Monday, April 11, 2011

Go Ahead, You're Entitled

So the other day I got into a rather bitter exchange with a social network “friend” regarding excessive government spending. It started innocently enough. She posted that she had woken to the sound of workmen installing a new water heater at her home. I made a lame attempt at an Eagles parody: The last worthless water heater that she’d have to buy. She then volunteered that she hadn’t had to buy it at all, that there had been some monies set aside in California for energy conservation upgrades and that in addition to the installation of the water heater the workmen were re-insulating her attic and weather stripping her doors and windows as well. I sat there for a moment with question marks popping up all over my face like hives thinking about how California has a $26 Billion with a B budget deficit, and I should have placed a 9 volt battery on my tongue until the urge to respond passed, but there wasn’t one handy and so I commented that the monies were likely “set aside” from businesses that were leaving California for Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada because they could no longer afford to pay taxes and fees for such things. This was a mistake.

She’d been all warm and fuzzy about her good fortune and I was raining on her parade. I tried to point out that I hadn’t meant anything personal by my comment and that I would also have a difficult time turning down “free” improvements to my house were they made available. I mentioned that it was, in my opinion, a societal failure and not a personal one. She was not appeased.

Her profanity laced tirade continued, at least I think there was profanity. There were a lot of asterisks flying about so it was hard to say for sure. At one point I was referred to as a conspiracy theorist and then was told that California hadn’t had anything to do with it anyway, that it had been part of the “stimulus package”. “Ah, yes” I said. That $847 Billion give away that friends of the president elect had written during the transition and then shoved through the congress immediately after the inauguration before anyone could look at it. This was not received well either.

Soon angry looking “likes” started to accumulate after her comments and I became afraid of a gang action and so again I tried to reassure her that I hadn’t meant to attack her personally and was told that there was a time and place for everything and that my comments met neither requirement. I responded that it was, after all a social networking site, and pointed out that there was really no other place for me to broach the subject. Also that time means little on the internet. Generally there’s some time between interactions. She seemed to calm down a little.

Subsequent discussion revealed that she’d had a hard week and when this opportunity presented itself to her it was soothing. It felt as if something good was happening for her. I can relate totally, or totally relate. Whichever. She’s really quite a wonderful woman, generally funny and charming. She supports herself working as an actor and supplements that income with writing and e-marketing. She’s managed to make a nice, but not extravagant life for herself. She works hard, as she told me, pays her taxes, and she felt entitled. And there’s the rub.

We ALL work hard. Well, most of us work hard anyway, and we all pay our taxes and so we ALL must be entitled. The problem is that it’s all a scam. We’ve all been promised much more than there is. We pay our taxes and then think we’re entitled to take that money back out, but the money isn’t there. They spent that money years ago. In most cases they spent it years before they even had it, or used it as leverage to borrow money from this program or that and then spent it. They had our cake and they ate it too.

The numbers are almost too scary to look at, and so large as to defy understanding. Our unfunded liabilities now are well over $113 Trillion. Those are promises to pay that the congress has made in our names. Over $1 Million for each tax payer. This is a separate issue from the $14 Trillion that we’ve already borrowed. These unfunded liabilities are moneys that the congress has promised that we will borrow in the future. And still they tell us that we’re entitled, that EVERYONE is entitled.

Who ARE these people and why on earth have we let them deceive us for so long? Maybe we just had a bad half century and needed to feel like something good was happening.

But that's just what an average guy thinks.

No comments:

Post a Comment