Priorities in 2009: ‘Hot yoga’ and your money | Angie Vogt

Getting today’s column submitted by deadline was difficult, but it’s part of my New Year’s Resolution Pact: To follow through on my commitments.

That’s right. This year I’m going all in and exposing my resolutions to the public. I’m calling it my 2009 New Year's Resolution Pact because my commitments for 2009 are vast and numerous, somewhat like our tax code or the RCW (Revised Code of Washington).

In fact, it may take about 18 months or so to formally draft this pact with the many commissions and panels I will need for input. After all, I don’t want to be a dictator, so it seems fitting to seek out collaborators and a fair representation from a diverse population — just in case my ideas about how I should improve myself have some hidden prejudices or unfair attitudes toward certain populations.

I will need funding for all this input, so hopefully Frank Chopp, the speaker of the state House and gatekeeper to the legislative agenda, will allow me to make my case for just a small pittance of a couple hundred million dollars from the taxpayers. Improving myself is an investment in our state’s future, so surely he will see the wisdom of my proposal.

I don’t want to spoil the suspense on the specifics of my 2009 resolution pact, but here are just a few tidbits that I hope to include.

A: More physical exercise. I know, everybody, but EVERYBODY promises to exercise more after their big holiday binge, but I know, without a doubt, that I will fulfill this commitment. How am I so certain? I actually paid for my first series of Hot Yoga classes in Federal Way. Part of my pact will include a revision of the code for New Year's resolutions that explicitly states: “Once exercise or physical activity has been purchased, the purchaser receives full credit for said exercise.” See? Already I’ve completely fulfilled my commitment to exercise more. (In case you haven’t discovered it yet, Hot Yoga is a 90-minute session in a studio that is heated to 105 degrees. Federal Way has an awesome studio right next to See’s Candies). Oh the delicious irony!

B: The second priority in my 2009 New Year's Resolution Pact is to spend less money. Again, I know what you’re thinking. Besides exercising more and eating less, everybody starts off the new year with buyer’s remorse from their holiday splurge, and swears to spend less money in the coming year. Once again, my resolution is foolproof because I intend to get on the bandwagon and start spending other people’s money. It’s all the rage, in case you haven’t heard. Apparently, I can spend 33 percent more than I earn with no penalties or consequences. It’s what our own governor did. Heck, she was just following suit with the Congress and our president since the New Deal days. Social Security is the grandest ponzi scheme of all, where the government uses our Social Security “set asides” as its own spending money for new projects and entitlements. The people paying in are getting less while the entitlements continue to grow. So what! That’s what a guy named Madoff did — and he raised billions of dollars doing it. Thousands of poor folks who trusted him are now without their pensions, while Madoff gets to live in luxury in minimum security “house arrest.” He’ll be better off than the people he stole from. So, maybe the trick to getting ahead for 2009 will be to spend other people’s money instead of my own. Again, a goal easily fulfilled with the right strategy.

All humor aside: Let it be known in 2009 that I commit to my readers commentary that is fair and honest. I encourage you to correct me when I get the facts wrong, to vigorously debate my biases (just don’t pretend you have no biases of your own — we all have them. The goal is to acknowledge them and advocate for them). Thank goodness there’s no constitutional protection from being offended by another’s opinion.

Happy New Year! Let’s start the ride and finish it safely on the other side. 2010 is just around the corner.

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