by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
December 16, 2007
WHY ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS?
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- When was the last time you had $20 million to spend? When was the last time you got to ride in a chauffeur-driven limo, a Mercedes, or in the plush lead bus in a caravan of buses traveling all over the United States, staying in the best motels, eating at the best restaurants - and getting your huge salary paid even though you missed months of work?
And when was the last time you were on "The Larry King Show" blabbing about "the American people want this and I can give it to them and the American people want that and I'm a gonna give that to them just as soon as I get to be king/queen and live in The White Mansion?"
Aren't you one of "the American people"? When was the last time a politician called, spoke to you personally, and asked you what you wanted?
And in the interest of precision, let's get up close and personal.
When was the last time Bill Clinton changed a flat tire, mowed his New York lawn, or went out at 10 p.m. to get Hillary some headache medicine to help her deal with the latest poll results?
When was the last time First Lady Laura Bush did her own nails, loaded a washing machine, had to choose between money for food or a cheap birthday present for Georgie Boy?
And although I don't begrudge the charming Oprah Winfrey one dime of her money because she got it the good old all-American, free-enterprise way, I'm willing to bet she doesn't know the current price of a postage stamp, hasn't licked one in years, has no clue what her light bill is. But Oprah is not our problem. The federal government is our problem.
Do you remember when our leader's father, President George H.W. Bush, thinking it was a warm personal touch, admitted he didn't know an item at the supermarket could be scanned by the price bar on the item? Cute? No. It was downright stupid and insulting to working people who weren't diapered in a gilded baby bed, or fed from a silver spoon.
In his longing to be top bulldog in the White House, presidential candidate Mitt Romney dropped $20 million of his personal money in Iowa. If you can handle a migraine brain-drain, check out the cumulative total of money spent by both parties' candidates in Iowa alone. I'm betting, like me, you can't even write that figure in numbers on your breakfast cereal box.
I ask you to remember as you try to write the zeros for "hundreds of millions" where most of that money came from. If you are in doubt, check your last pay stub, the ticket on every Big Mac you order, every pack of cigarettes you smoke, and if you've fallen on even harder times and sleep in a tent you can expect to pay property taxes on it come spring. After all, surely you do not expect a U.S. senator's wife to do her own hair.
If you are waiting for my point, it is simply this: Political millionaires do not live like the taxpaying people who make their existence possible; people who unknowingly and/or unwillingly aid and abet them in their greedy, sick, inhuman lust for power and the assured millions that go with that ultimate power - the legal right to tax the milk of a nursing baby.
Prove to me our President is "poor" or show me a "middle-class" Congressperson and I'll dust off my broom, fly to Washington, D.C., eat a crow pie and apologize to said "poor" politician.
I was ranting to a friend the other morning on this issue, and we were verbally picking through the unmitigated mess President Bush and his failed first Cabinet and failing current Cabinet have made of things and a brief moment of awareness flitted across my politically exhausted mind.
I suspect the average, decent, proud American citizen has never questioned or followed the tax they pay on a loaf of bread, a new toothbrush, or a coffin for mother to where the taxes eventual arrival at the coffers of the federal government.
No matter where you live, the government collects a great deal of your pennies, nickels and dimes, sends them off to Big Daddy who is reclining in a hot tub at The White Mansion. In between gulps of a fine French wine, Big Daddy, Big Daddy's Boys - and a few Big Daddy Girls - decide what portion of your money they will keep for their own pre-planned, nefarious purposes and how many pennies they will send back to your state. Attached to this outlandish return of your pennies to your state will be clear instructions on how your money is to be spent.
Then Big Daddy invites all the greedy little boys and girls to climb in the giant hot tub with him and they'll talk about one more generous raise for everybody that can fit in the tub.
Unrecognized or forgotten by you (and most American private citizens) is the once-solid knowledge that these thieves work for you. You are their "boss"; you pay a portion of their salaries; their every waking moment is supposed to be spent in worrying about protecting you, your property and your constitutional rights.
Prior to becoming a serious writer and learning how to live on rice, peanut butter and pinto beans, I built, owned, and ran home-health agencies. In one of my better years I plunked out almost $10,000 in federal income tax. Handed it over without blinking or even squirming over the injustice of it. Try, if you will, to throw in all the additional personal state taxes, the business state and federal unemployment taxes, liability and workmen's comp insurance, my half of Social Security tax on my employees, and you will get a throbbing headache for which I apologize for my part in it.
And I forgot to mention I was an Arkansas-green, business-ignorant young single-working mom with three little girls - and no child support. I labored long, 24/7/365, operating under the illusion that I could keep most of money I was willing to work hard for. Wrong.
So forgive me, if you will, that I am sick of big government, sick of millionaires who bath in the money they extract by force (taxes) from citizens who rarely have time enough to even question what is going on in the big house on the once-green, now-rotten hill.
May I suggest you increase your political enlightenment by determining how many weeks and months every presidential candidate holiding a government job was out on the political trail, still drawing their hefty salaries and telling lies to the gullible, the hopeful, and the janitor who had to clean up their meeting hall mess. Multiple their current salaries by the number of weeks and/or months.
Call up just one of those candidates on the citizens' payroll and asked him - or the lone her, Hillary - why you should pay their salaries while they are riding around in fancy buses, eating at the best restaurants, sleeping in the finest motels.
Don't hold your breath until you get a straight, honest answer. Save it for hot soup. Take two aspirins ... and go to bed early. After all, you have to go to work tomorrow. The president's dog needs its toenails clipped.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is based in Cartersville, Ga. Her Website features her columns and poetry. Write her at email@example.com, or at P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.