Text of last Wednesday's rare edition of SarahLeaks. Audio can be found on the mainpage in the Podcasts:
Yesterday I had no clue what to write a Sarahleaks on. I was pretty happy with the world and couldn’t think of much to rant and rave about. Great guy, great job, Yeah I’m having kind of an ugly week this week but it’s okay. I’ll just be doubly hot next week. Anyways, Life was good. Completely devoid of anything Leaks worthy.
And then I went to the DMV.
Let me preface by calling myself out. I was at the DMV to renew a license plate sticker that was 8 months expired. And I wouldn’t have even done it now except that that great guy I have wouldn’t stop bugging me about it. So I gave in. And as I’m handing the lady at the window $119 in exchange for a little yellow sticker - $119 cash because the State apparently is the only entity on the globe that accepts all major credit and debit cards EXCEPT Visa; Which makes their slogan “Visa, It’s everywhere you want to be” hilarious to me cuz no one wants to be at the DMV - But yeah, again, as I’m handing the lady at the window $119 in exchange for a little yellow sticker that all too familiar feeling starts creeping back in my psyche. You know the one - where you just want to drop kick a koala. Where you hate the world. Where you need a Sarahleak.
Now I have no friggin idea who came up with this plan to tax anything and everything that us common people find valuable, but I’m pretty sure it was the British and I’m pretty sure us common people have already expressed how we feel about it. And now I understand the actions of those crazy revolutionaries. Because paying $119 for a useless sticker that has no purpose except to cost me $119 makes me crazy enough to go dump boxes of tea in the harbor too.
Let’s work through the process here... You want to drive, so you have to go pay $30 to get a drivers license. Then you need something to drive, so you go buy a car and pay sales tax plus the numerous miscellaneous fees. Then you have to have plates for that car, which are $99. Then you need gas to drive that car, on which you’re charged a gas tax of about 18 cents/gallon and then you’re charged over 6% sales tax on top of that total - in essence being taxed on a tax. Not to mention insurance, maintenance and repairs, parking, blah blah blah... It makes the thought of having a car an incredible burden on your budget. But I’m not mad at those fees. I can justify all of their existence, as painful to the pocketbook as they may be. But then there’s the sticker....Eff the sticker.
There’s no purpose except to get an extra $119 out of me each year (although I admit if I would just get it on time it’d only be $99). And it stirs up my inner anarchist, who I’ll be the first to admit is a giant wuss and the only bit of rebellion it can muster the balls to act on is ignoring the little white renewal form Secretary of State Jessie White sends me every December. A couple years ago when they announced the renewal fees would be rising $20/year for that joke of a Capital Project, I pulled a Jimmy Johns and threatened to leave the state. It’s a blatant rub in our face that they can take our money and we have to just suck it up. Because we need our cars. Because this city is such a clustercrap of suburban sprawl. Because they only have about 12 feet of bike lanes within the city, making getting around on a bicycle a death ride. Because riding the bus gets you felt up and repeatedly hit on by a large black man named Kirby. Okay now I may just be speaking from my own experiences...
But what’s the deal Illinois? I’m fine with paying my fair share. And I’ve paid more than my fair share to the DMV already thanks to $30 licenses and my drunken alter ego’s inability to hold on to an ID. But seriously... Maybe if instead of a sticker it was a decorative air freshener to hang from my rearview mirror. Or an adorable Abe Lincoln head to stick onto my antenna. Maybe some Blagojevich mud flaps. Just fix it please! Make me feel like I’m getting something for that $119 I just handed over in cold hard cash to a lady who took 8 minutes to acknowledge my existence. And do it fast, since my great guy has cut me off from my current non-renewing form of rebellion - Who knows what my inner anarchist will do next? Maybe Jessie White’s in need of some ding dong ditching...