July 30, 2011. Congratulations to Brian and Liz! When children find true love, parents find true joy. God bless your joy and ours, from this day forward.
This past week Washington and the media were all abuzz. At the time of this writing, an agreement has not been reached on raising the national debt ceiling above $14.5 trillion. It will be. Republicans will cave under the false promise of future spending cuts, which will never materialize. I hope I'm wrong, but we should all thank the Tea Party for initiating the debate.
The argument centers on raising taxes for the "wealthy" versus cutting government spending and whether the debt ceiling should be raised at all. Liberal versus conservative. It is a conflict of ideas, and passion and fear run high. The outcome will say a lot about our nation and the direction it will take.
The liberal philosophy believes in government, the nanny state and the inability of Americans to provide for themselves and their families. Liberals fancy themselves as caring, and I believe they are. But, they posture themselves as "knowing what's best," and on that point, we have a problem.
We are told that wealth must be shared, health care provided, scholarships granted, welfare and food stamps given and that the environment must be protected from any possible or even remotely possible, fabricated disaster.
Liberals praise the fact that unemployment benefits have been extended for a third year. No thought is ever given to cost or the debilitating effects of these programs.
They preach that unless taxes are raised or the debt ceiling increased, the elderly will go hungry and benefits may not be paid to our veterans.
As the national debt exceeds $14 trillion, they believe true cuts are almost impossible or too damaging.
While the national debt grows like an athlete on steroids, we are reminded that we have an obligation to pay our bills.
The conservative philosophy looks with disdain at the "cash for clunkers" giveaway, stimulus spending approaching a trillion dollars, hundreds of billions for TARP, and multibillions for the Department of Energy (Do we have any idea what it does?). With unemployment still over 9 percent, they have no faith in government. Washington is believed to be the problem, not the answer.
It is our money! We earned it and when taxed, it should be at a low and fair rate. More good will be done and more jobs created if a larger share of personal income stays with those who created it.
Health care (Obamacare) should be privately provided without creating a giant "Laurel and Hardy" bureaucracy. For those of you too young to remember, substitute "Homer Simpson" for "Laurel and Hardy."
Scholarships should be privately funded, as they were years ago. We provide for your child's education from K-12, must we pay for college, too?
Sadly, we have created a dependent class. People who look to government for a handout. America has had families on welfare for decades, and certainly not all are needy. Surely in two or three generations, an education could be had and a job found.
How often have we heard, "Why should I work, when unemployment will pay me the same to sit at home?" We believe if the unemployed haven't found a job in three years and all the while collecting unemployment insurance, they haven't been looking hard enough.
Of course, there should be a safety net, but we have gone far beyond it. In other words, if you want piercings, tats, to drink liquor and beer and smoke cigarettes, get a job. We are tired of paying.
Let's take for example a young mother I know who recently lost her job and gave birth to a son. She is planning on collecting three years of unemployment while raising her boy and when he turns 4, she will begin "real job hunting." The saddest part is that she brags about it. Have we fallen that far?
We know hundreds of billions and even many trillions can be cut without making our seniors and veterans take a hit. They have produced and should not be shunned in favor of those who stand there with their hands held out. Conservatives believe that Americans can provide for themselves and their families. Look to our history, it is one of "can do," not "you owe me." Our spirit is "get out of my way," not "show me the way and pay me to get there."
Americans do have an obligation to pay our nation's debt, but Washington is nothing more than an ex-wife with her drunken-sailor lover on an endless spending spree with your credit card.
Special Note: The 14th annual Ponderosa 500 Yard Shoot begins at noon Sunday at our home at 699 County Highway 39, Worcester. Call Chuck at 432-8180 or 435-3358. All are welcome, even liberal Democrats.
Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org