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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 business commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday so "It's Only Money," a review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Midday.

I normally wouldn't start out with sports, but the appearance of Annika Sorenstam at the Bank of America Colonial does seem to be bumping the tax cut out of the limelight - for reasons which I'll explain in a moment. In the meantime, the Swedish golfer is proving to be a windfall for her sponsors, particularly Callaway. The golf company pays Annika $1 million a year to use its clubs and balls. Its logo is splashed across the top of her hat, shirtsleeve and golf bag. Proving the world is totally obsessed with this historic tournament, a London paper reported the logo was on full view for 11 minutes and 53 seconds during the five-hour network coverage. For that time alone, Callaway calculates over $300,000 worth of exposure time. If she plays this weekend, chalk up another $1.4 million in that category. Now let's just say she goes all the way and wins. First prize is $900,000. Not that Annika is doing this for the money, but the most she could ever make in an LPGA tournament is $500,000. What's a woman to do?!

So, back to the tax cut. No drum-roll please. Consider this: American taxpayers believe by a two to one margin there are better way to stimulate the economy than cutting taxes. That's according to the latest NBC Wall Street Journal poll. It's difficult to rejoice over a federal tax cut as Texas scrambles to balance the two-year spending plan without cutting into health and human service programs. And although families can expect checks up to $400 per child this summer, what's going to happen in the fall when the kiddos return to school? Will the class sizes be smaller? Will the teaching staff get paid their worth? And will there be any opportunity to partake in the arts? Probably not. And Texans can also anticipate a one percent increase in state sales tax.

Finally, the global fight against AIDS will receive $15 billion from the U.S. over the next five years. It should have happened twenty years ago.

For KERA Marketplace Midday, I'm Maxine Shapiro - wishing you a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 p.m.

Email Maxine Shapiro about this story.