Comparisons of then and now: a focus on how we are taxed and how that money is spent

a commentary by Jackie Juntti


Please bear with me and let me tell you a little story. This is to help some of you see the comparisons I make between our country, America, and our personal houses we call our home. This focuses on how we are taxed and how that money is spent.

When I was young, my folks rented places for us to live for the most part. Owning a home was a *dream* and not one easily obtained by many people. The first house my folks bought was a very small house in S. Calif. They used sweat and hard earned money to enlarge that house. I understood the efforts to own and keep a home. My mom always had a garden, or found places where we could pick the left overs and then she canned everything she could. I learned early in life that if you wanted something you had to get out there and work to get it. Nothing was handed to you on a silver platter. There were no government welfare programs at that time and people may have been poor in money but they had pride in accomplishment and in being able to feed their own families. There was no running to the emergency room every time Johnny had a sniffle, mom knew what to do and did it. Doctors were for true emergencies - there wasn't any *insurance* to jack up the prices so that one could keep doctors offices filled with waiting people.

I am trying to set the stage here to illustrate what has happened in government and why I keep ranting on about all the areas that government has intruded into our lives and how it is now EXPECTED by too many for government to keep intruding in our lives. Laziness is a good part of the *expectation*. As long as someone else will take care of those too lazy to do it themselves government continues to get bigger. There will always be those who truly need our help and that is up to us, individually, to provide that *help*, not government.

In my younger days, people worked for what they wanted. Kids got jobs mowing lawns, delivering papers, washing cars, helping grandparents who might have a little bit to pay them with, shoveling snow, anything to earn a few dollars so they could either help out the family or put it towards purchasing a scooter, a bike, and later towards an old jalopy to drive around.

I remember I wanted a pair of roller skates of my own so I wouldn't have to rent them every time I went skating. I was eleven years old and I worked days in a fruit stand and then the graveyard shift at a small hamburger joint doing dishes, cleaning up and sometimes even waited on customers. (There were no child labor laws to prevent me from working then.) I remember how proud I was when I had enough money to buy that pair of roller skates and how carefully I took care of them. Compare that to now when kids are given anything they want and after a few hours or days toss it aside and want something else to toss aside as soon as they are bored and see something else they want.

I remember two bedroom, one bath, houses (maybe an outhouse), and no garages. I remember that changing to three bdrm, one bath, and maybe a garage. At first all the kids were in one bedroom and the parents in the other. Then it was the boys in one, the girls in one and the parents in one. Everyone shared the same bathroom which got to be exciting at times (even in the out house days).

Over time that evolved into a bedroom for each person and several bathrooms and many car garages or at least room to park all the cars on the property, some maybe on the street. The one telephone soon became one for the family and then one for the kids. Now man have their own cell phone in addition to the lines for the family, the computers, and the fax. Families used to sit down TOGETHER at the SAME TIME to enjoy meals. Not anymore. Not only do they rarely share a meal together at the same table - they seldom even join each other at one of the fast food joints. It is faster and easier to go thru the drive-thru and eat in the car on the way to someplace else. Communication with each other as a family is by cell phone calls usually made while driving.

Can you just imagine the whining and screaming if all these things were to be reduced to what it was, say, 50 years ago? Picture a family going back to a house where things are shared with each other, there is one telephone (maybe two lines), two cars, everyone is expected to be at dinner on time, each child has to earn those extra's they now take as *rightfully theirs* just because they breath, and parents have to raise up those children with high values and work ethics, and, discipline is given without state interference. Imagine having to help out family members who are temporarily going thru a rough time and not allow the state to send them monthly checks forever, thus relieving the family of any responsibility. Thus creating a person dependant upon government.

The point I am trying to make here is that we have allowed government to supersede the family and to supersede the Constitution of our country. Government has taken the route of the dirty old man with candy for the kids so that dirty old man can rape and molest our children. We stood back and said how nice of that old man (we forgot he is a pervert or we ignore it) to give our children candy when we can't always afford to buy it ourselves. Soon we are thankful that dirty old man is giving our kids candy because then we can spend that money on something for ourselves - like beer or drugs to make us feel good. Soon that dirty old man offers us some money (welfare or subsidized transportation or medical or whatever) and we think, "Why Not?", it makes life easier if I don't have to work so hard and can pay a little less than my neighbor who makes more than I do.
Hey, why not tax all those *rich* people so I can pay less to ride the bus or the ferry, or be able to swim in a public pool, or enjoy parks and theme parks at a subsidized rate. Hey, why not tax others so I can have subsidized child care so I don't have to raise my own kids? Hey, why not sell off all granny's things now so I can get her into a subsidized rest home and not have to take care of her myself? I want to use that money to take a cruise or a vacation or buy a fancy sports car, or maybe pay off all my credit card bills so I can turn around and max them out again for new things.

