I’m worried about America. I’m worried about it’s seemingly irreconcilable political, religious and social polarity, it’s knee jerk reactions to problems that were years in the making and will take years to solve, it’s general impatience, the rise in covert racism, suspicion and paranoia. (By the way- this is not one of ‘funny’ stories, so don’t hit ‘Read More’ if you’re looking for a laugh. Anyway, it seems these days I’m never that funny anyway; it’s just that Unconfirmed Sources let’s me say what I want, so I do.) Up till now, I’ve mostly been dismissive of The Tea Party- that loose amalgamation of diverse groups all brought together by their love of tri-corn hats and ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flags.
But some of them are indeed sane people fed up with what they perceive as out of control government spending- even if they are blaming the wrong person for it. But there’s a seemingly far larger component that’s latched on to the Tea Party that’s out of control to the point where they’re threatening armed revolution and/or assassination. I’ve been getting more and more comments like that to my stories, not so much because I make fun of the Tea Party I think, but because I’m openly supporting Barack Obama. And there’s a cadre of media pundits…the Palin’s, the Beck’s, the Wiener’s, the Limbaugh’s…who are making money egging these people on, and making a lot of it too.
But sane or crazy, the spending and it’s associated debt that these people are bitching about took place long before Barack Obama took office; in fact, we elected Obama to fix it, remember? But like a new house that was poorly built by a crooked contractor, the new guy has to first spend some extra money to fix the mistakes we already paid for in order to move ahead and build a stable and working home. No customer wants to hear that, but it’s a fact of life. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Still, even these sane people scream about wanting a smaller federal government, even though the only way to fix this is through the government. They think a governmental hands off approach will hands make the wheels of the economy…big business, the banks that control nearly 2/3 of this nation’s GDP and the like… turn more smoothly. Well, here are inescapable facts:
The United States of America has a landmass 3,539,224 square miles and a population of 309,109,591 people. It has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $14,441,000,000,000.00 (trillion), with a per capita rate of $47,440.00
There are 46,876 miles of interstate highways, 233,000 miles of railroad tracks, 25,000 miles of navigable waterways which move 630,000,000 (million) tons of cargo a year alone. There are also 14,858 airports serving, in a bad year, 769,600,000 (million) passengers. It’s military has 1,473,900 servicemen and women on active duty with a reserve strength of 1,458,500 more and costs around 692,000,000,000.00 (billion) a year to run.
This list goes on and down through major cities, smaller towns, state, county and local roads, factories, Federal and State Parks and Forests, hospitals, factories,…you get the picture. America is really big country. My point is, just how small a government do you think you need to take care of it all? How many cops, EMS workers and fireman to protect it? How many teachers, schools and universities to teach it’s children? How much money?
And the bigger question is, if reduce the amount of people watching out for us and the protections they wield over your money and investments, your cars, your food, your air and water, how long do you think it will be before someone outside of government steps up to take advantage of the lack of oversight? They already have, remember? That’s how all this shit happened in the first place.
Families with children don’t want their school’s funding cut. Old people don’t care so much about that, but they want their social security checks and Medicare left alone. We’re all worried about terrorists, but with over three hundred thousand miles of interstate travel routes, more than three quarter of a million air travelers, any one of which could have a bomb in their shoe or underwear or something, how much does it cost to keep us safe, not to mention just making sure the damn planes don’t inadvertently fly into each other over your house? And who’s gonna pay the 692 billion dollar tab for our military, plus take care of their families while they’re in harms way protecting you? Do you realize how many military families are on Food Stamps?
But still, you don’t want your taxes raised or your services cut. You want clean air and drinking water, safe food to eat, cops and firemen to come when your house is robbed or on fire, an ambulance to show up if you have an accident or a heart attack, good schools for your kids, streetlights, sewers and your garbage taken away, nice parks to take your kids to…this list goes on and on too. You want all that…you just don’t want to pay for it.
For some incomprehensible reason you don’t want big corporations to pay more taxes- that would be governmental interference in our economy. You don’t want luxury taxes on the toys you buy but don’t need…the speed boats and yachts, the 4 wheelers, the second and third homes, the sixty thousand dollar sport cars…you know, the bare necessities. Greedy bastards.
Sure there’s waste and corruption and law breakers- there always has been and always will be. Government officials, big corporations, unions and on down to people who litter or drive drunk, take up two parking spaces so their car won’t get scratched or eat and drink their way into the need for long term medical care. People are greedy and selfish and the Baby Boomers (of which I am one) are the most greedy and selfish of all.
I personally hope that after my generation finally dies off things will get better, but probably not; we’re the ones teaching our children our values and quite frankly, as a group, our values suck. We don’t care about the poor and homeless or the sick. We don’t care about keeping our nation the one that everyone else in the world looks to as an example. In fact, we want keep the ones who still do out by any means possible.
Jesus, just thinking about us all has ruined my whole fucking day. We’ve become a nation of selfish and self righteous overindulgent wobbly fools…no wonder the rest of the world laughs at us.