photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, January 26, 2013

GOP's America- Worst. Family. Ever.

So the whole "WE NEED TO DECIDE ON THIS NOW OR THE WORLD WILL END" debt ceiling issue has been decided in a predictable American Guy fashion- we're gonna ignore it till May.

The "due upon receipt" invoices the GOP have been screaming about have been looked at, read, worried over and stressed about till the only sensible thing to do has been to stuff them under the rest of the mail and worry about it later.

Which is totally weird on accounta when the Democrats said, "Hey, guys- the debt ceiling is really something that can wait- maybe we need to talk about other things first- things that are actually, yanno- KILLING people" the Democrats were called all sorts of horrible names and told that they were Traitorous Amer'ca Hatin' Poopieheads.

Because the debt ceiling needed fixed RIGHT NOW. NOW! NOW!

Or May. Whatever.

I know I'm early (or late) in talking about this but here's what I think of the whole "What if the national budget were a family budget? SEE??? Totally irresponsible unless you're a Commie Government Leech Democrat Welfare Momma!" argument when it comes to balancing our federal budget.

First of all, the federal budget isn't at ALL like a family budget. Mainly because the money owed on it is ourselves.

So, if my family had had say $100,000 in the bank and wanted to build an $80,000 house, we could conceivably take that money out and promise ourselves we'd pay it back ASAP since that's our retirement savings and all. *Note- this is for hypothetical purposes only- what we have in the bank couldn't build a bird house. For little birds. Like wrens and shit.

After our house was built, say we had other stuff come up- a job loss or big medical expense or something and we just haven't had the chance to pay any of this money back into the account.

Do we evict ourselves?

Of course not.

Even IF the reason our expenses are higher than expected living in the new house and we decide, "Hey- this wasn't such a good idea- it's too big of a house and we need to downsize" in the meantime what do we cut back on?

We sit down and look at the budget and think 2 things-

We need more income AND we need to cut back.

So, being the family member who is able to provide more if I need to, I look for a part-time job to augment the budget because (according to economists of all stripes- not just squishy liberal ones) you CANNOT cut your way to savings- you must also have additional income.

Then we look at spending.

Lets look at the GOP "government budget/family budget" thing and see what it does in real life and for really what they're asking for demanding like a buncha self-righteous bastards-

Cuts to 'entitlements' which is that whole social safety net thing they hate so much. Veterans? Old people? Children? Women? Sick people? Fuck 'em. Bootstraps, baby- nothing but bootstraps for you.

In a family budget that translates into groceries, doctor visits, school expenses and medicines.

Our Family First GOP is telling America, "Too bad, so sad- we need to cut expenses and cut 'em deep to pay back money that we borrowed from ourselves. No hard feelers, remember if you believe in god, you'll go to heaven and never be hungry or sick again, and if you hurt too much now, you have access to any gun you want to blow your sorry brains out (and maybe your children's too IF you love them).

What the bloody hell?

Who tells their family they must be hungry and sick and uneducated because there was a clerical miscalculation when there's no bill collector at the door with a baseball bat waiting to break your kneecaps but it's just your own damn bank account that's not being paid back?

Self-righteous bastards, that's who.

So I would get a part-time job to increase income and then look at truly expendable expenses- things like maybe cancelling an expensive security system because we're out in the middle of nowhere and we have big dogs patrolling the place that do just fine, and maybe if we went to church we'd cut back on our tithing...

...because for some reason I think Jesus would say, "FEED YER KIDS BEFORE PUTTING MONEY IN THE COLLECTION PLATE".

So as a nation, perhaps we need to look getting the citizens who have the ability to pay more into the kitty to actually do that, then at military spending and probably re-thinking the tax-exempt status of churches.

Just by tweaking those three items in our nation's Family Budget, we could have enough money to feed everyone, offer universal health care and free or low-cost college for all our students.

Because if you're going to use the national budget/family budget analogy, you are automatically projecting that we as a nation = a family. Family cares for each other- even those who don't think like you do politically, even the ones who need a little extra help from time to time.

