The midterm elections are upon us as and hordes of Americans will flock to the polls like seagulls hovering over garbage, diving and fighting for their piece of the chewed up, spit out American Pie. Angry over deficit spending as a result of corporate bail-outs, a never ending stimulus package, universal healthcare and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts; this could prove to be a definitive election with respect to what type of nation we are to become. If you are of voting age and plan to take part in the symbol of freedom, shut off the cable and quit listening to the horde of fault finding, finger-pointing ads aimed at selling you what amounts to about as much in the way of truth as that last used car salesman you wish you had never met.
Corporate bailouts were never intended to ease the pain of CEO’s with bloated salaries and too many bonuses. It wasn’t an attempt to save the bankers who were once happy to extend credit to a gleeful consumer, only too happy to end up paying five times the cost of homes, cars and electronics because they were a little short on cash. The bailouts weren’t designed for GM Execs to fly leer jets to Washington so they could beg, borrow or steal their way into another year of business. Nor, where they granted so my personal favorite, AIG, could rent a resort on a sunny beach in California and congratulate themselves for the cool billion or so, they snatched from the American Tax payer. No, dear friends, each bailout was granted to for the sake of employment. If you thought unemployment was (and in many cases) still is unacceptable, what kind of unemployment numbers would we have seen if our officials had said something like: “Bail out? HA!” How many millions of 10-15 dollar an hour people still working for these companies, would have jobs today if these companies hadn’t been initially bailed out by the previous administration; an action wisely continued by the present administration?
Unemployment initially allowed for a 3-month period between jobs. Up until the Great Recession, I personally had never walked into an unemployment office. I have never gone three days between jobs. This time around, after 8 days of job hunting, I filed. I returned to school and entered the health field. In the meantime, I saw every saved penny disappear faster than a wet pavement on a city street in the middle of Tampa on a hot August afternoon. The jobs lost have not returned. I’d give anything to return to some of the things I have done. Unemployment does not feed a family of four and pay the rent, the car payment; the car insurance and the cable TV. Unemployment is a rude awakening increasing the poverty all across the country to say nothing of the homelessness, hunger and broken families. Russia went through a period similar this, once. The wealthy aristocrats were sick and tired of the needs of the many, so some changes were made. Just ask the Czar.
Universal Healthcare is as much a mystery to me as it is to the average citizen. Every year, Insurance companies pump up the cost of a policy 16-38%, depending upon the state you live in. Every year, less and less people are able to afford health-care. Fewer customers can only translate into greater costs. I must beg the Beck’s and Limbaugh’s of the world to tell me how much longer health insurance will remain affordable to them. And furthermore, gentlemen, unless you have arranged to depart this plain via a bullet to the back of the head or a horrible automobile accident, do you really think your insurance companies will renew your policies at the first sign of a costly, terminal illness?
Besides death, taxes are the other lifetime guarantee. Taxes pay for these little insignificant community gathering otherwise known as educating our young. Taxes keep the county ambulances running and racing to the taxpayer’s aid when they dial that tax supported, three-digit number, otherwise known as 9-1-1. Your local police department is supported by taxes. Ever ride the bus? If you’re single it’s a great way to meet women. Taxes have a lot to do with keeping them up and running. You know how those brave young men fighting fanatics in places like Kandahar and Baghdad are paid? Taxes. I want to see a national ballot stating all politicians are entitled to the best free health care in the world for as long as they are in office and not a day after. And oh, by the way, forget those 6-figure salaries. It’s just a minimum wage job. Now, how’s that for reducing the deficit?
This political ad won’t be endorsed by anybody. This is just a reminder of how precious a right is the right to vote and no matter how fed up you are with this one, or, that one, voting is indeed a privilege. You want to start a revolution? Don’t let them take away your desire to vote, but when you do – do so with the only gift they can’t cut, tax or ban. Think! Quit listening to party posturing, playing and spectacular spin-doctors. Just think. We’re all responsible for the mess we’re in. I’ll bet we could all climb out of it – together. Don’t you think it’s about time?