Carol Iwamoto [re your 88-year-old pal]: ‘My father-in-law kept $100,000 in a non-interest-bearing checking account for over 10 years. When my husband finally closed the account upon his father’s move to a nursing home, the bank manager swore there was no such thing as a non-interest-bearing account for that sum. Was she ever embarrassed when she handed over a check a day later and confirmed my husband was correct. We can’t really blame the bank. In the old days checking accounts never earned interest and my father-in-law refused to believe that times had changed. My own 80-year-old father can’t seem to understand the concept of no-load mutual funds. And also couldn’t tolerate a 20% drop in stock he inherited. He sold at the bottom and put his money in annuities. It’s almost like people’s brains only fill up so far and after that there is no room for other ideas.’

☞ Yes! I reached that point myself Thursday. But then there are people like my mother and stepfather who, though even older than me, manage to make room for everything from web sites and Palm Pilots to TiVo and the latest in political activism. Go, seniors, go!

Will Klump (a reader I have never met, who says he is 80, not 88): ‘On July 23, I received a check for $230.40 with a note indicating that it was for tax relief for America’s workers. That the current administration of our country in which 43 million people do not have health insurance should find it fitting and proper to send me and millions of others like me this ludicrous tax relief is in my not at all humble opinion obscene. It is both idiotic and indecent! By snail mail, I shall send you the check made payable to the Democratic National Committee in the hope that even this paltry amount will be of some help in putting an end to the asinine antics of the current administration as soon as possible. The United States of Amoco is appalling.’

☞ Those who disagree with Will, and favor the administration’s approach, should consider sending their checks to Robert M. Duncan, Treasurer, Republican National Committee, 310 First Street, SE, Washington DC 20003 – or (since the RNC hardly needs the money, having raised $20 million at a single dinner last month alone) simply spending the checks on something they want or need for themselves, as intended. It is, after all, your money.

Those who agree with Will, but who run credit card balances, should use their tax checks to pay down those credit cards!

And, yes, those who agree with Will, and can afford to – and who believe, as I do, that the Bush / Lott / Helms / Armey / DeLay regime do not have the right vision for the 21st Century – would be patriots of the first order if they, too, endorsed their checks over to the DNC and sent them to Andrew Tobias, Treasurer, Democratic National Committee, 430 So. Capitol St., SE, Washington, DC 20003.

(Note that political contributions are not tax-deductible, and that either committee will need to know your OCCUPATION and EMPLOYER – which may be ‘retired/self’ or whatever applies – for its report to the Federal Election Committee.)


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