PATRIOTIC PLASTIC

THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, always helpful, wants to make things still easier. It is considering letting us use credit cards to pay our federal income tax bills.

If it goes through with the proposal, imagine this interchange between husband and wife:He: It's a new year, and I have made a resolution. I'm going to set the world on fire and double our income in 1987.

She: You can't do that, dear. We can't afford it. It will triple our tax bill.

He: Not to worry. I'll put it on my MasterCard. That's what we do with everything else we can't afford.

She: But that means we'll be paying 21 percent to the bank. If we simply owed the IRS, it would only be 9 percent.

He: You're right. But if we run behind and don't pay up, the IRS can send us to jail.

She: And if we don't pay up at the bank?

He: Two other banks send us new credit cards.

She: Go ahead. It's our patriotic duty.

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