An Associated Press headline on Monday proclaimed, "Obama announces debt plan built on taxes on rich." Further reading produced the stark realization that one of my life-long goals has been accomplished...I am wealthy.
Included in the package targeting the "rich" was a proposal to reduce spending in mandatory benefit programs, including Medicare (which will be cut by $248 billion, a mere pittance by today's spending standards).
Since your humble reporter is only weeks away from qualification for the big M, my heart goes pitty-pat over the prospect of joining the ranks of those asked to sacrifice.
"It's only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share," President/candidate Barack Obama said. And he's right. After living paycheck to paycheck, watching withholdings grow while proportionate inflationary income shrank, I am finally able to pay my fair share.
I only wish this would have happened sooner. For years I've felt a little guilty that I wasn't asking often enough what I could do for my country rather than what my country could do for me. I will hasten to sign the Medicare application. I will refrain from signing up for retirement benefits. I will do my fair share and give back a portion of what has already been taken.
That's what I can do for my country, and thank you Mr. President for making me feel good about it. We rich folk don't want to take advantage of a good thing.
All we have to fear...
While we're on the presidential subject, it's comforting to know we have a fearless leader. During his Labor Day speech in Detroit earlier this month, President Obama showed he has no fear of one persistent boogey bear.
"Yes, times are tough. But we've been through tough times before. I don't know about you, but I'm not scared of tough times," the president told working individuals, many of whom most likely struggle to meet monthly payments (including mortgages on slipping-equity homes), feed and clothe families on stagnant incomes while facing rising prices across the board.
It's a good thing to have a man in the White House who's willing to take on the tough times. While the nation toughs it out in an atmosphere of rising un- and under-employment, our leader toughs it out on a $400,000 annual salary, a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account and $19,000 available for "entertainment."
And that's not counting a health plan the average American would feel OK about sicking up for, rent-free digs that even Donald Trump would find acceptable and a quite comfortable (rent free) country retreat complete with military escort.
And, while we wonder if there will be a governmental account (SSI) waiting for us at retirement, The Fearless One will pension out at nearly $200 grand, have access to fabulous medical care and health insurance plus staff and office expenses.
His fearlessness during these tough times makes me realize that the only thing I have to fear isn't fear itself, but the fear that my fear is un-American.
The United States Congress is one of the least popular entities in this country, regularly coming in at less than 20% approval from those responsible for hiring the bunch. We'd love to expand on that fact, but too many reasons, too little space.
Our hired hands have also been beaten up by another of the hired hands, President Barack Obama. And, as you may expect, some of those walking the hallowed halls are getting a little tired of being a whipping post.
OK, you say...Republicans deserve the presidential tongue-lashing they've received. Yes, I respond...but it's not Republicans or their tea party fringers who are complaining about the constant harping. Remember, please, that when the president assails Congress, he's tossing eggs at a U.S. Senate controlled by his own party, led by Harry "Droopy" Reid.
Talking about the continued beat downs, our own Sen. Mary Landrieu said, "...it's very discouraging, disheartening and it's really not fair. He may just want to keep that up, but it doesn't help his relations with the Democratic members of Congress at all."
Speaking for her Senate colleagues and the House Democrats, Landrieu called the blameology "..a point of great contention with the Democrats in Congress that feel like we're doing an awful lot to support his agenda."
Some have been wondering how long it would take for the president to step across the line far enough to raise some donkey hackles. He may be approaching that point. If Republicans are looking for a candidate who would appeal to enough Democrats to swing the election their way, perhaps they should talk President Obama into changing parties.