There is something to be said for frugality. It is rarely a bad thing to spend less, or not to spend. I depend much upon my capacity to tighten my belt, and for my wife to do the same, to survive being out of work for so long. But when spending is necessary, or depended upon in some fashion, frugality can become something of a vice.
There really are very few necessities. A roof over ones head. Heat in winter. Running water. Electricity. A descent job. A few other things, depending on exactly what your personal needs are. It is when these things are threatened, which make so much of modern life here in America palatable, that what normally is a virtue becomes a vice. There are those who, like it or not, are dependent in some way shape or form on government help. And not just people. And here is where we meet the subject of today’s piece, Jim Bunning.
Bunning, if you have read this column before, has come across my radar on several occasions. And I am sure that everyone has read of his latest transgression, his holding up of some $10,000,000,000 in funds because it is adding to the debt. These are emergency funds, to keep projects, including Cobra, medicare payments, and unemployment insurance for several hundred thousand, going. But there are others affected as well. According to a piece I have just read in the New York Times this action has forced the furloughing of some 2000 employees at the department of transportation and brought no less than 40 different projects to a halt due to not having necessary inspectors on site.
No cobra. No unemployment benefits for some 400,000 people who paid taxes into the system for just this purpose. Jobs lost. Projects halted. SBA loan subsidies stopped, federal flood insurance derailed, medicare payments cut.
And for what? A point of parliamentary procedure from a man who voted to spend like there was no tomorrow for 8 years when George Bush was in office, has now decided to be fiscally conservative. I think I need to send a few words Sen. Bunning’s way . And here they are.
You are right, we cannot keep adding to the debt, Mr. Bunning. We cannot keep just throwing money at the problems of the world… unless money fixes them. And in this case, this less than 1/10th of 1 percent of the deficit isn’t killing anyone, Senator. It’s like complaining about having wet shoes on a boat that’s sinking. You really aren’t helping anyone here, Jim. If you want to make a moral argument against this spending you can do that, but i think I have an effective counter argument, and it follows.
By keeping people working, by keeping them afloat until they can manage on their own again, we insure that they and their families will have a future, a brighter future. Which will in turn positively affect their communities. By giving unemployment to individuals and subsidies to small businesses and the like we make sure that money will be spent in those communities, thus enriching them and making those communities stronger.
By cutting off that money, you have weakened the ability of the people on the ground floor in this economy to get moving in the right direction so we can begin making more money, so we can get out of this economic morass that you and your Republican compatriots saddled us with in the first place. The Obama administration is making every effort to make every single action it takes deficit neutral. The Health care bill, just as an example, will save this nation around $130,000,000,000. Annually. Which is a damn site more than your friend George Bush ever did. I am trying to think of anything he did that was deficit neutral, and cannot think of a one.
I firmly believe that the senate will find a way to make this deficit neutral. And the senate will find a way around you, Senator Bunning. It is obstruction of necessary items like this that have given you and your party a bad name in a great many places. For years you and your party spent like drunken sailors, and now you talk of not wanting to add to the debt. America will find a way to get the jobs and businesses and the projects you derailed back on track.
Following up on a piece I wrote last week, I haven’t yet decided on a new title for this site just yet. I only got four votes, and it is hardly enough response for me to go on. Intellectual runner was posed as a possible one, and I might do that, we’ll see. The poll is still open. Vote here.
That’s about it from here. Later!
Today’s nuggets, Via wikiquote: Words are a medium that reduces reality to abstraction for transmission to our reason, and in their power to corrode reality inevitably lurks the danger that the words will be corroded too. Yukio Mishima
The heart of a virtuous person has settled down and he does not rush about at things. A person of little merit is not at peace but walks about making trouble and is in conflict with all. Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Never appeal to a man’s “better nature.” He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. Robert A. Heinlein
If you are reading this or any story on this site, let me know you read it by clicking on the title of the article. Thanks!