When we return from commercials, Leo is explaining to Charlie what went wrong with his taxes. The problem was HR-1783, a special tax refund Charlie got last year. Charlie doesn't understand. Leo explains that the special rebate the government gave out last year is deducted from this year's taxes. Sound familiar? Charlie points out that it's not a rebate at all -- it's an advance. And could the government's timing be any dumber? They're going to give out a special rebate so that when it turns around to bite taxpayers in the ass, it's right at the start of an election cycle? And they must have gotten huge rebates in order to go from a $700 refund to a $400 debt. And also, it would have already been factored into the tax chart when Charlie looked up his figures, so he shouldn't have been surprised. Charlie asked why they called it a rebate when it was really an advance. Leo explains that they wanted people to spend the money, and that taxpayers might not have if they knew that it was coming out of next year's taxes. He asks what Charlie did with the money; Charlie explains that he paid his Visa bill. Leo says that the administration would have rather he spent it on a nice dinner or a trip. I spent my "rebate" in Toronto, visiting with the lovely Television Without Pity folks. I guess I totally failed in my duty to help improve the American economy as well. ["Trust me, Canada needs your money more." -- Wing Chun] Leo amusingly holds out his hand as if Charlie would pay him directly right now. POTUS comes in to call Leo into his office. Leo tells Jed that Charlie spent his refund on his Visa bill. Jed: "A trip to Banana Republic would have killed you?" It would kill me to see Charlie wearing clothing from Banana Republic. POTUS pulls Leo into the Oval Office. Poor Charlie. I ended up owing money, too.
In the office, Leo explains to POTUS that they still don't know anything about the truck accident because it's still too hot in the tunnel. They don't know whether they should evacuate Elk Horn yet, and everybody in the area is trying to shift responsibility to Bartlet to decide. Bartlet jokes that they should hold information about the crash as ransom until Idaho agrees to give him their electoral votes. Leo's all, whatever, President Shecky. Jed asks about other shipments currently in transit. I thought we had dismissed terrorism, but I imagine that they're being extra secure. Doesn't sound like a bad idea. There's a train shipment of low-level waste in South Carolina that has been stopped. However, there's also a shipment of high-level materials on the road, originating from Rocky Flats, and they can't just pull the shipment over because it makes them even more vulnerable to an attack. But they have beefed up the transport's escort.