Monday, January 29, 2007

Politics: Metaphor alert!

Twenty one years to the day after I watched Challenger blow apart on liftoff, the headline at CNN.com read:
Uncle Sam spoils dream trip to space
That's right: The IRS wants to hoover the man's bank account for taxes from the estimated cash value of his Free Trip To Space!, and like most of us, $25k is a little more than he can cough up on short notice.

Ad astra per aspera, indeed.

7 comments:

markm said...

I'm wondering how the IRS valued the trip at $138,000. There's no market to establish a fair market value, and I'd have guessed the costs at ten times that or more. $138,000 might cover the cost of shipping your carcass in the shuttle cargo bay without lifesupport, but only if you're small.

Bob said...

Last time I saw an estimate for space shuttle cost, it was approxiamately $6,000 per kilogram to low earth orbit. That number assumed no further shuttle loses so it must be much higher now that another shuttle was lost.

Even at $6,000 per kilogram, $138,000 would only get about 50 lbs into space. As expected, having the government do it results in higher costs.

Ulises from CA said...

So, he should write a check to the IRS. Then take off. Hope the Martians kidnap him on the way back home.

Hell, Sing Sing's a small price to pay for a visit to the stars!

Mulliga said...

Seriously, I would have done it. You can always make more money. I betcha people would've donated to help him out.

Tam said...

"I betcha people would've donated to help him out."

Hell, if he's reading this, I'm in for ten bucks.

divemedic said...

The way around this is for the company to take him on as a crewmember at minimum wage. They only have to pay him while he is actually working. The travel will not have to be reimbursed, and the guy will only have to pay taxes on his income.

BigEZ said...

One more reason we should switch to a national sales tax and disband the IRS. Then any IRS employee that still wants to draw a government paycheck be offered a job as a Border Patrol Agent.