A Simpleton’s Explanation to Why We’re in Trouble

Right now this country is in serious trouble and no one seems to come up with the exact reason. That’s because there is not just one reason but a gazillion. Let’s start out with the most obvious.

Congress: Forget about the bipartisan bickering. Over the past several decades congress has been allowed to create laws that guarantee their future. They give themselves pay raises and the country has no say so. They give themselves entitlements that protect them for the rest of their lives such as their own healthcare that no one else, not even service veterans can equal. A pension for the rest of their lives even if they do a lousy job, only serve one term and don’t even vote on bills. The sad part about it is that these laws can never be reversed because the only ones that can are the ones that would be affected. When they vote on budget cuts I can guarantee you none will apply to Congress.

Government workers: I used to live in Huntsville Alabama, a town with NASA and Redstone Arsenal. The median income in 2009 was $48,786. I worked as a copier technician and made just over $33,000 with 17 years’ experience. That’s a good wage so why is the median so high. It’s because of the huge number of government employees that live there. Let’s start out with the average government worker, a GS8 step 6 makes a base of $43,000. If you started out as a GS1 step1 you would start at $17,807. If you worked at McDonald’s at minimum wage you would make $15,100. But remember, the government worker gets 10 government holidays, 13 days paid vacation and 13 days sick leave. Try getting that at McDonald’s. Then you have the engineers (and there are a lot of them). I know several personally and I don’t know one that makes less than $60k and a lot that make over $80k. What I’m trying to say is that the private sector can’t compete with government employees and government contract workers. Because of this, prices of everything are inflated and the person working at McDonald’s couldn’t even think of buying a house and would not survive if there wasn’t a Wal-Mart in the neighborhood. Bottom line, if you took the wages of the people working for the government out of the equation I’m sure that the median income would probably be reduced substantially.

Military budget: Having served in the military for 20 years, I have noticed one thing that baffled me. It seemed like every year around September you always heard the word budget. We were always asked if there was anything we needed. Then the next month we would see an early Christmas. The day room got a new pool table, there was a new copier in the orderly room, we had a lot of new sporting equipment and lots of other new stuff. As a Private I didn’t know what was going on. The as my career progressed I found out what this was all about. We all know that every government agency, department, military unit all the way from division to the company level and organization has a budget. This is money that they have set aside for the day to day operations to be used for the full year. Every year they have to say how much they need for the following year. The problem with this budget is as follows. If, during the year, they don’t use all the money in their budget they will get less money the next year. So, at the end of the fiscal year there is a mad dash to spend any money they have left over. I didn’t know how serious this was until after I retired. One of my co-workers wives worked at procurement on Redstone Arsenal. Every September she and all her co-workers had to work over time in the evenings and weekends to spend the rest of the money that was allocated so it wouldn’t be lost. Why not come up with a new regulation that lets the money roll over into the next year’s budget and reward them for their diligence instead of the overtime and punishing them by taking the money away.

Insurance companies:
The reason for this topic is simple. We recently bailed out IAG because they were “too big to fail”. That is the biggest bunch of malarkey I’ve ever heard. They are an insurance company, a group of thieves that capitalize on people’s misfortunes. They take in billions of dollars, squander it by paying everyone from the CEO on down to the person who wrote the policy, give lucrative bonuses to CEOs and top performers and then when they have to pay out “oops we’re out of money”. We should have let them fail and instead of giving them the money, use it to cover their policy holders. Or, even better yet, don’t give them anything and let them go after the people who sold them the policy. I don’t even think the government should have ever been in the business of bailing out any private business. We just reward them for poor performance.

Unions: When this country was in its early years the best thing that could have happened was the unions. Unfortunately, over the course of the years, they turned into a plague that’s eating away at this country. Not saying their all bad but for the most part they are. My sister worked at a plant in Virginia that was unionized. She said that after several years it seemed like everyone had seniority. They took several breaks a day and argued about who was supposed to do what. When someone didn’t feel they had to do something they put in a union complaint. The company was losing so much money they had to move to Mexico to get rid of the union and get back to making production. Look at the problem in Minnesota and several other states. The unions got involved in the state governments to the point that the workers got great retirement benefits without paying a whole lot in. This is great until you have so many retirees that they are milking the state dry. Then when you get a governor that wants to do something about it the unions step in and try to mess things up. The time for unions is over. We should let the companies, states and the government (yes, even the civil servants are unionized) take care of their own employees. If they treat them right, their success will follow.

Lobbyists: We should make a deal with Mexico where we will give them two of our lobbies in return for every one of their hard workers to become a citizen. We would reduce our population and get a lot more work done. Enough said about that.

Taxes: Every election year we hear about cleaning up our ridiculous tax system yet after the election it goes silent. One year I was doing my taxes (with a pencil and a form) and I came across a part that said earned income credit. At the end of the form it said that I was supposed to get more money back that I paid in. I checked the form several time for a mistake and couldn’t find one. So I just wrote in the space “amount refunded” 0. A couple weeks later I got a letter from IRS that I had made a mistake that would delay my return. Sure enough I got my return and I got back several hundred more than I had paid in. I was in disbelief. That was several years ago. Now, I’m finding out that the less you make and the more children you have the more you get back. Wow, we’re paying people have children they can’t afford and not work. Then we have companies like GE that turn big profits and don’t pay any taxes, not to mention gas companies that turn monstrous profits and then we find out that the government subsidizes them so they can continue gouging us at the pumps. Fixing this broken tax system has got to take priority to insure our survival.

Wall Street protest:
In regards to this the media is just plain dumb. They keep saying that the protesters cannot come up with a mutual theme what they are protesting about yet it’s so simple. We bailed out Wall Street with the taxpayer’s money and they took the money, got back on their feet, paid their execs large bonuses and partied like there’s no tomorrow. Not one hard working regular guy (tax payer) got helped. No wonder why we’re all pissed.

Wasteful: Have you ever noticed that when you are driving along the highway for a long stretch in the middle of the night and just as you get up to speed the next light in front of you turns red. To make it more frustrating you are the only one on the road (except for the State Trooper). Or you’re driving with a pack of cars and way up ahead there are no cars and the light is green. Then right before you get to the light it turns red. Just start noticing and you’ll see what I mean. This nation uses more gas than any other country in the world. Unfortunately a lot of it is wasted because we don’t use the technology that is available to protect our most valuable commodity.
I could go on and on but I think you got the idea.

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