Opinion Columns & Blogs

Giving to the charity of no choice

It’s hard to find what we used to call a “straight shooter” up in Washington, D.C., these days, but I think I’ve found one. That fireball from Tennessee, Congressperson Marsha Blackburn, seems to be a “straight shooter.” This isn’t about her, but it’s about something she said the other day that got my limited attention.

She said that, dating back to 1995, we’d paid $17 million in some way or other for the waywardness and potential sins of our esteemed elected officials in the hallowed halls of Congress. Well, she didn’t say, “hallowed halls.” I suppose that’s because she’s there a lot, but I pulled out my calculator because I wanted to see what was my share of this money. I came up with an estimate of $17.64.

I based that figure on 300 million taxpayers, although I realize not all of us are paying taxes. Still, if only half of us are paying taxes, I only owe $35.28. That’s not much when you consider the cost of serious philandering nowadays. The problem is I’m not into charitable giving until Christmas, and this appears to be just that. Also, I’m not a banker, although I have owed banks from time to time and spent time with a few bankers on tennis courts, but the thought of owing something to somebody or having my money given to a “charity” that I don’t approve of, gets under my skin.

I guess it’s the principle of the thing. First and foremost, not all charities are approved by the “charity guru” around here. That would be the person who handles my less-than-substantial financial empire, the wife. We got the credit card the year we were married, 1980, and she explained to me how this miracle of miracles was to be considered a treasured gift from her to me. The only card I had carried prior to this was a Sears card, which could also be used for gas, when on long trips.

In short, before I met this woman my wallet consisted of $2, a photo of a dog, who got hungry and ran away and the Sears card, which could be used for gas, when on long trips.

I’m not repeating myself here but want you to understand that the Sears card was never used because there was never money for long trips! My wardrobe consisted of a pair of running shoes, shorts and other essentials necessary for running. What I was running from I have no idea and it’s too late to find out now, but to your credit, you get the picture.

She caught me without taking a step and the Sears card went into the trash, canceled of course, (Lord have mercy, I wasn’t addicted to the thing) and then “we” were given the holy grail of credit cards, the Visa. Now the Visa, living in my wallet was a talkative thing. I could hear it during the day saying it wanted to come out and play — but to my credit, I resisted, knowing the “charity guru” would not approve of a purchase unless someone’s life was in danger.

Noting that charity most certainly should begin at home, I argued that if we didn’t use the card it might be canceled due to lack of use. That argument lasted for 30 seconds an additional glare. What’s infuriating about all of this, is that I’ve been donating to charity since ‘95 without knowing it. You’d think the playboys up there in Flushington, D.C. would have shown a little respect and told me to whom my money was being donated. Everybody can use a tax write-off.

I’d also like to know if my money went to a conservative or a liberal, so I’d know the extent and type of sexual activity sponsored by me. The sad truth is that the details of what some of our philandering folks have been up to will remain submerged in that great “need to know” vat hidden somewhere along the METRO, probably near Foggy Bottom.

The good news is it does appear they’ve been about the “sheeples” business, and that would be some form of fleecing. I shave once a day, and thank the Lord, I am still able to shave myself. The thought of being shaved by a member of Congress makes me want to get into a pair of running shorts.

The “charity guru” and I have, of course, paid the $35.28 or whatever it was to ensure the integrity of our oversexed leaders. I only want to know whose integrity I have ensured. Is that in the Bill of Rights? If not, maybe it ought to be.

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.