by T. Johnson
American Reporter Correspondent
May 10, 2009
THE GOVERNMENT REALLY DOES WORK (FOR US)
SOMWHERE IN THE DEEP SOUTH -- A long time ago and far away, a veritable child finished his baccalaureate and decided (since that was the way the political wind was blowing at the time) to run out on his student loan - for future reference, a total of three thousand dollars.
For years he disremembered this act, and only with an increase in career investment and responsibility, and the fact that the lending institution had initiated court proceedings to find him in default and attach all his future federal benefits, was the memory of this awful truth presented to him.
He not only had not received a tax refund since 1991, but he had to face the fact that his Social Security allotment (fast approaching) could be garnished to that extent that his "golden years" might very well turned leaden insofar as his proposed lifestyle was envisioned.
So he decided to fight fire with fire. Since the feds were taking his dough, he figured to get another federal institution on his side to help in his fight for his economic future. Who's on his side? Why, the very people he helped elect to represent him in our great governmental institution, the Congress of the United States.
So he wrote to his U.S. Senators and his U.S Representives and outlined his story for them: how he had repaid (through seized tax refunds and pay garnishments) over three times the amount of the original loans, and thought that he had been penalized enough for the error of his adolescent ways.
Unfortunately, the lending institution, when faced with a Congressional inquiry about the loan, decided to take what they had gotten and sell it to a private speculative organization. That left our protagonist right about where he started - in the hole for three times the original loan.
Do not despair, dear reader. Through the grace of God or karma or whatever you may believe, our hero's story hit a responsive chord with a senatorial aide and, and the aide brought some serious weight to bear on the speculator. When faced with the wrath of the good legislator, a ranking member of several oversight and budget committees, the speculator decided to write off the loan for whatever tax benefits he could get and whatever "Look what I did for one of your constituents - now what can you do for me?" quid pro quo might be forthcoming.
And, dear reader, your very relieved protagonist has learned a very valuable, if somewhat belated lesson: They work for us.. And they will, too, if we give them sufficient cause and notice (read: votes) as to what we want them do.
Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, et alii, had it right. The system works. and it will work for us if we remember who's the boss. We are ... of the people, by the people and for the people, amen.
The author is a lifelong friend and high-school classmate of American Reporter Editor-in-Chief Joe Shea.