September 07, 2010
Earlier this week, a friend of mine relayed the following ‘mistaken identity’ story to me: He, his wife, and another couple were heading to a concert together after meeting for dinner. The two guys had grown up together, and were always bumping into each other, hitting each other on the shoulder, etc…you know, the kinds of things guys do.
Anyway, one of the guys had to stop by the bathroom while the other three waited for him. As he emerged from the bathroom, he caught sight of what he thought was our mutual friend and proceeded to sprint down the hallway and tackle him. As he jumped up laughing, the victim rolled over with a pained and confused look on his face. Oops – turns out the guy who just got slammed to the carpet was simply a passerby who had no idea what had hit him.
It seems our congressional representatives also suffer from a bad case of mistaken identity. You see, our ‘representatives’ have been busy passing all these new laws, throwing unfathomable amounts of money at “stimulus programs”, yet completely ignoring the wants and needs of the constituency at large. At the same time, our ‘representatives’ try to convince us the government is the one paying for all this reckless spending.
Seems we need to rephrase this: Our ‘representatives’ are the ones spending us into a debt load so large that it is absolutely impossible to EVER pay it back. And if they ever do try chipping down the monumental IOU, where will the money come from? If you answered ‘the government’, then I’ve got some non-performing second liens I’ll sell you at par. Surely you understand that ‘the government’ has just one source of income; TAX DOLLARS. And where do those tax dollars come from? YOU and ME.
Sadly, I did not benefit from Cash For Clunkers – I have two used (and completely paid for) vehicles that are not fancy, but aren’t pieces of junk for which ‘the government’ would have overpaid so I could buy a brand new future clunker. Nor did I cash in on ‘the government’s’ offer of $8,000 to buy a home for the first time. Nope, I already own a home. And, since I’m self-employed, I haven’t been able to hitch a ride on extended unemployment benefits ‘the government’ has so generously offered to those who have regrettably been out of work for over a year.
Not being a big bank or Wall Street firm, I wasn’t eligible for bailout funds, and since I take the lumps if any of the mortgage notes I own goes bad, I couldn’t get in the handout line for TARP money, either.
So where does that leave me? Am I an idiot for not figuring out a way to force my way into ‘the government’ trough? Actually, I am part of the underserved, the enslaved, the worker bees: I just get to pay for it all. I think our founding fathers called this scenario “taxation without representation.” Technically we have ‘representatives’ (elected officials) who are supposedly working for my best interests, but I’m also told we have leprechauns and pots of gold at the ends of rainbows: I’ve never seen evidence of either.
Mistaken identity – ‘representatives’ who don’t really represent, and a government who spends, spends, spends without having any money to do so. Like the story at the beginning of this blog, it’s time for us to tackle all these reckless ‘representatives’ come Election Day and remind them all who they should really be representing. Because if they think we taxpayers are all just virtual ATMs who will continue to spit out cash long after the account is overdrawn…well, they are sorely mistaken.
Make it a great week.
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