FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE

Imagine a typical American family where both husband and wife work so they can possibly enjoy more of life than just the essentials of food and shelter. They have a nice home, not extravagant by any means, more than just the bare minimum.  They both drive cars that are less than three years old; she a crossover SUV popular with many women hauling children and groceries and he a crew cab pickup.

Their three children go to public school and are very involved in school, community and church activities.  To give mom a break, they go out to eat a few nights a week. Dad belongs to a local country club, and mom attends a health and fitness club.  All in all, they are what we would consider a typical middle-class family.

Imagine with me again, the day when paying bills mom announces they are short because there is just not enough money in the account.  “Well, looks like we both need a raise,” dad says.  “Yes,” mom agrees.  “Tomorrow we will both tell our boss we must have more money!”

The next day they both go to work and immediately demand a raise from their bosses.  The bosses explain that business has been a little slow, a raise at this time is certainly not possible.  To pay the employees more would hurt the company and could destroy the business, costing everyone’s jobs.  “Maybe your family could cut back a little?”

In this scenario, that evening the family meets at their favorite steak house for supper.  “I can’t believe the boss turned me down!”  “Mine too,” says mom, “Don’t they know we really need this?  Mine had the gall to suggest we cut back on our lifestyle!”

When we look at such a simple scenario, we can see the insanity in the way it was presented. Of course, there are ways this family can and should make cuts to their expenses.  They could eat out less and at less expensive places.  They could drive less expensive cars, work out at home and play golf at a public course.  Their idea that they can continue to spend as they want while forcing someone else to pick up the tab is absurd, yet this plays out all over the nation – in cities, capitals and Washington, D.C.

Yes, this is just an analogy, but this is happening right now in my state capital.  The legislature refuses to consider cuts of any kind and insists on raising taxes.  In fact earlier in the legislative session they did just that, resulting in the largest tax increase in the history of Kansas.  The governor, thankfully, vetoed the bill and they were unable to override the veto.

The difference here is the typical family is the boss who is being told to pay for the excesses of the legislature.  Everyone has expenditures they believe are necessary, and no one wants to give up or compromise on anything, but we have to put things in perspective.  There is a list of taxes most Americans pay,  showing that we are assailed at every turn by the government at every level to pay for their pet projects.

Certainly, taxes are necessary, but those who collect and spend our hard earned dollars should do so with care and respect.  Politicians from local to the federal level have special interest groups and lobbyists vying for our tax dollars, but they only want to help spend your money.  Yes, your money.  Spending your money is how they retain their power.  If they spend it in the right places, then they reap the benefit of special interest money flowing in while you pay for it all in the end.

Your feelings will be played, sad stories will be told, and you will be told there are no other options.  When your elected officials tell you these things, reflect on the story above asking for more free money from their boss. We are the boss collectively when it comes to our government, and it’s time we tell these who are demanding more money, “No!  Make a few cuts and have some respect for those who provide for them.”  The days of voting reliable, responsible people into office and then going about our lives are over.  We have to hold their feet to the fire daily – at every level; local, state and federal.

Watching the spending appropriations that just went through the US Congress is a perfect example of what I am sharing.  They really do not care that you and your family have had to cut back to pay the ever increasing taxes, or that they force you to pay for things you find abhorrent.  State and local politicians are no different.

We are all busy, taking care of our families and working takes much of our time.  Many of us have very little time or resources to relax or participate in recreation that we enjoy, but each of us needs to take the time to put some pressure on their free spenders.  It should be necessary for them to wade through an inbox full of thoughtful objections to their willingness to spend your money so frivolously. Their voicemail needs to be full of well-reasoned responses to their squanderous spending.

Lastly, they need to be sent packing during the next election if they choose not show proper respect for the dollars we send them.  It is past time for us to become personally involved.  Last election, many of these free spenders masqueraded as conservatives, and we did not do our job to properly vet just who they were, but the mask is off now.  These people who are unwilling to do some simple math and tighten their own belt, expect you to tighten yours.  Consider they also voted in a huge Medicaid expansion, after the tax increase was vetoed.  There was no way to pay for the expansion, and they voted for it anyway.  Once again, it was vetoed.  They are doing everything in response to feelings and special interests instead of what they campaigned on or promised to their people.

We need to make them feel the pain of ignoring us.  Let them respond to THAT feeling. Maybe THAT will get their attention.

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