Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wagon-Pullers Getting Tired
Got an over-the-table job? Paying taxes? Paying for your own health insurance? Well, you’re pulling the wagon. If you’ve been pulling it very long, you’ve noticed that it’s getting heavier. That’s because there are more people riding and fewer pulling. How long can this go on? Not forever, that’s for sure and the load is about to get even heavier - much heavier. How long before the wagon runs into the ditch and everybody falls off?
Do you know people who work, but make make most of their money under the table? Who don’t pay taxes? Don’t pay medical insurance? If you’re like most of us you don’t just know them, you’re related to them. They’re everywhere. They ride the wagon when they get sick or injured, but they don’t take their turn pulling it. They walk alongside and snicker at the rest of us in the harness.
But you get your medical insurance free because your employer pays it, you say? There’s no such thing as free. For those with, say, an Anthem family policy, it costs more than $50 a day and it’s part of your compensation whether you know it or not. Your employer knows it because he figures it into the cost of employing you. He could give you the $50 and let you send the check to the insurance company, but then the government would take some of it too and you’d pay even more. Nothing is free. Somebody pays. The wagon-pullers pay.
How many people do you know who have gone on disability? How many of them are actually disabled and unable to work? How many have grossly exaggerated their ailments to “qualify” with the help of lawyers from Binder and Binder? I bet you’re related to some of them too. Most of us are.
“The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money,” said former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The wagon-pullers either quit or collapse in harness and that’s happening already in the UK. It’s nearly bankrupt. With it’s enormous social programs and surging illegal immigrant population, so is California. The whole USA headed down the same road - and with “bailouts” of a trillion here and a trillion there, we’re picking up speed.
The $825 billion “economic stimulus” package is being shaped by the Democrats in control of Congress and the White House as I write. Obama’s chief economic advisor, Robert Reich, testified before Congress, saying: “I am concerned, as I’m sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skilled people who are already professionals, or to white male construction workers.”
Not only will we have increasingly socialist tax policies, money raised will be spent according to race. I thought the Obama Administration was going to be the first “post-racial” presidency. Did I miss something? Reich went on to say: “Criteria can be set so that the money does go to others - the long-term, unemployed minorities, women - people who are not necessarily construction workers or high-skilled professionals.”
Obama says he wants to build roads and bridges and other infrastructure with all that money. He assures us that there are plenty of these projects “shovel-ready” all around the country, just waiting for the funds to go ahead. I can see myself now - being stopped by a chubby wagon-rider with an orange vest, a walkie-talkie, and a STOP sign on a pole in front of a government work crew standing around, leaning on those shovels and smoking cigarettes.
Later, when I drive over one of those “new-infrastructure” bridges, I’ll remember that there weren’t any “highly-skilled, white professionals” involved in building it and I’ll thank God if I make it to the other side.
President Obama told Joe the Plumber he would “spread the wealth around” by raising taxes on the “rich.” Trouble is, the “rich” are paying most of the taxes already and, if you’ve worked all your life and you’re still alive, you’re one of them. As a teacher with a wife and three kids thirty years ago, I was “poor” - officially under the federal poverty line. I’m still a teacher, but with two additional part-time jobs, a working wife and four grown-and-gone children - but now I’m “rich.” Rich and poor are not static categories and my story is not unusual. The top half of American earners pay 96% of federal income taxes. The bottom half pay less than 4%. If you factor in the “earned income tax credit,” most of that bottom half pay less than nothing; they get paid instead. Yet Obama and Pelosi want to give them a rebate! On what? You have to pay first to get money “back.” Let’s just call it what it is - a massive redistribution of income from wagon pullers to wagon riders.