We’re All in this Together or the Winter of Our Sequestration

This is it. The date that this thing kicks off.

Or is it?

Will it be like a whip crack or more like a slow burn?

Who knows?

I don’t know but I do know this–you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

You might have heard of the old sci-fi movie, The Incredible Shrinking Woman. How about what’s pertinent in this economy–the incredible shrinking middle class? And so there aren’t enough of us “turnips” to keep it going. Waiting for the haves to become magnanimous enough to want to pony up more of their income is like trying to reach the end of a rainbow. Has anyone ever done it? Probably not.

Not counting Jesus, after being dead and buried, has anyone ever come back to tell us about it?
Definitely not.

I think of it more and more of late. Can you really count on the taxes those that receive unemployment benefits have to pay to Uncle Sam? I guess you have to but it probably doesn’t amount to a whole hell of a lot.

The poor? Nope. They haven’t any income to speak of.

But the middle class? I guess those of us that qualify ought to feel flattered, as much as we are called upon to save the day.

Potholes in the road or crumbling infrastructure? All right y’all, let’s tighten our belts so that the road crews can commence to shoveling that gravelly stuff that damages our car’s paint jobs into those eye-rattling craters.

Natural disaster? Give ’til it hurts.

There’s an ever expanding baby-boomer generation on the precipice of retirement–well, you know what time it is.

It’s alarming to wonder what will happen those of us in the middle class retire due to necessity or are fortunate enough to be able to afford to do so do so.

Did I say that it was shrinking?

It bears someone wondering about it.

I had a spirited conversation about the looming sequestration the other day–about the bite my income had already taken with the payroll tax hike. About the second (or is it third) year of a non-existent cost-of-living increase.

Loss of personnel in my office through buy-outs, aka early retirements, in 2011 and since then, through attrition or whatever other reason–positions that went bye bye.

In other words, increased workload with less people.

I don’t understand why the government doesn’t at least ensure that all of the federal agencies employ watchdogs to ferret out any hint of fraud, waste and abuse. In the military, they used to have what was termed the attaboy program, awarding those that found ways to save their agencies money. And it doesn’t only have to be those of us employed in the federal government doing it. Big and small businesses could participate as well. They could make it a contest in the schools and colleges–can you find a way to save?

Health care–not with a slash-and-dash mentality but when it comes to diagnostic tests: can we eliminate those that are unnecessary, especially when it comes to treating our seniors?

Universities, apartment complexes and the like: when it’s raining, your enormous lawns don’t need to be watered.

Law enforcement personnel, sitting in your cruisers in shopping center parking lots, idling engines and wasting gas–maybe you could take a stroll around some of the establishments instead? Help preserve the ozone layer, meet some folks and help your waistline in the process.

There are countless ways that money and resources could be saved if these types of measures were employed. If restaurants could give away the food they throw away to homeless shelters or the poor, just think of the amount of waste that would eliminate! The same with grocery stores–seniors and the disadvantaged could be the lucky recipients.

All told, wouldn’t these actions help ease some of the pressure off of those of us in this new minority, the disappearing middle class?

Sequestration. There has got to be a better way. This rolling up to the cliff, dangling us over it and expecting the middle class to suck it up or pull a rabbit out of our collective hats, is getting old. Congress has got to do better.

We as a nation have got to do better. I think we can.

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