Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Note to The Government

Dear Uncle Sam:

I am a law abiding, tax paying citizen of this land. I pay my bills on time, including the taxes on my property, my car, my income. I put money aside each month, trying to save for emergencies. I don't loan money out to people I know to be risky in terms of paying me back. I've been paying my federal student loans since I left college in 1997. I pay my mortgage on time, credit card bills, the car payment, my ridiculous medical expenses. I pay the kid who cuts my lawn. I buy gas for half the universe--the truckers who haul the things that I buy in stores, the freight operators who fly my mail around, hell, I was on the hook for gas for my social worker if it came to that. I have worked my ass off for years in a fairly thankless job to pay back that "free" graduate school ride you "gave" me.

And I've been doing it, mostly without complaint. I figure I'm lucky not to live in a hurricane-stricken area of the country right now. I figure I'm lucky to be able to afford these things.

But I didn't get here from being stupid. I didn't get here from taking risks where there wasn't a pretty good chance of a decent pay off.

But today, today I woke up and I saw where you bailed out another sinking ship to the tune of billions of dollars. Some of which are MY dollars, thank you. And I don't even get a say so. So I'd like to make a proposal to you.

I propose that you give me a bail out. It's getting kind of hard out here. I've cut back on a lot of things. My husband and I eat out once a week MAYBE, and even then only if I'm too exhausted to even put something in the microwave. I've switched to buying generic drugs, foods, household products. My rabbit even eats generic pet food. My husband and I have given up on taking our weekend drives in the country. We skipped Myrtle Beach this year. And still, I have to say, it's getting to be a struggle. We've trimmed the fat. What's left to trim? Oh, we're not hurting, per se, but we could--and in my opinion, should--be doing better.

So I want my cut. After all, I'm not proposing to put thousands of employees out of work from my own stupidity. I haven't behaved in such a manner that is causing global turmoil in the financial markets. Shouldn't there be a reward for good behavior?

I'm tired. I'm tired of getting up every day and going to work and doing good and basically getting pennies for it--and all because the people in government don't seem to think that my chosen field deserves reimbursement from medical insurance. I'm tired of hearing that our budget has been slashed and having to explain to doctors that I can no longer afford to pay for an exam for a client with no insurance.

My two big vacations this year? Both will be spent with my family, one on the road and one here at home. When was the last time one of these corporate big wigs took a vacation that didn't involve island hopping, seeing the continenet, maybe cruising the Amazon, or wasting away in Tahiti?

So, I've tried to decide what would be fair. I don't need $85 billion--who does? (AIG, I know, I know.) Hell, I don't need $1 billion. I'm going to make you an offer. How about a cool, tax free even million dollars? And here's what you'll get for your investment in me:

1. I'll pay off my student loans once and for all. So see? You're already getting money back.

2. I'll pay off my mortgage. See? More money that will probably directly benefit you by helping out the banks.

3. I'll pay off my car loan. Ditto number two: helping out the bank.

4. With what's left of the rest of the cash, I'll quit my job, and take one hell of a vacation. To make it fair, I'll stay inside the US. I will spend money in restaurants, on car rentals, maybe even on a plane ticket. I will rent a cottage or a condo on the beach and I will not lift a single finger for myself. I will pay some people to do it for me. Think of the boost for the suffering tourism trade!

5. And then my husband will, knowing him, probably go back to work. We'll go back to paying our income taxes, our Social Security taxes, our property taxes, our car taxes, our utilities, and all the rest of it. So you're still going to make some money off of us. Probably more now that we won't be able to deduct the interest from our mortgage. You're still winning! Though us adopting might put a little cramp in your style in terms of how much money you might get back--an extra deduction or two will hardly be noticed though, right?

It is my completely unstudied opinion on the matter that if you gave most sensible Americans a good dose of cash (what the hell was $1200 supposed to do for us in today's economy?), we would probably use it in ways that would boost the economy and help out the ailing financial system--paying off credit card bills, mortgages, car loans, medical debts, tax debts. Of course there are yahoo's out there who will blow the entire million on cigarettes and beer, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to maybe finally own a hot little convertible with a little chunk of the cash (one wants to look stylish cruising the beach), but for the most part, I think you would find people paying off bills and making their lives more comfortable. The money would flow up, these companies would stabilize, and we could call it even.

So whaddaya say? Do you have a cool million for me? If so, you know where I live. Check my last tax return. The address is the same.

7 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge Gleck said...

This situation (and I fully agree with you) is RIPE [!!!!!!!] for some forceful rebuttal by Obama.

Neither major party is totally blameless in this matter, but how many of these Wall Street/Brokerage/Financial twats are Democrats?? Nooo, they're all Republican money changers.

Where is Barack Obama??!! Why has he allowed himself to get boxed in and defined by Mrs. Lipstick Hockey Puck?

We're screwed.

manda said...

I'm sure you'll be finished paying off your loans by time you are eligible for forgiveness, but...

http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml

Kate/Susan said...

Yeah, Obama needs to step out and get on the ball with this thing or we're going to be stuck with another 4 disastrous years of Republican rule. While I appreciate that this was not all the R's fault, they could and should have done something about this a couple of years ago.

Thanks, Manda, for the info. I should be paid off by the time the 10 years goes by--we're paying extra each month to try and get rid of the thing since I can no longer deduct all of the interest I pay due to our tax bracket.

Can't wait till I'm a SAHM and can deduct the hell out of everything. :-) Stupid raises. ha!

Cindy said...

You know, I put a lot of thought into my mortgage. I didn't get an ARM, and I didn't borrow as much as the bank offered - I knew what I could afford. So, where is my cut for being sensible? Just because I don't have an ARM, do I get a bailout as well?

I used to work for a Credit Union and we used to get nasty letters from people that got turned down for a mortgage (I worked in Marketing, and since we had the magic touch, we always wrote the letters). I'm sure those people went to some other bank and got a mortgage and are now part of the problem. Home Ownership is not a guaranteed right. Neither is driving a car. I don't think people understand that.

And yeah, I'll take a million too.

Kate/Susan said...

I totally agree, Cindy. Our mortgage guy offered us another $100,000 on top of what we took and when I refused he was so pissed off. "Don't you want a nice house?" My response? "Yes, but I'd also like to be able to eat."

That's the problem with people. They just didn't think it through. There is no way to sustain mortgage payments of 3 and 4 thousand dollars when you bring home 1 or 2 thousand dollars. And I really don't feel too sorry for people who KNOWINGLY bit off more than they could chew just because they *could* get their hands on the money.

Jasper John R. said...

What's a matter, you didn't want to buy 80% of AIG?

Neither McC or O are going to do anything to SOLVE this problem.

Besides you have BIGGER problems, I'm expecting you to pay me my social security. :-) OK, everyone spell P O N Z I!

And, don't forget my Medicaid benefits.

Don't blame me I supported Ron Paul in my blog, in small circle of friends who will still speak to me, and in my check book.

Sigh!

nettiemac said...

I have yet to figure out how you fire a CEO for lack of performance (stock-wise), and manage to give them these exorbitant buyout packages and "golden parachutes." I guarantee you if I do something to cost my company money or prestige or anything else, I will not be given stock options for 25 years and use of a car-n-driver for the next 3 years. Hell no, I'll be out on the street and lucky to have any kind of recommendation (if they're feeling charitable). Ya know????