Friday, July 3, 2009

Following the Pied Piper

I have been meaning to post for days now. Really, I have. Each time I sit down at my computer and set my hands to the keyboard, I try to focus and organize my thoughts. I begin to type, but the steady flow in my mind widens. Tributaries merge and new aspects bleed in, others out and before long, my neatly formed thought has become a full- on rant. This happened nearly every day- there's just too much for me to be able to focus. But, isn't that the point?

I am worried about money, isn't everyone. We all know the economy is in the toilet. With unemployment nudging toward double digits [If layoffs who have taken part-time work or quit looking are factored in, it is 16.5%!] The thought of my husband out of a job is frankly enough to make me wet myself. We would lose everything we have worked so hard to build: our small house, our one car and the small modicum of pride we have derived from working our way up.

Then, I look at the bills on the table. Not our table, the bills in the House. Cap and Trade, Health care ReFORCE and my mouth goes dry. Cap and Trade, which has already passed the House, will raise my electric bills to $400 a month. I can't afford the $150 they are now.* The forced Health care plan has fines for not having Health care, $1000 for each individual and $4500 for a family. If I can't afford the $500 additional per month for health insurance for myself and my husband, how am I going to afford $2000 in fines every year? I start adding up the tally and nearly lose my breakfast: $650 which would add 25% to a budget with less than 10% in surplus. We would be bankrupted in less than a fiscal quarter.

Hey wait! I leap to my feet. I have a small [SMALL] part-time auditing business, being the piggish capitalist that I am. I do inspections for retail and hospitality establishments. I could just work more. Oops- not so fast. Obama's private sector wrecking ball has taken a toll there as well, cutting the number of paying jobs I have in half and the ones that are paying are paying less. Companies aren't spending, so my ability to earn more is diminished. My earning potential is capped. But, it's that the point?

My father [and stepmother] is the only extended family I have and he lives two states away. He works full-time and rarely has free time for anything. So a chat of any length on the phone is a treat and happens infrequently. He calls and can immediately tell something is wrong. I spill the beans. He tells me not to worry in the consoling way that fathers do. "They'll see, kiddo. When no one can pay their bills and no one has any money to even afford the basics and they have to bail us all out- then they'll see."
"But, isn't that the point, Dad? That's where they want us. That's Socialism- get everyone dependent on the system."
My father is quiet for a moment. "I didn't think of it that way. That would sure be a sneaky, back-handed way to do it."

Yes, Dad, it is.

[*NOTE: For the purpose of full-disclosure: I own a house younger than 20 years with insulated windows, a digital thermostat set to 78 degrees and less than 1000 square feet. I do not own a dishwasher and my washer is an energy star front loader. ]

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