Government has taken over what rightfully belongs to the individual, the private sector, and has convinced many of you that government should be doing those things and has convinced you that we can't live without government and it's subsidized life style.

One little problem though! The money supply has almost disappeared. Now what? Government has taken over so many areas of our lives and taxes are already too high and the people are beginning to scream about it. In fact, some of them have even invoked the right to an initiative to REDUCE the tax stream. Government is infuriated that such would happen and has not only taken these issues to court to overturn them but they are trying to find ways to stop such from happening again. In some cases, government is even IGNORING the passage of such changes by the people. How DARE these peasants try to reduce our lifestyle and the many feathered nests we have prepared for ourselves like BIG PENSIONS and all the other percs of being elected?

Just like in a family (how a family used to operate), when finances are tight, CHOICES have to be made.
Which items are really necessary to sustain life? Is a cell phone for every member really a necessity? Does every person have to have a car to run around in? Do we really need all those *toys* and will we really die if we reduce the usage of water, electricity, cable, take-out food? Oh my gosh, can Johnny and Susie mow the lawn and help repaint the house so we don't have to spend that money on hiring someone else? Can we *plan* our errand running so we don't have such a large gas bill at the end of the month? Can we eat foods that are not as expensive to buy and are actually healthier for us?

That is the decision that has to be made in government right now. We have so many tax funded programs and staff doing things that are not even near the core function of government it isn't funny. I realize we can't cut all of them at once - that would be catastrophic in many ways. But we can make some big reductions right away and then set forth a plan over the next few years to reduce many more. We MUST get government out of all the areas that rightfully belong to the individual and the private sector. Government has a distinct core function as set forth in the Constitution and if we were to place those core functions on a chart and then add all those government has intruded upon it would be easy to see where to begin cutting.

We have so many boards and commissions and study groups, all funded by tax funds that just aren't necessary to life. The only things they do is create and support more of the same - all needing more tax funds to operate. This is readily visible when you read news accounts of some study group saying that another study group or commission is needed to do such and such, all of which are NOT a core function of government to begin with. I can't even begin to imagine how much money is taken from us each year to pay for such folly. I venture to say that if we could eliminate that part we would not only get rid of the so called *deficit* in the budget but we would have a rather large excess and that would be in the first year.

We must stop charging and borrowing against the future. We must learn to live on less than we have been told we just have to have to be happy. How many people are truly happy when they are over their head in DEBT? I don't know of anyone like that. Debt increases anxiety which is the root cause for many other social problems. That creates a *need* for all those social workers who must be paid for by tax funds which means other taxes must be increased to pay for -- etc --- etc -etc ---. It is a vicious circle but it can be halted if people will just take a hard look at what they are asking for when they lobby to keep things not set forth as a function of government.

I ask all of you to please think on this and then take action to do YOUR PART. Do you really want the government monkey to rule your life? If not, then be willing to take a little pain and demand your public officials uphold the oath of office they took - TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION! If you are still out there demanding your *special interest* remains then you are not serious about any of this... you are just another tax hog refusing to live off the *lean of government*, preferring to live off the *fat of government*. Every public official who supports or promotes hanging onto programs that are not a core function of government is failing to uphold their oath of office and is a fraud.

As you read the many news stories about *state budgets* keep these things in mind. Do you really need a bedroom for each person, a private bathroom, a cell phone, a expensive vehicle, French chef meals, or can you survive on something less pretentious. Is bankruptcy the option you choose over changing your lifestyle somewhat to live within your means?

Think about it.

Jackie Juntti

The following is from a magazine article quoting Rev. William J.H.
Boetcker titled the "Ten Cannots" originally published in 1916:

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich man.
6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

It's interesting how truth never seems to grow old.


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