You’ve paid taxes all year. Today, you get to do it again but in a lump sum. How can that not make you happy? Vice-President Joe Biden thinks you’re patriotic. That should warm the cockles of your heart. But if that doesn’t do it, a few companies are trying to take the sting out of a $1.4 Trillion deficit, 9.7% unemployment rate, and an economic recession by offering you Tax Day Freebies 2010. And one of those freebies comes with a side order of guilt.

First up, Starbucks.

You pay $4 for what is essentially boiled bean juice with sugar. But that will not renew your soul. Using a reusable cup, however, will.

Under the header “Make a Difference” on their website, Starbucks is offering free coffee today, Tax Day, for anyone bringing in a reusable mug. They are running a campaign to gather personal pledges – 42,679 to date – from coffee drinkers to switch from paper cups to reusable mugs, an act that isn’t only being green but will also create more green for their bottom line.

“One person can save trees, together we can save forests,” their website says. And separately, your taxes can and will fund the EPA while they attempt to control carbon dioxide, necessary for the life and growth of those trees Starbucks drinkers just saved.

Addressing a Tea Party rally in Powhatan County, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had an idea.

“The Attorney General’s office is a very reactive office. We wouldn’t be suing the EPA if the EPA did not abandon all semblance of science and law to put out its endangerment finding on the CO2. Now, let’s make them all happy just for a moment and everybody just hold your breath,” Cuccinelli waited several seconds before saying “There you go, just a short period of time with no CO2. Now the trees are going protest but at least the EPA will be happy”.

Next up, a slogan for any Tea Party protester’s heart.

“Taxes Suck. Tacos Don’t.” And with that, Taco Del Mar is offering a free tax day taco at their 275 restaurants in the West. To grab this taco, this taco that you are entitled to grab, you can register at their website for an e-mail coupon.

Crunchy corn can’t heal the world, though it is tasty. In fact, it’s best eaten than burned, according to a recent Washington Times article. Ethanol, in a word, is bogus.

The benefits are overstated. According to the EPA, reduction in foreign imports will result in $3.7 billion in “energy security benefits” at the expense of $18 billion in increased fuel costs by 2022. Environmental testing has proved inconclusive, as certain types of pollutants increase when ethanol content increases. It should be noted that the EPA’s track record on “environmental” gasoline additives includes Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a possible carcinogen whose once-mandated use has contaminated groundwater across the country.

While the EPA is considering upping the existing ethanol requirements from 15 percent ethanol instead of 10 percent, the move will increase prices for drivers and nondrivers. Perhaps this is part of “spreading the wealth”, taking from consumers and giving to the 52 ethanol producers known as “Growth Energy”.

Not only does ethanol reduce gas mileage by 5.3 percent, it will also cause additional weaknesses, wears, and misfires in vehicles not able to handle the fuel adjustment.

If you don’t own a vehicle and feel relief this additional economic drain passed by you while you frolick with an easy-breezy air of untouchability, the ethanol expense is gonna get you. If you eat corn, soybeans, or wheat, or any animal that feeds on corn, soybeans, or wheat, or enjoy bread made from wheat or tortillas made from corn, you’ll be paying, too.

According to the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, the ethanol tax credit increases corn prices by 18 cents a bushel, wheat by 15 cents and soybeans by 28 cents. That means higher prices for most food items at the grocery store and restaurants.

Taco Bell had offered a free taco coupon. It worked. It worked so well they ended it.

Next, MaggieMoo’s.

MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream will cool off your smoking wallet and probably create more economic activity with their “e-cone-omic ice cream stimulus package” than Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus boondoggle.

As Indiana Democrat Sen. Evan Bayh might agree, any private sector stimulation, no matter how small, is more than Congress in all it’s brilliant legislative birthing has done.

“[I]f I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months.”

The ice cream stimulus plan will be offered to customers at 200 MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream stores.

Then, there was Cinnabon.

Since Tax day bites, that is what they are offering. Cupcake or cinnamon bites.

On all the other 364 days of the year when Americans are paying capital gains tax, estate tax, excise tax, corporate income tax, federal unemployment tax, gift tax, FICA tax, luxury tax, property tax, real estate tax, rental car tax, sales tax, vehicle sales tax, workers compensation tax, school tax and telephone federal excise tax, Cinnabon calls these treats Classic Bites. But today, they are called Tax Day Bites, free bite-size cinnamon rolls offered at their 700 outlets.

Other discounts and Tax Day Freebies 2010:

- free donate at Dunkin Donuts (in Las Vegas only)

- 15% off P.F. Changs

- $10.40 gift certificate and dinner or drink specials at McCormick & Schmick’s

- $10.40 pizza (up to five toppings for free) at Papa Johns