64%

I was just getting ready to put a post on Facebook that said, “I got nothin’ this morning,” until I saw Emily Zain’s post about 64% of Americans agreeing the government is the problem.

My first thought was, “Duh.”

I, for one, am over it. O V E R   I T.

It’s time for the government and the legislature in particular to get down to business. BUSINESS. The Country’s business. Not their buddies’ business. Not what’s best for their stock portfolio. The   Country’s    Business.  What’s right for America. And her citizens.

How many congressmen need a staff of more than two or three people? How many sub-departments are really necessary? If the average business owner takes less than a week of vacation every year, why should our legislators get months off? And why aren’t they held accountable for the number of bills they don’t even vote on.

The legislature sees no need to examine and get rid of their own drain on the national debt. How about making them pay a portion of their insurance premium — they have the best insurance plan in the world, and it’s not costing them a cent. And what about their car services? Shouldn’t they have to drive themselves to work and pay for parking like the rest of us little people? Or opt in for car service and pay for it? And let’s talk about their vacation time. Holy Crap. And writing off their travel? They’ll vote anything into law just to make sure they don’t miss a day off.

And what about their staffs? How much work do they actually do?  When I sent a letter to one of my Oklahoma congressmen slamming him for a position that was not only contrary to his campaign promises, but not in the best interest of our state, I got a form letter back “thanking me for my support.”

I remember back when I became eligible to vote. The Charleston (WVa) Gazette and Daily Mail had a post every day on how each of our legislators had voted. I looked for that square every single day. You could bet that Arch Moore’s name had an Absent beside his name. Yet, we rewarded his “contribution” by electing him governor. When he was indicted for embezzling, once again we rewarded his actions and contribution to the reputation of our great state by putting him back in congress. Good God.

Our legislators need to get back to the business of doing what’s best for America. It’s none of their business whether birth control is paid for by insurance policies — that’s the decision of each of the insurance companies. And talk about unnecessary coverages? How about those little blue pills.

It is their business to vote into law bills that make sense — not fill them with special-interest crap. We need to work on the infrastructure, even if it means creating something like the WPA again to put people back to work and getting our country back in shape. We need to get our people back to work. Then they can pay taxes instead of being a drain on the system. Trickle-down economics has never worked, and it never will. Now, it’s trickling sideways to Brazil, Thailand, China, Russia, India…..American business’ trickle-down system is contributing to the economy of a hell of a lot of other countries. What’s it doing for the Good Old U S of A?

It’s sure as hell not helping our educational system. My daughter’s German teacher at Putnam City Original in Oklahoma City was a finalist for Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year. He worked at White Water every summer to supplement his salary. When his third child was born, he could no longer afford to teach.

Of course, the congressional answer is to give more tax cuts to business, because that’s worked so well before.

We owe our servicemen jobs when they return for their tours. They should be able to have a home to sleep in.  Instead, we bring back shell-shocked men and women who have been given no skills that help them find jobs in the workplace. I’m pretty sure there’s no market for tank mechanics or infantrymen. Military suicides are at an all-time high. PTSD is rampant, yet there’s not enough military care when they return. Part of our military budget should include 6 – 8 months of retraining and re-orientation once they return to the States.  It’s estimated that 20% of our homeless are ex-military. That’s just wrong. These people laid their lives on the line every single day for us. Yet when they return, they’re non-citizens. Shame on us.

What’s being done to help those who have been laid off? Lost their houses to foreclosures because the banks wouldn’t work with them? It’s estimated that up to 40% of the homeless are women and children. That’s a sin. There are those who chose to live on the street — there’s a guy with an umbrella for a roof who has lived on a Santa Monica beach for as long as anyone can remember, and a park in Berkeley where the residents refused to accept housing when the temp went below 20 degrees. Let them. But help the rest.

We need training programs that would require welfare recipients to attend classes to get them back to work. When a welfare kid hits 18, they should have to move out — get a job or join the military. Day care centers could be opened in projects and welfare mothers could work at the day care, gain a skill, and be rewarded by letting their kids stay free for compensation until they were certified and find a job on their own. Then, they should be given “x” amount of time to find their own place to live. It wouldn’t cost a cent more than we’re paying that person now — to do absolutely nothing.

