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Tax Reality Check Refund

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I received a check in the mail. It was from the U.S. Treasury. At the bottom of the check, in bold letters, were the words, “Protecting the Rights of the American Worker.”

I’m wondering who exactly that phrase refers to. Is it the Caterpillar union workers in Decatur, Ill., who were replaced by permanent scabs? Is it the auto worker, the textile worker and the electronics assembler who have quietly watched as their jobs went to Chinese factories? Perhaps it was the woman at the shoe factory whose work is now performed so efficiently by Vietnamese children.

Or perhaps it was meant as an apology to those thousands of workers who marched through the streets of Seattle in what they believed to be a legal protest against corporate crime and greed--only to be herded into jails by riot police with fire hoses and rubber bullets. Could it have been intended to offset expenses for labor representatives traveling to Washington to assist Vice President Cheney in forming his new energy policy? Guess not; they weren’t even invited.

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I’ll be donating my check to the local Job Corps, whose task is to gather children from troubled homes and provide them with the skills needed to join the workplace. Programs like this have lost most of what little federal funding they once had, so I know they can use the help. And the assumption that these kids will even have a job waiting for them, instead of prison cells . . . that will be my daily exercise in optimism.

Duane Behrens

Rancho Palos Verdes

As a widow, listed as a single person in the “big” tax cut, I received a huge rebate. My check was for $160. Wow, I can hardly wait to spend it to help the economy. Oh, I forgot, I have to go to the market to buy food. Well, there it goes, mostly to feed myself. Thanks a lot, G.W. Bush; now are you going to destroy Social Security to pay for the huge tax cut?

Barbara Finch

Costa Mesa

My wife and I just got our $600 federal tax refund. When we send the mentally ill to jail, do not take proper care of the health needs of our indigent and near-indigent, have people sleeping on the streets, do not repair our infrastructure such as bridges and streets and waste our resources on excessive expenditures for armaments with the connivance of both parties and our compassionate president, we felt shame both for ourselves and our society.

Stanley Marcus

Encino

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