I haven’t tanned in years, because well, I just hadn’t thought much about it. I was in motherhood survival mode until last fall, and any precious childless minutes I had were spent working, keeping house, on a date with my husband, or reading Sookie Stackhouse novels. Tanning wasn’t exactly a priority.
Now that summer is fast (fast!) approaching, I decided to find a salon and just go. No judgment, you Judgey McJudgersons! We all have our vices, mmmkay? Anyway, I found a place near my house that looked great, so I checked it out. After meeting the people and touring the place, I decided to give it a go. Then came the forms.
“Do you understand you’re saturating your skin with UV light?”
“Do you agree not to sue us if you get skin cancer and die?”
Yes. All bets are off if I burst into flames though.
“Do you agree to pay the 10% tax imposed by the PPACA, effective July 1, 2010?”
Um … I actually have to sign for that?
The girl at the counter entering my information pointed to it and said, “You can thank President Obama for that one.”
“Oh yeah, I know,” I said, “I work in politics, I know all about Obamacare.”
“Well, I don’t know if you are, but I’m not a fan.”
“Not even a little. Go Mitt Romney!”
“Better than Obama!”
“Let me guess, you’re the owner?”
Then I finished the forms and got my tan on in the form of warm artificial light emitted into a space age looking tube while I wore weird goggles and tuned out to some willowy spa music. It was almost relaxing enough to forget about Obamacare, but it really irritated me that he raised taxes on tanning salons consumers who frequent a particular business.
Unintended Consequence of Taxing a Business: They pass along the cost to the consumer in order to make ends meet.
The Spare Tire Scam
I was flipping through AAA’s Westways magazine looking for some local daytrip ideas for the kiddos this summer when an article titled Where’s the Spare caught my eye. The article pointed out that 13% of 2011 model cars came with no spare tire, but with a ‘fix-it’ kit instead.
The kit contains a can of sealant and a small air compressor, and is completely useless in the case of sidewall punctures. If you have a tread puncture, you’ll be able to re-inflate and seal the tire, which will be good to drive on for about 25 miles before screwing you over. So good luck if you blow one in the middle of the desert or something.
Where have the spares gone? Is this a ploy from the car companies to cut costs and make themselves richer? Nope. According to the article:
To meet increasingly stringent government-mandated fuel-economy standards—an average of 34.1 mpg by 2016—automaker engineers sweat over removing mere ounces from vehicles. Losing 40 pounds of tire, wheel, and tools is a godsend toward that effort.
Unintended Consequence of Saving the Planet: Potentially stranding people in the middle of nowhere, where they may or may not have cell service to call for help.
Here’s the Thing
Just because something sounds like a good idea doesn’t mean that it is. Discouraging people to tan indoors might sound like a good idea to the pale ones, but it just hurts small businesses. Saving the environment by requiring cars to run on less gasoline sounds like a good idea to the tree huggers, but it results in the loss of a spare tire. What’s next – thinner metal that can more easily be ripped to shreds in an accident?
Or maybe we should all just sit inside our un-air-conditioned houses, yelling at TV about how everything is George Bush’s fault, leaving only to go buy organic lettuce with our EBT cards or to see the doctor (without ever seeing a bill). We’ll get there in our government-mandated Smart car, because it wouldn’t be fair to ‘smart’ drivers if big gnarly SUVs and trucks were on the road. They might squash them, plus, you know, pollution.
Oy, that sounds awful. Give me my UV tan, my spare tire, my soda, my salt, my AC, my freedom to make my own choices any day of the week.
No one is forcing anyone to give up his or her spare tire for better gas mileage. Oh wait … the government is.