Tag Archives: sequester

Give Me Your Poor…

Want a way to decide what federal services to cut, and which to keep, in a fair and balanced way? Here’s a thought: the Democrats are all about the poor, the homeless, the children. Take care of them first. And by first, I mean before anyone else.

Set up a national safety net priority pyramid, kind of like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. No money is spent on the higher level priorities until all of the base needs are taken care of. For example, if hunger is agreed to be the most basic need, then all people will be fed before any money is spent on any other item. Once all people are fed, then people could receive housing, and clothing, and education, medical care, and so on.

There would be no question of corporate welfare until the basic needs of all people were taken care of. There would be no consumer protection agency until everyone had enough money to worry about losing. There would be no government backed mortgage financing until everyone had a house. There would be no student loans until everyone was college ready. If a person lost his job, and was unable to pay his mortgage, there would be no unemployment payments—that person would be assigned living quarters, and given food and clothing sufficient to bring him up to the level of the lowest person in the pyramid. Everyone would be kept alive, fed, and sheltered. Beyond that point, everyone would be on his own, until everyone achieved a base level of needs provided for.

At that point, once each person was assured of food, clothing, and shelter, the next level of need could be addressed. Say the next priority would be education. The most basic level of education would be provided for each person, no matter their age. If a fifty-year-old man somehow neglected to learn to read when he was in school, he would be eligible to be taught his ABC’s. And so forth, and so on. All of those people in the middle and upper classes would receive no benefit from government unless and until all of the people beneath them in income level were brought up to their standard of living.

In this manner, the entire pyramid would keep rising, with more needs taken care of, but only needs. Wants and desires would not be funded in any way, shape, or form by the government until all needs for all people had been satisfied. Anyone at a higher income level would be welcome to provide more for himself than would otherwise be provided by the government, but no one would be entitled to anything that was not available at the lowest income level.

Fortunately, we never have to worry about this sort of concept ever being implemented, and not because the Republicans hate people, either. The truth is that it’s just too difficult to pay in for years, and never get anything back. And, matter how hard we try, no matter what benefits are given to those in need, there will always be needy. There will never be enough to take care of those in dire need, and still have some left over for the amenities we all enjoy. It’s all a balancing act, and we just need to decide where we’re going to set the fulcrum. No demonizing necessary.

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No Eggroll, Please

Thank you, Mr. President, for choosing to halt the annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn, due to the sequester. It is a little enough stroke against the size of the federal budget, but it is a start. And we need to start somewhere, no matter how small. Those parents who have been looking forward to getting their photos taken with Mrs. Obama will just have to come up with some other form of entertainment for their children this year.

Next, please close the national parks. There are plenty of wide open spaces that people can enjoy without paying an entry fee and being warned not to feed the bears. Plus, all of those tacky tourist traps that normally have to share the wealth with the park rangers will really appreciate the increase in business. These sorts of acts, along with cancelling the tours of the White House, will help the American people to understand what non-essential roles the federal government has been playing. We need to start somewhere with getting the bloated budget under control, and these items will serve nicely, since you were so determined to keep Big Bird alive. And the virtual tour may end up being more enjoyable, since no one has to put up with children crying, gum smacking, and the occasional loud texter.

Then you can send all of the TSA people home. Yes, that simple act may lead to the demise of more than one airline, but, you know, someone has to sacrifice for the good of the country. Buses, trains, automobiles, people will get where they need to go. And they will be forced to re-examine whether they do  really need to make that trip they’ve been planning. Sending home TSA agents will make the cell phone companies and Skype very happy, as people adapt to changing circumstances. Business will carry on even if some airlines go under. The world does not come to a halt just because the federal government eliminates some non-essential services.

People can’t afford to wait on their government. If no one else does so, they must either step up to the plate themselves, or do without. It’s easy to take advantage of government services when they are offered, quite difficult to refuse that piece of cake laid out on a plate. But when there is no cake, the bills must still be paid, business must still be done, people must still continue with their daily lives, somehow.

Mr. President, if you truly are attempting to lower the size of government, then bully for you. It does seem that you are more interested in trying to show the American people all of the wonderful things that the government does for them, all of the services that they will be missing, but you have that backwards. People existed before government, and they will persevere; they will find a way.

In the end, it is not the government that runs the country. It is not the government that decides what business will be done. It is not the government that decides how people will spend their time. If, in your cost-cutting measures, you finally realize that, then some good will come of this sequester, no matter how drastically its provisions are put into place. Besides, what is the White House doing involved in an Easter tradition, anyway?

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Filed under Critical Thinking, Politics