If it's found out that you are denying your children and disabled and elderly family members food, clothing, and medical care because you are paying money back into your own freaking BANK ACCOUNT, Social Services comes in and you are proclaimed an unfit parent and piss-poor human being.

Why the hell can politicians and propaganda-fed constituents do the same things to fellow Americans and consider themselves exemplary fiscal conservatives?

I keep hearing, "Well? Do we wanna be the next Greece?" as if that's not only a question, but an answer. Greece and other countries are suffering not because they're NOT enacting 'austerity measures' but because they ARE.

Read more than one news source- we have the entirety of the world at our fingertips now- why paint yourself into a corner containing only people like yourself playing an endless game of 'repeat something long enough and it becomes true'?

Acknowledge that other American citizens are NOT your enemies- and don't have to GET OUT if they do or say something you don't like.

IF the National Budget = a Family Budget

THEN ALL American Citizens = Family

Start acting like it.


  1. I love your blog. I use it as a perfect reverse barometer. You should know if you don’t already, that not everyone who reads this blog has rose colored glasses on and thinks that all the worlds’ ills can be solved by baking more banana bread. When you write from you heart and not a soap box, you are brilliant. The rest of the dribble is an amusement to me. I know this is bad form to post this on your blog. How dare me anyway. Once in a while I too need to get up on a soap box. I just don’t need a ten foot ladder. I know…if I don’t like it, don’t read it. Kind of like, “love it or leave it”. Hmmmmm

  2. Good morning, Jim!
    If you've really gotten from what I write that my glasses are rose colored, I'm terribly sorry for the misunderstanding.
    My rose colored glasses were shattered when I was 15 and the victim of sexual violence, and never repaired as I then went through 2 abusive marriages before I realized that I was punishing myself for being a victim in that first situation I had no control over.
    Currently, my family fights for its life through the tentacles of the medical system as we have for over a decade. My husband's next surgery is on the 5th- a little over a week from now and I'm terrifed- thanks for asking.
    Banana bread?
    No. Banana bread is not the answer, and I've never in my life held hands with flower children and sung Kum Bay Ah. Ever.
    But I know that more guns and more god is not the answer, either.
    We live in a violent society and the only way to change that is to stop glorifying, rewarding and romanticizing violence- both our gun worship and our violent jealous god figure are killing our culture and ourselves.
    That shit was learned and ingrained, it can be unlearned, too.
    If it can't- if it's too late for the human race to act...human, then our course has run and we need to go extinct.
    My 'dribble' consists of things I'm passionate about because I've lived through them, not something I seen on TV or read on some liberal website.
    Comment anytime- I write because I feel strongly about something, not because I want a fan club. I stand up to people every day in person, I sure won't lose any sleep about your 'bad form' comment on my blog.
    I just wanted to clarify a few things because it seems you have a skewed notion of who I am, and you're right- without knowing who I am, a lot of my stuff doesn't mean much.
    Tell you what- I'll assume you're not a smug asshole and you assume I'm not a squishy treehugger.

