Whether you are running for president of your high school or the United States, the candidate will continually espouse the siren call of a new beginning. Your world is screwed up and I will lead you out of the desert. Forget about the fact that the Red Sea is staring us right in the face and you have not yet found that Godlike power to part the seas. Don’t worry. We can put all those other things on the back burner and dream of honey and Elysian fields.Trust me! What a way to run a railroad.
I have been doing research into old age. I figure I am heading for it and I might as well understand it. Most of all I am struck by the complexity of the problem. There are 75 million of us and yet we are all painted with the same brush. Just do your time TTG and shut up. We will take care of you in body and mind until Kathy’s dream comes true and you are headed either north or south for eternity. But it is not that easy.
One of the more fascinating outgrowths of my study is the psychological aspect. For all our lives we have been productive human beings. Whether you want to or not, at some point you have to give up the ghost so to speak. Whether it is to the government or family we go from being fiercely independent to dependent on some one or some thing. Will my investments hold up? If I get get sick who will take care of me? As I worry more I become more cautious and debilitated. I may fall ergo I must restrict my activity.
Caregiving takes on a whole new realm. It is not seeing your loved one through a cold or a replaced hip but treatment for this or that malady that goes on for years. You are it and there is no way to escape it. Your life changes and maybe all those things you always wanted to do are no more. The cost of a nursing home today was pegged at $92,000 per year. How is that going to work if you have limited or no means?
The sad part of the above is not that it is going to happen but where and when have you heard the problem in specific terms from our political slates no matter which party you swing towards. When was the last time you heard about $18 trillion in debt? How about entitlement reform? Everyone wants to increase our armed forces but to what end and how are we going to pay for it? It is not so much as updating previous chapters but we want a whole new book while the other is just thrown away.
In short we have ODed on hope and change. Kiss it and make it all better. Is there really an answer? You bet. Sober Up America. When we get all wrought up we look for comfort food. How about a new car? That is always a sure fire panacea. Sure your other one is fine but you know how cool that new car smell is and besides it is 0% interest for 6 years. Cars not your thing? Then let’s binge and eat. Today we are 38% obese as a nation. We were 12% on 2007.Run up credit card debt Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we?
Sure the problems are multiple in causality. Washington is right up in front. For grins I looked at an org chart for the Whites House. There are fiefdoms of all sorts including czars of a sort for AIDS, Faith Based and Community Partnerships, Social Innovation and Civic Participation and the Public Engagement Council on Woman and Girls. I am not making this stuff up. I won’t go into the legislative branch. That would get even worse.
Washington is a cesspool. Let’s talk money. 11,500 lobbyists of all sorts spent $3.2 billion last year on swaying Congress to their line of thinking. 50% of former congress people are involved in lobbying. The top donation at $483 million was medical followed by finance insurance and real estate at $470 million. Energy comes in at $332 million and Transportation at $221 mill. It takes an average of $1,689,000 to get elected to the house and $10,500,00 to the Senate. We have let money of all sorts rape the system.
Now we can boo and hiss at the villains on the screen but aren’t we all complicit? I do research and with the internet it is fairly easy. And all this time you thought I was really smart. I try to study things not to write some crazy weekly epistle but to look for myself. You know an educated consumer.That is the way to beat big money’s bull shit. I am happy to impart anything I can but you have to do your part and at least read my drivel if not more. I am pissed off at you and myself equally for letting it get so far out of kilter. We watch the negative ads and react. We listen to a speech and never study the specifics or possible outcomes. We don’t want a gas tax although our roads are crumbling. We want the ultimate in medical care without a thought of who is going to pay for it.Face it good people, We are as guilty as everyone else .
Before we start on a new beginning let’s go fix the old end. Let’s reinforce the bulwarks before we embark on new frontiers. There is no knight in shining armor at least for a while to come. The current crop of candidates offers little solace. Sometimes if we want to get something done we have to do it ourselves. If not, then don’t bitch about the state of things.
Ted The Great
The Federal gas tax stands at 18.4 cents per gallon. It has remained unchanged since 1992. The Highway Trust Fund is essentially broke. People balk at raising the tax and likewise have an enmity towards tolls. What’s your solution?
The Social Security Trust Fund will be in the red starting in 2033. The public has balked at raising the retirement age to 70 gradually from now to 2050. They feel better about raising the SS tax from 6.2% to 7.2% over time. They feel real good about raising the cut off from $117,000 to $225,000
The implications of deporting 11 million illegal aliens are astronomical from enforcement costs to drastically reduced capabilities for hospitality and construction industries. Why are we talking about this ad nauseam?
Elizabeth Warren spent $42 million beating Scott Brown for senator from Massachusetts. How much did he spend? Who knows but the number for a single seat in the most exclusive club in the world is astronomical.
The average life expectancy for the US is 78.8 years. That amounts to 81.2 for women and 76.4 for men. If you want the healthy life expectancy subtract 6-7 years. Contemplate that 75 million Americans will have chronic or life threatening disabilities for 6-7 years. There is not an infinite amount of money out there for all we want.Something’s gotta give.