Friday, April 4, 2014

Saving the Future -- for Paul Ryan's Kids

I had the misfortune to happen to turn on the television, which for some reason I can't fathom, I have tuned to C-Span.  They were pounding out rhetoric about that twit Paul Ryan's budget, but at the moment it was the Democrats' turn so I left it on while I looked at the Guide, so I could see what movies I could watch during the weekend's free HBO preview.  But then, as would happen, it became the republicans' turn at the podium, and that hot-airbag Louis Gohmert stepped up.

You certainly can't accuse Gohmert of not enjoying hearing himself speak, because he seems to be on the floor spouting nonsense most of the time I turn the TV on.  I imagine he does not have much of a home life.

Anyway, who knows why I didn't immediately turn the volume down, so I had the great bad luck to hear him thanking -- profusely -- his friend on the other side of the aisle for agreeing with him.  His "friend" had been talking about the future of our children, and how we need to provide the foundation for our children to build on (my words, but you know what I mean, or, I mean, he meant).  Gohmert of course was talking out of the seat of his pants.  He was not at all in agreement, but was twisting the words around so bad that they were not recognizable.  Gohmert was saying that it is irresponsible for the government to spend money to help people by providing them with social services.  That this was actually denying our children a future.  By "our children" of course, he meant his children -- his and Paul Ryan's.

This is the way it works.  If the government does not spend money on social services, like education, health care, nutrition, unemployment benefits, then my kids and maybe yours, will have less with which to get a fair start in their lives.  But Louis Gohmert's kids will do great.  And so will his grandkids.  And that's what he and Paul Ryan are talking about it.

I wish I could say that even that was at all accurate.  Most of our Senators and Representatives are pretty well off, in fact, the majority are millionaires.  So unless they take a family member out of their will, or figure out how to take it with them when they go (always a possibility), their kids will do just fine even if they pay a lot more in taxes than the amount they are currently whining about.

On the other hand, the kids whose parents have to sacrifice to provide a college education will have to count on some good fortune as well as brains and hard work.  Even more so for those living in poverty, where hard work often doesn't even result in a living wage.  And when parents have to work two jobs to make ends meet and aren't there with the kids when they get home from school, or lose a job and have to scrape by on a miserly amount of food stamps, and a child goes to a "minimally adequate" school without the books, technology, or extracurricular activities that would motivate a kid to hope for college and a future, well, I don't think we have to worry about spending their future wealth.

And that's just it.  You could go into how spending money to improve lives now improves everybody's future, but you can't convince Paul Ryan that spending any of his "hard-earned" income so that our kids will have a chance at a good future makes economic sense for the country.  Because his rationalizations don't go any farther than his wallet.  And his own kids' future.  He can't hear your worry about paying your bills, or about your child's health.  And he doesn't have to.

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