Debate goes on
this and cannot find anything remotely resembling
a deduction for personal grooming expenses.
In response to the March Debate, I am an enrolled agent and would very much like
“Should the government help people to know where your writer, Howard Scott, came to
upgrade their TVs to receive digital the latter conclusion. Great magazine, by the way … I can’t imagine a
signals?” life without Costco.
Pamela J. Floyd, via e-mail
Howard Scott responds: “Personal grooming expense
is deductible to the extent that special clothing must
be used and for dry cleaning while out of town. But
expenses can’t be taken for ordinary personal grooming such as haircuts, business suits, cosmetics, etc.”
However, it’s always a good idea to check with your
Driving a bargain
I don’t normally write letters of praise to com-
YES. Because many older people have TVs and paid panies or magazines. In fact, I never have. But I just
for them, never dreaming they would have to want to tell you how great Costco is. I just bought a
upgrade them, I believe the government should help new car and got my car loan through Costco’s ser-
them upgrade. vices [“How to drive a bargain,” March Connection].
Karen Miller, via e-mail I went online, filled out an application in minutes
and received an even lower rate than what I was
NO. Watching TV is a personal choice—not neces- originally quoted. Neither my car dealer nor my
sary for sustenance of life. Why should I have to pay bank could believe how low the rate was. Thank you
for other people’s entertainment? The less govern- for a great service, and keep up the good work!
ment we have in our lives, the better off we will be. Stephen Consentino, Millbrook, New York
Pat Swinn, Glide, Oregon
Craig Newmark hits the mark
YES. It always amazes and saddens me that subsi- Great article on Craig Newmark and craigslist.
dies for low-income citizens are considered entitle- org! [“Craig’s little list,” March Connection]
ments that shouldn’t be provided, but tax cuts for Craigslist rocks! I’ve been using it for years. I’ve
middle- to upper-income citizens and large corpo- used craigslist to find tenants for a rental unit, to
rations are not considered entitlements. Families sell stuff, buy stuff, find service people and find
that live near or below the federal poverty line can vacation rentals. It’s awesome, and Craig Newmark
barely afford to feed themselves on what they earn. will go down in Internet history as someone who
It is cruel to suggest that someone who already really made a difference. Most people would have
earns less than the cost of living can simply save used it as a vehicle to become very wealthy, but he
money for anything. They work two or three jobs to has instead kept it open and free. I think more peo-feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. ple in business and government should model their
They typically have no health insurance, and are ethics on Mr. Newmark’s; we’d all be better for it.
financially devastated whenever an unexpected cost Larry Baker, Danville, California
arises. The least the government can do is provide a
paltry $40 subsidy to help poor families transition
to the age of digital TV broadcasts.
Nikolai Devereaux, via e-mail
NO. If a person buys a TV, they can afford a converter box. Besides, TV is not a necessity. There is
plenty of time to save for the converter. Skip that
latte now and then! If all else fails, radio has plenty
of news. This switch to digital signal has been in the
works for years.
Vacation homes by Costco
If you have furnished your
vacation home at Costco
and/or costco.com, we
want to hear from you.
Send a short description,
including a time line and
some of the items you’ve purchased, to: Vacation
Home, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box 34088,
Seattle, WA 98027; or fax to (425)313-6718; or
e-mail to email@example.com. Please put
“vacation home” in the subject line. Submissions
cannot be acknowledged or returned.
First Name Middle Initial
■ New address ■ Delete
Don’t miss out on the latest
news and product information
from Costco—include your
e-mail address on this form.
Information will remain
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
Please allow four to six weeks
You can read more
Debate responses and
letters from members in
Janice Opferman, San Rafael, California
the Online Edition. Go to
costco.com and click on
Odds and ends
I have a question/comment on the statement
made in your February 2006 edition on page 15 Have something to say?
[“Taxing Matters”]. It says, “Do you incur personal Readers are encouraged to submit letters to our editors on any topic or issue
grooming expenses because image is important?” covered in The Connection. Please include your full name and phone number or
In context this statement seems to be referring to address. Send all letters to: Dialogue, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box 34088,
the possible deductibility of “personal grooming Seattle, WA 98124-1088; fax to (425) 313-6718; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
expenses” as a valid business expense. I researched The editors reserve the right to edit letters for publication.