  3. Damn glad to hear you’re not a tree-hugging flower child lost in the 60’s. Fantastic! The verdict is still out on whether I’m a smug asshole. Let me fist say that you missed my point. My comments on rose colored glasses and banana bread was a generalization of the folks I know who are liberals. I was not referring to you, but rather folks who love reading your type of blog. So, whether you want to find out or not, let me tell you something about me. I am your age. Almost exactly your age, so I have been around the block a few times. I’ve been through good times and bad, but mostly good. I have been very “lucky” when it comes to that. By lucky I mean I have not been through any personal debilitating illnesses. Nor has my spouse or child. We are very lucky. However, my mother died of brain cancer and my sister and mother in law damn near did. So, I know what cancer is and what goes along with it. I’ve grown to hate the word cancer. The rest of our good fortune I contribute to hard work and good decisions. Do I think I know everything? Absolutely not! Don’t even want to. Could you imagine the burden of always having to be right? I’m a bit of a hippy. I have been playing guitar for over forty years and you simply don’t see me in anything but Tye Dye when I’m not at work. Now that this little snippet of my life has been said, let me state why I feel some of your blogs fall short. I don’t think you get why we need to cap the debt ceiling. It’s not our money we need to pay back to ourselves; it’s the money we owe to the Countries we have borrowed it from. How do you think we get more money to spend? If we just printed more you would be taking a wheelbarrow full of cash to pay for a loaf of bread. It would not even be worth the paper it’s printed on. Raising the debt limit forces us into borrowing more. Every minute and every second we do nothing to address our debt increases our debt beyond comprehension. Putting gun control in front of the debt issue is simply irresponsible. It’s using hysteria to push forward a political agenda. The Wal-Mart blogs was about as far off as you could get. I can tell you for a fact that the average hourly associate in our region makes 13.47 dollars per hour. Of course there are some highs and lows to average that amount, but it’s a better than most retailers. Our percentage of FT to PT is 70/30. That’s right, 70 percent fulltime. Both Fulltime and Part time have benefits. That’s right, part time associates can get medical insurance for themselves and their dependent children. Don’t believe everything the liberal media spews out. Where else can an individual without a college education achieve a fifty thousand dollar a year job (assistant manager) in a very short period of time? (Less than two years) You do have to work for it, but it is attainable. I see it all the time. OK, enough of that dribble, let’s address gun control. Did you know that since President Obama took office over 70 thousand convicted felons have tried to buy guns from a gun dealer? (they were denied, the system flagged them) That’s illegal. Not one of them has been prosecuted. Not one. We have good laws on the books that are not enforced. Not at all! Yes we do have a problem in American with mass shootings, but gun control is not the answer. It’s treating the symptom and not the root causes. Have you ever noticed that every time something bad happens, perpetrated by bad people, our Government’s answer it to take more rights away from good people? Personally I have to wonder why? What is their motive? So am I a smug asshole? I guess that’s up for debate. I simply see things due to my life experiences. I wish nothing but the best for Ward and your family. What you are going through I could could not imagine.

  4. Good morning, Jim!
    I can't speak to the debt ceiling other than what I've read by several different economists who seem to be pretty well-informed and educated without having much of a political agenda. I really try to not listen only to one side or t'other.

    Walmart? I know it depends on your area of the country- here the ratio is more like 50/50 and they start at under $10. I have yet to have a Walmart-employed friend say anything about promotions or raises or benefits, and these aren't slackers, they work damn hard there- and at $13.50 per hour that's STILL less than $30,000 per year. One friend fought tooth and nail for a gig at Walmart over the holidays. They were promised that those new hires who worked the hardest would be kept on full-time after Christmas. They all worked their asses off because they all needed health insurance for their families and Walmart let them ALL go- not a one got a full-time position.

    Guns. Hmmm...what I heard the President say was "close the gun show loophole by requiring checks on everyone" (I've seen a gun show private sale and it's incredibly creepy), "reinstate the weapons ban of '94-'04" which even my uber-pro-gun friend says did nothing to slow even him down as far as getting whatever he wanted to (and he wants damn near everything that goes 'bang'), and "ENFORCE THE LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS".

    I was remiss in my last comment in thanking for you in your compliment, but later in the day I realized that if my rants are dribble, the things you LIKE to read that I write are...the banana bread parts, which make me squishy w/rose colored glasses. But I do thank you for your compliment :)

    I'd be horribly narcissistic if I assumed we were the only family to go through disease- I think it's more common than not, especially cancer. I'm sorry for your losses and close calls, and appreciate your well wishes.

    Because we've lived so long with the mental, physical and financial drag of such an illness- over eleven years now, our almost 13 year old son remembers nothing else, I do get very impatient with people who attribute whatever good fortune they have in life to "working hard and making the right decisions". While those things certainly have their merit, I think MOST people try to do that anyway. The absolute lynch pin to success is luck, pure and simple. Because no matter what else you do, believe or practice- it can all disappear in a literal heartbeat.

    It's happened to us, and to many others like us and a horrifying number of folks who have all sorts of other life-shattering things happen to them. The current attitude of "All you have to do is work hard and make the right decisions and everything will be OK- if you're not OK you must've been lazy and made bad decisions so you don't DESERVE any help or compassion" is to me, a defining thought process of our society- and not in a good way.

    Nice to 'meet' you- all the best to your family as well!