Monday, August 22, 2011
Letters, We Get Letters
The letter said, and I quote, "My wife and I live on Social Security, somewhat below the poverty line. However, to help our strapped nation, I would gladly pay $1,000 or so in income tax to help out (we pay none now). As to cuts, I can do without public radio, the National Part Service (trees grow without it), Housing and Urban Development (which hasn't worked), handouts to millions of people and a half-dozen other federal programs."
And, he ends, "I just want to do my part." Signed Frank (last name withheld by me)
And, this would be my response,
1. If you and your wife "live on Social Security, somewhat below the poverty line," you can't possibly find the money to pay $1,000 or so in income taxes or otherwise, fool. But if you do, miraculously, have an extra $1000 or so at the end of each year, feel free to write a check to the government with a note that says "Please apply this to the national debt. More to come next year." I'm sure the IRS will happily accept your donation. (And, then, they'll probably audit you back to the Nixon Administration.)
2. "Do without Public Radio?" Oh, ha-ha. Cutting funds would not help one iota in paying down the national debt. It's a tiny, tiny percentage - less than 1/10th of 1%. So, don't turn it on if it offends you. Nobody's forcing you to listen.
3. "The National Park Service doesn't aid in the growth of trees." I think you must have the Park Service confused with Johnny Appleseed. It does help in keeping trees from being cut down willy-nilly by the lumber industry, though, and it makes it possible for you to safely enjoy vacations in places like Yellowstone Park without getting lost or eaten by bears. Next time you're in one of our beautiful parks, say "Thank You" to a Park Ranger.
4. "HUD hasn't worked??!!?" Tell that to the thousands of communities who have benefited from Urban Renewal and the millions of people who have been able to afford low cost housing. In fact, if you're truly living below the poverty line, you might want to look into some of the benefits. You might be able to pay less rent or get help with your mortgage.
5. "Handouts to millions of people." I assume you are talking about welfare and Medicaid, while ignoring the vast numbers of companies that have benefited to "handouts" in the form of corporate welfare. I'll wager that you are also receiving some form of "handout" from other Federal or State agencies if you actually DO live below the poverty line. You don't seem to mind drawing your Social Security.
Frank, go get a cup of tea, along with the rest of your pals and stop embarrassing yourself with silly letters to the editor, and I will stop embarrassing myself by responding to them.