The same could be done with maintenance,painting, construction, landscaping/gardening, housekeeping, property management. These are jobs that could be done within the welfare community to train these people to become self-sufficient. Like it or not.  Welfare was never intended to be a life-long situation. Or a multi-generational entitlement.  There should be drug tests for welfare recipients. If we’re giving them a free place to live, a living allowance AND food stamps, we deserve to know that money isn’t being spent on drugs.  There should be spot-checks of welfare housing to make sure no unit is being used for illegal activity. And that no unauthorized (men/husbands or friends) are living on the property. I, for one, am tired of seeing someone who drives up in a Mercedes or carries a Louis Vuitton purse paying for purchases with food stamps.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m all about the country making an investment in its own people. Help those with degrees or training get back into the workplace. Train others so they can become working members of society. Give them a place to live and sources for clothing so they can be presentable for an interview. Provide people to teach them how to present themselves when looking for a job. SHARE is a volunteer organization that would help with this training and teach interview techniques. Let’s take advantage of our seniors who may have retired but want to help. Encourage companies to give jobs (and a hand) to the homeless. Or the military. Give tax benefits to companies that ONLY do business in America, and take away those benefits for those who hire people in foreign countries so they can give multi-million dollar bonuses to their CEO’s.  When a company’s profits exceed the tax incentives we’re giving them, take the benefits away; they no longer need them. Use those same funds to help another company become profitable.

What I’m NOT for is funding for treadmills for shrimp, studies on why a cow chews its cudd or why boll wievals like cotton.

We should make each of our congressmen and women take a stack of bills into their offices and not come out until they’ve highlighted every bit of stupidity in the bill — and the add-ons included to buy votes. Get rid of the sludge that’s slowing our country down and wasting our money. Just getting rid of these idiotic expenses would have us out of debt within a year. Hell, we could buy ourselves back from China.

I’m over it. So are at least 64% of all Americans.

And yet, I was in line at Walmart yesterday, and as if that wasn’t enough of a hellish experience, I got behind two grown men who were blasting Clinton for getting a blow job (without mentioning that Eisenhower had a mistress the whole time he was in office) and saying that Obama is probably snorting cocaine.  Not one thing about a political issue or what’s right for the country or how they could help.

How can we, the 64%, make a difference? VOTE. Not by party lines. Not because of things the President couldn’t get done because members of congress have mandated that they won’t vote for anything he wants. If we continue voting by this criteria, we will also continue to get what we deserve. Unfortunately, we’re NOT getting what we pay for.

We have become just what William J. Lederer’s book anticipated. “A Nation of Sheep.”

We’re the only ones that can fix this mess. We have to bring in some moderates so the aisle isn’t split completely by red and blue. There should be some shades in between to bring logic into the equation.  Voting in people because they’re the MOST conservative or the MOST liberal is killing us. Voting in people who swear they don’t care how good a program might be for the American people they’re paid to serve if it’s the President’s idea hasn’t accomplished a thing; kindergartners who will take their ball and go home if they don’t get their way. Let them take their freaking balls (or lack of same) and go home.

It’s time we all took a good, hard look at the people who represent us. Who are they as individuals? How have they voted in the past? How do they represent their country? Are they “in it” to genuinely make America the very best country, with the best educational system and the most respected military, or are they just biding time at our expense?

Time to get rid of the dead weight. Reward those like Tom Coburn (R-OK) who have the guts to stand up to their own party when it’s headed in the wrong direction? And yes, I’m using a Republican as an example of what is right with this country and could be right with our congress. I’d vote for him any day of the week. And we need to find more like him. Who vote on behalf of the people they represent. Who vote to make our country a better place. And get rid of those who want to create log jams — just because.

I’m fortunate to have surrounded myself with some very bright, intelligent, funny (but seldom called normal) people: politicians, business owners, authors, educators, government workers, homemakers, college students, physicians, artists……yet it amazes me when I see some of them get into arguments on Facebook that are strictly by party lines; going as far as to say that the other is stupid for not believing the way they do.  Granted, it’s easier than thinking and studying, but we, THE VOTERS, are the only way to clean up this mess. Let’s get to work and do it.

Or, we could move to Equador or Thailand. Live in a beach house for $500/month. They both have great ex-pat communities who have already jumped ship.

And that’s about as pissy as I can get while remaining totally bi-partisan. You’ve gotta give me credit for that one.

Until tomorrow, stay safe out there.