Saturday, July 26, 2008

Party Time!!!

You know there is so much discussion about politics that we are forced to chose one side or another in party politics. To be honest, while I come across as a Liberal Democrat to many (especially the redneck Repugs of Oklahoma) I don't really like much of the Democratic party and I am still registered as a Republican. While I kid about the predominance of Republicans, I am, by nature, very conservative. And my problems with the Republican Party have been that they in no way, shape or fashion represent my basic conservative beliefs. Like most people in my state, I would have probably considered Ron Paul over McCain, and General Clark always has always been our choice for President. Unfortunately, the Oklahoman primary choice never makes the final cut to the big game and then we have to choose between two of the guys we never liked in the first place. That my friend is American Politics.

So when we get right down to it, how do we choose between two people that you never felt were good for the job in the first place? As far as I can tell, the best, most intelligent decisions are going to require some real reflection on the part of the voters. And I really believe that American voters want the right guy in office. Most intelligent people know the shit is about to hit the economic fan. Many of us will be without jobs by Christmas and many will be without homes by Easter. Did you read two more banks have closed? It is going to get real ugly, real soon. As my old friend Cy used to say, it seems like a good time to start buying gold. The US Dollar is going to drop like a rock and we will suffer due to years of mismanagement. Even the Republicans are admitting all of this is a given, and saying we should stop pointing fingers at who is responsible (them) and focus on recovery. The new Alan Greenspan dude said just this week that we are headed into a downturn (depression) that will takes months to recover from, but not years. Of course he never said how many months. Maybe 2, or 36, possibly 48, how about 62?

So as I am about to fly out to Palm Springs and trying to figure out how to pack for two people for five days in two medium suitcases, I began thinking about my political beliefs. The old saying is, opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Years ago former Raider’s Howie Long added, "...And they all stink." Howie gained even more of my respect that day. Anyway, here is my opinion.

If we went out and loaned money to our friends that we knew couldn't pay it back, who would feel bad for us and give us free tax money for being stupid? If we go out and buy all kinds of crap that we can't afford, including a house that has monthly payments of nearly half the household income, who will bail us out? If we turn out to be a danger to the safety and security of our neighborhood, who would not only turn a blind eye, but start giving us sacks of money to become an even greater pain in the butt?

OK the banks not only loaned money to people they knew were bad investments, they begged then demanded banking deregulation so they could make those bad decisions. Why should my tax money be used to bail them out? Will I benefit from a bailout financed with my tax money? What about the homeowners? I am surrounded by people snapping up the next big prestigious thing. They feel they deserve the lifestyle that includes a huge house and big cars and all the latest gizmos. They have been bragging about how bright they are for years as the rest of us save and live within our income. Why the hell should MY tax money be used to bail them out?

Let's consider the Airline industry. You know when 911 hit we were in a panic. We pointed fingers at the government who then went nuts with Homeland Security. Why didn't we ask about the Airlines? Why didn't we point out they have a level of responsibility to keep passengers and the public safe? This idea of hijacking was not new. Even the idea of flying into buildings wasn't new. But we reacted to 911 by bailing out the airlines because people were justifiably afraid to get on a freakin plane. So... did we just reward them for incompetence?

And how have they thanked us, with reasonable safety check points? With improved service? How about better connections? No way! Because Corporate America has learned the American people like to be treated like cheap street walker. Slap us around, take our money and demand we do a better job of serving you.

Did you know community after community in rural American bid against each other to create the best tax incentives (free money and gifts) that entice corporations to put manufacturing plants in their area? Our own community bought a phone center from some rent-a-car place. The corporation kept it here til the tax money ran out and then it was gone! Kwick-Set Lock Company did the same in a town a few miles away. They took a bag of local and state tax money to open a plant while stepping out the back door to set up a location in Mexico.

OK OK I could go on and on with the examples and then you would need to give your examples and I never would get my suitcase packed. The simple reason for my political beliefs is based on how things affect me. What is my sense of right and wrong. And, as you know, I am all about financial conservation. I have no freakin idea why taxes have to be so high. When I was a kid, local sales tax was about 3-5% Now it is around 10%. And I want to know WHY it needs to be that high? I do not see any more services than I saw back in the 1970s. In fact, I see less! Back when I was a kid you could depend on civil services, the Sheriff came when you needed him, the ambulance responded when called. Today you have to verify a real need and the bill will be passed around for the response, IF they can even find the place.

People have pointed out they have more expensive equipment like major traffic lights, but they use to pay a cop to direct traffic all the time, and they eliminated that job for a more cost effective light. Is the light no longer cost effective? If so, we need to know because we have a butt load of people out here that can waive their arms and blow a whistle for a living!

I hear they have to raise taxes to deal with inflation. But why doesn’t anybody mention that inflation also shows up on income? If you charge 5 cents on every dollar of bread sold you make a nickel a loaf. But then inflation comes along and I just bought a loaf of the best tasting low calorie, Whole Wheat 6g a slice Pepperidge Farm for over $3. That means with inflation the county gets 15 cents just because I want bread with my tuna salad. That’s an increase of three times over the old cost but that wasn’t enough! Now the total in local sales tax is doubled as well for the same essential services.

The problem is the country has adopted the corporate system. We have managers of managers of managers who tell a few people how to do a job. So you have levels of beau racy of people creating unnecessary work to justify their existence. You hear the world of business is different than the world of Government, but I have never seen it. So what we end up with is a country being run by guys like Bush that reward incompetence like the Airlines who harass people like you and me while we pay excessive taxes at places like Wal-Mart as more and more jobs go to Mexico.

Ha! You probably thought I was just rambling and didn’t have a point didn’t you?!! Mismanagement leads to a buttload of real problems. This is just job security for me, as I work with community groups to try to deal with the crap created by the people who win our twice a decade popularity contest. But from where I sit spaced out on Hydrocodone and thinking “wouldn’t it be cool to drunk dial up that girl I used to sit next to in Algebra 35 years ago?”, neither of the two parties represent me. Increased taxes are not the answer. If you can’t run a Government on 15% of the total GNP you are one hell of a loser! But on the other hand, the other guys, the ones who want lower taxes, keep running up the biggest bills!

You know what I wish? I wish we didn’t vote by secrete ballot. Then the guys who kept voting for this freakin loser could pay all the tax increases it will take to pay for their mistakes. Maybe THAT’S why they are so insistent ballots are kept in secrete. I wanna go back to a simple show of hands!!!

No comments: