Tuesday, August 9, 2011

IBA #373

If you were President of the United States of America.
If I were President…well, in “fantasy land”, I could fix the budget, make everyone play nice, and finally “fix” the economy in the States!  Realistically though, I think President Obama is doing a fairly good job with what he is given to work with.  I would however, insist that instead of those “lovely” lawmakers worrying so much about taking money away from Medicare, Social Security, and our Military workers, that they should first all take a 50% pay cut across the board! 

Now, I don’t assume that they all make millions…I can deduce it from personal experience!  When I lived in Oregon, I worked at a grocery store in a small resort called Sunriver.  This resort community is where the “rich and famous” go to play golf during the summer and ski on Mt. Bachelor during the snow season.   (Mt. Bachelor is an awesome place to go ski or snowboard if you ever get the chance…the US Olympic ski team used to, and may still, train on it because it is “that good”.)  This being a community as well as a resort, there are people that live there year-round.  These are the kind that gets very uppity because they live “on a golf course” types.  Don’t get me wrong, they are extremely nice people (most of them), but they all seem to carry an air about them.  One that stands out for this particular story was a Representative for Oregon in the Senate.  Yep, lived there year-round, skied, golfed, owned a million dollar home…  He was (and probably still is) a great person!  Nevertheless, he could have handled a pay cut in my opinion.  At least, he could handle one better than the little old “lady” that depends on that social security check each month to pay the rent so she does not end up sleeping on the streets somewhere!

Then, it is not only the very old that depend on those checks.  I have a friend that I grew up with (we went to the same summer camp every year from the time we were 10 years old) that desperately needs that check each month.  She has three children, the second of which is a special needs child (she is Autistic), she is married, and neither of them have been able to find steady work for more than a year now.  Due to her own medical issues (we both have Diabetes, hence the same summer camp) and the specific needs of her child, my friend has not been able to work outside the home in over 4 years.  That leaves the entire money-earning burden on her spouse.  He lost his last job due to missing too much work while he was staying with his wife while she was whisked away to the hospital multiple times for medical emergencies.  (This is what I perceive from what she puts on her Facebook page anyway.)

My friend and her family receive Social Security benefits for their middle child.  Currently though, since her husband is without work and receiving unemployment benefits, they deduct every dollar they give him from the child’s Social Security!  They don’t reduce it when he is working…I just don’t understand the logic there.  I mean, I get the whole “we don’t want them getting too comfortable so they don’t get a job” mentality, but this seems a bit too ridiculous in my book!  As I mentioned before, my friend has medical issues, those also keep her from working (including leg/back issues that make it so she can’t stay standing for more than a 2 hour stretch, or something like that).  So, she has started the process of getting her own Social Security.  I wonder though, if it will help them.  Right now, they struggle every month to get everything paid and food for their kids.

So, back to my original thought, if the “powers that be” would just relax a little and realize that they too can live on less than what they put in their bank accounts each month…a good portion of the current money issues could be solved!  There are 435 people in the House of Representatives, they earn (according to Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt) between $174,000 and $223,500 each as of January 2010!  That is between $75,690,000 and $97,222,500!  Holy crap that is a lot of money we’re shelling out!  If they were to all take a 50% pay cut, that would still mean that the ones getting paid on the low end of the pay grade would still be making $87,000, which is roughly what my other half and I live on every year and we live fairly comfortably.  That would also give us $87,000 more to handle the United States other monetary issues with!

I know everyone rags on the President…it is pretty much “par for the course” in my opinion, but I would like to see each and every one of those people who seem to think they could do a better job actually try to!  I often see the “Facebook trash” that is spread around with things like “I hope all you idiots that voted for this a**h*le are happy now!” attached.  Sad thing is, I would wager half of them or better were part of the group that did vote for him!  Honestly, given our choices at the time…I believe he was the better candidate.  Then, I really do not have any room to talk…I did not vote.  I did not vote because I cannot register in the State of Washington until after I get a Washington driver’s license…, which I cannot get without having “proof” that I live here.  None of the bills are in my name, my other half is the only name on the mortgage…I know they have eased up on what they accept as “proof” now, but 4 years ago when we moved here, they only accepted a utility bill or other home service bill (cable, telephone, etc…).  It is on my list of things to do, I just have not gotten to it yet.  My Oregon driver’s license does not expire until 2014, so I still have “some time” there, lol.

I do not think I could handle the job of President…but then, I do not particularly get into the whole “politics” thing anyway.  What would you do if you were President, realistically or in “fantasy land”…?

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