Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Remember, It’s Independence Day!

I want to wish all of my readers a very blessed Independence Day and use this opportunity to write a post I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I hope you’ll bear with me as I rant. And forgive the length of this post. You’ll see that I feel rather strongly…

It seems that lately I’ve been just plain mad. All the time. Everywhere I turn, I see our country and our way of life being upended. While I’m not a fan of the present administration, this isn’t necessarily partisan. Rumblings started even while President Bush was in office. Some of that, I’m convinced, was anticipation of doom once the two presidential candidates were determined. Some of it was linked to Congressional incumbents who seem to have lifetime appointments no matter what they do. Nonetheless, we’ve been hit, and hit hard. I’m sure many of you have been as well.

My husband and I have worked hard all our lives. Before marriage, after marriage. We’ve lived most of our 30 years of married life on one income, and that not a big one. My husband was a mid-level government employee and never made much. But we were committed to my staying home and raising our son, so we made do. We live in an older three-bedroom, one bath home that we paid off as soon as we could. Sure, we could have taken our equity, which until last year was quite substantial, and moved to a bigger home. But that would have required a mortgage we weren’t sure we could afford, so we stayed put and made do with what we had. Now we’re being asked to bail out people who didn’t make the responsible decision. People who took on mortgages they couldn’t afford and shouldn’t have been given. Why?

We’ve always driven our cars until they died, saving for the next one and paying cash. Right now our cars are a 1996 and 1998, both with over 100,000 miles on them. Yet every day I hear ads from auto companies promising to make your car payment if you get laid off. What happened to good old-fashioned personal responsibility?

We use our credit cards to rack up miles and dollars. But we pay them off monthly and never spend more than we know we can afford. Yet every day I hear ads for credit counseling and consolidation saying, “Credit card debt? It’s not your fault?” Well, if it isn’t your fault, whose is it? We didn’t use their credit card and run up thousands of dollars debt. And frankly, we don’t want to pay for it. Yet Congress is now passing legislation to make credit easier for those who don’t pay and harder for me. (I understand that some people use credit during a layoff, but most I know continue spending at a level that makes hubby and I shake our heads. Hard times call for drastic measures. I know. We’ve been there several times over the years.)

Meanwhile, the President and Congress are pushing bill after bill to increase debt, bail out deadbeats, bail out businesses that should be allowed to fail, and build bridges to nowhere. They’re voting on bills to increase our energy costs based on junk science and bills to confiscate the decent health care coverage most of us have in order to cover a few more people who have made other choices or are in our country illegally.

This administration has increased the national debt exponentially. If President Obama's budget is implemented, CBO projects the national debt to reach an unprecedented and unsustainable 82.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2019.

To add injury to insult, lawmakers don’t even pretend to read the bills or hold appropriate hearings anymore. Everything is an emergency that must be voted on without delay. Lawmakers seem to be controlled by some higher power, changing their vote on a dime. My dime, BTW.

We now have 31—count’em 31—czars running every aspect of government. These Czars are 1) not accountable to Congress, 2) paid what ever Obama decides to pay them, at our expense, 3) can claim executive privilege if called to testify before Congress, 4) set policy for the cabinet secretaries, and 5) are so radical they would never have received Senate approval. What happened to our representative republic?

So what does this have to do with being a GenSandwicher? Here’s the deal. We worked hard all our lives. Lived within our means. Paid our bills. Now because of monumental failed policies and failed consumer confidence, with a little corruption thrown in here and there, we’ve lost about half of our net worth. That’s the net worth we were counting on for retirement. After being responsible all our lives, we expected to be able to retire comfortably, travel, and perhaps even leave a little nest egg to our son. At a minimum, not be a burden on him. Now we wonder if we’ll have enough to live out our lives or if we’ll be working at WalMart when we’re 80. No one is bailing us out because we’re responsible. Our taxes and expenses are increasing, lowering our standard of living. We didn’t even benefit from the most recent stimulus package because we aren’t working and aren’t collecting Social Security. And now we’re being warned of inflation on the level of the Jimmy Carter years.

To add injury to insult, in the process of confiscating the wealth of our generation and the next, this administration and the Congress are rushing headlong into Socialism, nationalizing private industries at will. In previous downturns, we’ve been able to assume that what goes down will go back up and even invest while stocks are on sale. But this time, it seems that the rules have changed and continue to change, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty. When bondholders holders at GM can arbitrarily be subordinated to the unions which caused the problem in the first place, how can anyone invest in confidence? When profitable auto dealers who contributed to Republican politicians are summarily closed by the Car Czar while failing dealerships that contributed to Democrats remain open, how can small business owners make confident decisions? We are turning into a third world country and no longer know what rules are, so we sit in fear, knowing that even under the best circumstances, we wouldn’t live long enough to recover what we’ve lost. And these aren’t the best circumstances…

Folks, I’m concerned for our nation. Our freedoms. Our independence. And I’m concerned for our personal lives. The nation the founders created, our forefathers fought for, and we’ve worked for is being dismantled. I love this country. I love the life and the freedom and the prosperity we enjoy. I came up out of abject poverty because of the opportunities I had in this nation. I pray that Americans will wake up and do whatever it takes to defend our liberties and our way of life. Before it’s too late. Remember, it’s INDEPENDENCE DAY. What do you think?

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