probably just envious.