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martes, agosto 07, 2012

Rafalca, The Tax Credit Horse, Doesn't Make The Finals

OK. I might not be the perfect person to write about Rafalca and dressage and Ann Rmoney. After all, I have piloted a horse exactly once as an adult. The particular horse was alleged to be the gentlest, calmest, oldest one in her group. I don't think she liked me any more than I liked sitting on her back. And given an apple recently to feed a different, smaller horse, which horse happened to have the job of pulling a wagon (don't ask), I asked somebody more experienced in horse matters to do it instead of me. I didn't want to put my clean hands near said equine's mouth. In fact, anybody would have been more experienced with horses than me.

Yes, some of my friends and neighbors have horses, or ride, or are interested in or compete in simulations or actual barbaric sports in which simulated or real foxes are chased with reallive hounds. I live in the country, after all. But I know nothing about the details of those outings. I am just not a horse person. I have nothing against horses. But horses, as opposed to race horses and betting, are not something that the formerly urban, lower middle class (that would be my family of origin) generally deals with. Yes, the kids occasionally got in touch with a pony or two, but that's it. And my experience with horses was limited to day old Racing Forms.

I was delighted nevertheless today to read the following in the newspaper of record:

As he rode into the ring on his horse, Rafalca, the equestrian Jan Ebeling blew a kiss to a few women in the stands he calls the three amigos: his wife, Amy Ebeling; Beth Meyer; and Ann Romney, whose husband, Mitt, is the presumptive presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

They share ownership of Rafalca, a 15-year-old mare, and they were on hand at Greenwich Park on Tuesday morning to see what would be Ebeling and Rafalca’s last ride at the London Games.

“I’m really happy with her piaffes,” Ebeling said about Rafalca’s moves in the ring after their turn in the Grand Prix Special portion of the dressage finals.

Ebeling and Rafalca received an individual score of 69.302, not enough to advance to the Grand Prix Freestyle on Thursday. Ebeling and his “three amigos” learned on Tuesday afternoon that the United States finished sixth in team dressage. Britain won, followed by Germany and the Netherlands.

Look. We're talking here about the New York Time. The Gray Lady. They're three women, so they are tres amigas, or if you insist, three amigas, but they cannot be three amigos. And then we have the piaffes. Ignorant moi. I thought there was only one, Edith. How little I knew. I didn't know horses could talk , let alone sing. Except Mr. Ed.

But enough of this confused quadruped palaver.

The best news of all: this horse hasn't made the grade. It will not advance. It will not be on NBC Olympics, though it might be on the news. Again. On MSNBC. I wish I had said this:

Mitt Romney would have us believe that he cares nothing about the Olympic performance of his horse Rafalca. Why, then, own this exquisite and superbly trained animal whose housing costs alone are nearly $29,000 a year? Could it be that the horse yields the Romneys a $77,000 plus yearly tax credit?

Our family owns an adorable and very spoiled Dachshund who animates the household with her cheerful attitude and her unconditional love. Yet, the cost of her housing, food and veterinary care do not qualify for a tax credit.

Why does the United States tax code discriminate in favor of fancy horse owners as opposed to those of us who love dogs? Both Rafalca and pet dogs are luxuries and not essentials. They are not business investments but choices to enrich our lives. But, maybe there is a distinction based on who influences and produces the tax code to the benefit of some and not to others.

Hah. Why indeed. And that's the conservative Union Leader's editorial staff talking about Rafalca.

This is about a $77,000 per year tax credit on a horse that is 15 years old. So would that be like 15 x $77,000? I spare you the math: it's $1.15 Million. I also spare you the inevitable comparison to US annual household income. Let's just say the horse's numbers are higher. Significantly.

So I'm happy that this particular tax boondoggle has now failed, at least as far as Olympic medals are concerned. It's certainly succeeded in the 1040 arena. It's apparently succeeded wildly. But I confess, this really makes me want to see Rmoney's tax returns. I want to see these tax credits for horses like Rafalca and heaven knows what other nonsense he's making a killing on. I'd like to see all of that for the past decade. I bet it would make my eyes fall out. And you know what? I bet he knows that our eyes would fall out, too, so he's going to prevent the Affordable Care Act replace our eyes by just not showing us the returns.

I know. I know. I'm never gonna see those returns. I'm going to have to trust Rmoney on this one. Know what? I don't think I do. I don't think I do at all.

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