Hi, my name is Annabelle, and I’m a taxaholic. It’s hard for me to admit this, but I think it’s time to own up: I’m powerless over the idea that taxes are not a bad way to fund programs that might do some good for our country. My addiction has really gotten the better of me now that Bush has vetoed Congress’s main social spending bill, which was to fund admittedly unworthy social endeavors like cancer research, mine safety, job training and Head Start.

I’m sure you’ve all heard this tale over and over again. My problem started at parties during Bush’s first term, when I was finding it much easier to deal with my social anxiety by breaking the ice with a statement like, “Can you believe how much he’s cut taxes? How are we going to pay for things like education?” I would start out with just one tax, citing the ridiculousness of the claim that the death tax was going to deprive independent farmers (an oxymoron) from inheriting family farms. Then I’d start proposing taxing religious organizations and hedge fund managers, and next thing you know, my husband would be dragging me home.

Invitations to parties stopped coming, and I was finding myself home alone, writing e-mails to liberal organizations late into the night. And then once the tax cut kicked in and all of us Americans received and immediately spent that $300 refund, I would lie awake at night, mad that Republicans had demonized big government and obsessively thinking about how we might have used those taxes to fund superfluous stuff like repairing infrastructure or securing Social Security and universal healthcare.

Over the past few years my habit has only gotten worse, and I recently hit bottom. I had a slip after Bush’s veto and thought up a new tax.

Here’s my tax of choice: the presidential candidacy tax. Sure, this might create a hardship on candidates who don’t raise a lot of money, but let’s cut the charade: the networks don’t think they have a chance anyway–just ask Mike Gravel. Plus, with the recent revelation that Republicans are recruiting wealthy candidates who can fund their own campaigns, it’s the perfect time to institute the tax.

Furthermore, we deserve it, for having to endure the ever longer run-up to the election season. I think I am owed something for listening to Rudy Giuliani waffle on whether waterboarding is torture, comparing it to running for President. He didn’t specify if his candidacy was torturous to him or torturous for us, but in any case, let’s really make him suffer: let’s squeeze some cash out of him. We should pass the tax soon though, on the off chance that Michael Bloomberg enters the race. If Bloomberg announces his candidacy, we might even raise enough to eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

OK, I guess that’s all the time I have. Thanks for letting me share my experience, strength and hopes. I’d like to wrap this up with our prayer. And speaking of prayer, I recently learned I have something in common with Fred Thompson besides the fact that he and I probably have about the same chance of being elected President. Thompson has said if he were elected his first act upon entering the Oval Office would be to pray. I liked that sentiment, but maybe he and the other candidates would consider joining in our prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the taxes I cannot change, the courage to change the taxes I can and the wisdom to know the difference.