Friday, August 23, 2013

What's Irritating Me Today

Just so y’all know, this is a rant. I’m kind of pissed right now.

Let’s talk about money for a minute. I know, I know, that’s one of those iffy subjects. You  don’t break out your paycheck in front of your coworkers. It’s just in poor taste. And personally, I’ve always tried to keep politics (usually) and religion (sometimes) out of my conversations and blogs.

It doesn’t matter how polite or balanced you try to be, tempers flare, personal feelings come up and they often get hurt. Now I don’t watch TV much. I get my news from the ‘net. Every source possible. The left (CNN, what used to be MSNBC), the right (Fox), and as many outside sources as possible. Log on sometime to BBC or Al Jazeera. You’d be surprised at the different perspectives. Everything from the Brits isn’t snobbish and everything from the Middle East isn’t ‘Death to America’.

But back to money. The very first site I went to today was talking about how the US was reconsidering aid to Egypt and Syria’ in light of recent events’. Aid of course being money we send them to be our friends.
Here’s something that might interest you if you’re curious about American finances. Check out the page It shows a pretty little map and gives a country by country breakdown of where the United States is sending money.

Some examples of what we’re planning to give in 2014:
-          Egypt - $1.5 Billion
-          Pakistan - $1.1 Billion
-          South Africa - $445 Million
-          Poland - $19 Million
-          Mexico - $205 Million
-          Portugal - $100,000 (Really?!)
-          Tanzania - $552 Million

According to US government estimates, China currently owns approximately 8% of American debt, worth about $1.2 Trillion dollars. Yet we’re still planning on sending them $7.6 Million in financial aid in 2014.

So what’s my point here? Maybe the $1.2 Trillion in student loan debt that people, my family included, are struggling to pay off. An education system that is still failing in many places, roads that are crumbling, bridges that are literally collapsing and a health care system that can’t be sorted out because 535 people in Washington are too busy trying to score political points and make sure that their campaign donors stay happy.

The American Congress is currently on a five week vacation after working only 87 days so far this year. Think about that the next time your senator or representative tells you how hard they're ‘fighting for you’.

There has been no jobs bill. There has been no immigration reform. Our government is still under sequester forcing automatic budget cuts. There have however been THIRTY-SEVEN ‘symbolic’ votes against the new health care law, costing taxpayers an estimated $50 Million total.

And still we keep sending money to other people.

Remember that scene in Spiderman, the movie or the comic, it’s been repeated several times, where young Peter Parker fails to stop the bad guy who later goes on to murder his uncle. I personally think we all have a duty to act, whether as individuals or as nations when someone is in need.

However there is a crucial difference. I may want you to be my friend. You may have something I want you to share with me. But if my family is hungry, my roof is leaking and my power is about to be turned off, I’m not cutting you a check.

You’re going to have to like me for me.

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