Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Just when I thought I had shed all my tears this weekend for Sen. Ted Kennedy, now you tell us ("Uncle Sam is an enabler of the worst kind," Sunday, Aug. 30) how you missed all those enabling, federal rebate programs. And the prospect of a “cash for appliances" has sent you over the edge. Yes, it is sad, sad, sad.
You bought a hybrid three years ago? Cheer up, some of us couldn't afford a new hybrid then or now. We drive our 10-year-old vehicles because they sip fuel efficiently enough to not qualify for the "clunker" status. Like you, we didn't benefit from "Cash for Clunkers" either.
You bought a house without the help of an $8,000 tax rebate? That is sad. Cheer up, some of us in Bulletin-land are unemployed and may lose our homes. Like you, we didn't benefit from a tax rebate either.
You bought a new washing machine and can justify utility rebates because you're a taxpayer? I'm impressed. I'm a taxpayer, too. Yeah, I've priced new washing machines (and Energy Star refrigerators). Having one would be great, but the price is out of reach. Yes, oh well. I use a nice washer at a downtown Laundromat and bring my wet clothes home to dry on a clothesline. Doggone, if only PG&E had rebates for clotheslines and quarters for the Laundromat. But I don't want to whine.
You see, Dennis, you may judge federal rebate/stimulus programs as enabling. Some of us, though, made all the frugal choices our frugal, Depression Era parents taught us to make. And we're not able to participate in the cars or housing options. Come to think about it, we didn't get TARP funds either. In fact, of all the programs the feds have rolled out, we'll be amazingly lucky to buy a new, non-clunker appliance with government help. If this is enabling, I'm guessing you also believe defibrillators are for wimps.
Please tackle one of Manteca's more pressing concerns - Lindbergh Education Center. Even with great teachers and sincere (perhaps worried) and diverse student population, it operates on a shoestring budget, and this is a shame.
Aug. 30, 2009
Editor’s note: The PG&E rebate program comes from money that the California Public Utilities Commission has approved to bill ratepayers to finance. In other words, ratepayers are paying for their own rebates, not taxpayers. The same is true for the City of Manteca’s washing machine rebate program which comes from water rates that ratepayers and not taxpayers pay.