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It's a good time to remember Charlie, the man who NEVER re-turned, as we all get set to file our tax re-turns in voluntary compliance with the re-venue code.

Re- is a pesky syllable. Republicans seem quite confounded by it. While, in the name of their political party, "re" simply stands for res, the Latin word for thing, as in "things of the people," which lost its "s" in the union with "public," some people seem to think the re stands for rex, the ruler of an earthly kingdom whom people choose for a limited term. Perhaps a rotating dictatorship, at which everyone can (in theory) have a turn, strikes them as a nifty thing.

Maybe that explains why "re," all by itself, is of little interest to Republicans. Charlie on the MTA knows that not coming back makes all the difference in the world.

The dictionary definition of revenue:

[rev-uhn-yoo, -uh-noo]
the income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses.
the government department charged with the collection of such income.
revenues, the collective items or amounts of income of a person, a state, etc.
the return or yield from any kind of property, patent, service, etc.; income.
an amount of money regularly coming in.
may explain part of the problem of why the word is not properly understood. By segmenting the word so the first syllable is "rev," its origin is partly disguised.
1375–1425; late Middle English  < Middle French,  noun use of feminine past participle of revenir  to return < Latin revenīre,  equivalent to re- re- + venīre  to come
Indeed, nowhere is it mentioned that "re-" refers to a change in direction -- i.e. something coming back. If it did, perhaps it would be more obvious, for example, that tax returns merely send dollars back to the U.S. Treasury, where they came from at the start.

It's an old problem, this not knowing where money comes from. Remember "Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"?  It wasn't just because one of his followers was a former tax collector that Jesus gave this advice. No, in multiple parables he made the point that "talents" are to be spent, not buried or hoarded. That's because money needs to be re-cycled, or it doesn't do any good.

See, there's that pesky syllable again. Where modern day Republicans may be confused about res and rex, re-cycling anything they hate with a passion. Which is really sort of strange since, at least their politicians, repeat and recycle their talking points all the time.

Maybe it's a matter of "incoming" being good and "outgoing" being bad, or simply not getting that to have one, the other has to happen, as well; that to have revenue coming back, there has to be output first.

Which comes first and which comes second (never mind who's on third) does seem to be a problem for some people. They don't get sequence; don't understand order is important; can't tell the difference between a point of order, giving an order and the order in which events occur.

One could say their timing is off. Perhaps their sense of time is deficient. Whatever the cause, this gap in comprehension would seem to account for Congress' insistence that, even though they are tasked with issuing the money, they believe revenue has to be collected before they can spend it. They're sort of like Charlie on the MTA, not being able to get off the train until he puts another nickle in the fare box.

Of course, that may well be the incumbents' ideal--to just ride on forever.

 "Get Charlie off the Train." Might be a good slogan for 2014. Maybe I should rename the Dufus Brigade as the Charlie Brigade.

Funny, the only Charlie, Charles Bass of NH, on the original Dufus Brigade got retired in 2012.

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