Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thanks Republicans

Ahlseen was gloating, Kris was reporting bad news and I lost sleep over the combination, wondering who to thank for the extra hours of thinking I got in this night.

Why, I guess I ought to thank a Republican for giving me more time to ponder my future as an aging baby boomer.

At Rotary last night Mark Ahlseen deposited his happy dollar (which is a rare thing for him) with a gloat over Brown’s win in Massachusetts. He was happy over the end of health care reform. I’m sure he was, because he’s not just a Republican, he’s a Ron Paul Republican who sees no need for government – not even in education of our children.

Kris came home and discussed a meeting she’d had with her supervisor. She works in education, working with young parents. It’s part of the public education system, and it is a vital part, giving a leg up to the parents and, in some cases, preventing troubles for the living babies. It’s called Parents as Teachers, and it has been a strong advocate for early childhood education. Because of its advocacy money for Early Childhood Education has been restored to the state budget.

But districts are hard pressed and PAT crosses a number of school districts. So the superintendents may not want to keep their portion of the program in their budget. In other words, Kris may well find herself out of a job. That has to be because the state’s economy can’t afford a rise in sales taxes. It’s good for the state economy to put teachers, experienced teachers on the street. Thanks Republicans.
Of course, if Kris’ job is eliminated she’ll look for another. It’s not likely that she’ll be able to find another job in education. The jobs just aren’t there. In an instant our income will be cut in half. Let’s see what a wonderful gift that will be to the economy, all thanks to the Republicans.

If Kris loses her job we’ll be cutting back and/or not doing any travelling. I was planning on a trip to see my son this coming summer. That’s a $2,000 trip, most of it paid in the airline tickets. So my little contribution to the travel industry is going to be cancelled. Thanks Republicans.

Right now I’m fairly generous with my cash. I give to a number of environmental organizations, political organizations, Rotary International, the church and the college. Yes, I give a portion of my salary back to the college, as well as make my own contributions to my retirement plan. I also put money aside for drugs and co-pays. All of the extras will go. I’ll keep my political contributions, since I think that may be the best investment of my money for the long term. But in the mean time I have to cut. So the contribution to the college will go. Some of the environmental groups will suffer. It’s not much, but it is my way of helping keep someone else working. That will have to go. Thanks Republicans for refocusing my attention on myself.

I’ll reduce what I put in medical cafeteria funds, and I’ll reduce what I spend at the Dentist, the optometrist and the drug store. I won’t let my health go down, but I will definitely think twice about going to the doctor and about taking every prescription the doctor says is good for me. I definitely can postpone going back to the eye doctor, and I can probably do only what is needed at the dentist. That’s all going to help our economy. Thanks Republicans.

I have too much pop culture at home: digital cable TV, home internet. Going to have to find a way to reduce that, if not eliminate it altogether. That’s going to help the local economy. It’s also going to help my teaching, you know, I don’t teach anything about the interface of popular culture and high culture. Nah, I don’t need this to teach Mass Media. Well, regardless, I’m going to be doing without. Thanks Republicans.

Of course we’ll get to choose health insurance options for Kristine should she lose her job. We can either buy a very expensive policy on the open market – which will exclude any pre-existing conditions and have a waiting period before she can even go to the doctor. Or we can add her to the policy I have with the college. Of course, we can just do without and gamble that she’ll stay healthy for the next fifteen years, until she qualifies for Medicare. I know that our friends in the Republican party are working to eliminate that too, but it seems unlikely that they’ll be strong enough to privatize that program before we retired. In the meantime we have so many choices in health insurance, thanks to the Republicans. And they’re all so good for the Isaacson economy, not to mention the state economy.

Did I mention the house repairs and improvements? We were going to insulate and close in the basement, using local labor. We were going to buy a new vanity and sink and three new faucets. We were thinking about installing new windows, maybe hire a local company to do that. Instead we’ll be buying health insurance. That’s much better for the local economy than doing something foolish like improving our home. Thanks Republicans.

Our Taurus, a 98, now has 180,000 miles. Kris’ job requires her to drive a lot of miles. Dwight Swisher tells us that this Taurus has got a “sweet little engine,” so we can put 200,000 miles on it, easy. But we were getting a little nervous about it and were thinking about trading. That’s not going to happen. We’re not going to contribute to the recovery of the American auto industry any time soon. Thanks Republicans.

So if you’re a main street business with whom I used to do business, sorry, but you won’t be seeing much of me. I won’t be going to Walmart of another of the big box stores instead of shopping with you. I just won’t be shopping anywhere for much of anything. Don’t thank me, thank the Republicans.
Teachers, who like my wife, are looking at being out of a job – or feeling very nervous about your future on the job – if you voted Republican, this is exactly what you voted for.

Parents who don’t like the educational system, who think that the schools don’t do enough to help your child excel in math and sciences and prepare to compete in the new world: with 30 in the class, how much attention is your child going to get now? If you voted Republican, this is exactly what you voted for.
Republican policies, Republican ideas, Republican politics are what have brought our economy to the brink of meltdown, thrown most of the middle class in this country to the side of the road, created agricultural practices that are focused on the seed companies and not on people who need food nor on land use that’s sustainable. The bad things that are happening to our country and our world are a direct result of Republican policies. Electing more Republicans will perpetuate the bad news of the 8 years of Bush misrule.

So gloat away Mr. Economist Ahlseen. Taking money out of the pockets of those who serve the public is not the way to help the economy. But thanks for giving me an extra hour of awake time to think about the issues and remember whom to thank.

1 comment:

Juliana said...

What a powerful post. You pretty much summed up my feelings and thoughts. This is a sad time for our country. And I am scared.