Veterans Day Screed on Taxes

Wow, look at how the welfare system drains the federal budget. Not!

I’m sick of paying taxes for a bunch of freeloaders who think that the government should take care of them. You know whom I mean. That’s right– veterans. It’s time to get their sorry asses off the welfare roles. Look, the United States is a land of opportunities, one of which is the choice to enter or not enter the military. It’s an all-volunteer outfit hence the decision to enter is a lifestyle choice. Soldiers know when they sign up that there’s a chance they’ll be killed or maimed, so don’t come crying to me and ask me to open my wallet when that happens.

Let’s stop wasting taxpayer money on veterans’ hospitals. Close them and let vets get care in the private sector. If you’re injured or disabled while serving in the military, man up and move on. You got hurt on your job, so what makes you different from any other schmoe who gets injured on the job? Borrow money and get retrained. Saw some bad stuff and having psychological troubles? So rent a therapist, like the rest of us do when we have “issues.” Why should I be expected to pick up your disability pay or pay for your training, your hospitalization, your drugs, or your shrink? Ditto your burial. Okay, I’ll concede that the decent thing to do with those killed in battle is to ship their bodies back to the States for free, but it should be up to families to make funeral arrangements and dispose of corporeal remains. The rest, especially veterans’ cemeteries, is welfare.

 Don’t tell me that soldiers were preserving my freedom and that I “owe” the military. We have this thing called the Second Amendment in America. I didn’t ask anyone to take up arms on my behalf. I’m willing to take my chances that the Russians, the Chinese, the Taliban, and the European Union will leave me alone and, if they don’t, well… you don’t hear me asking for a handout, do you? I’m sick of paying all this money for the Pentagon. Why should my paycheck go for military bands or fancy airplanes? Why do military colleges need my money and why should I pay taxes so they can have football teams? Why am I subsidizing the lifestyle choices and mistakes of other people?

Do I have your attention yet? Are you angered by my provocative and incendiary words? Good! Now let me ask you a question: Do you know what horses’ asses white middle-class suburbanites sound like when they rail against paying taxes to support social programs? Can you imagine what sanctimonious fools they sound like to a single mother trying to raise her kids, a young adult up to his eyeteeth in student debt, or an elderly person trying to scrape by on Social Security? Is there a more boorish, selfish, heartless group in the history of humankind than the pampered American middle class?

No soldier ever chooses to be wounded or maimed, so why in the name of the 16th Amendment does anyone think more than a handful of hippie wannabes and romantic Quakers choose to be poor? Is it a lifestyle choice? Hardly, given that roughly eight of ten fall into one of four categories: children, single mothers, the elderly, and people working fulltime jobs that don’t pay enough to lift them above the poverty line. (Most of the rest are disabled non-vets, mentally challenged, or non-voluntarily unemployed.) Spare me all the Welfare Queen anecdotes and tell me how whatever faith you hold justifies not feeding their children. I’m guessing that if those kids could really make a lifestyle choice they would choose to have families as rich as Mitt Romney’s, but would happily settle for the comfort of just about any tax-bitching white suburbanite. I know I would have—back in the days when my family needed assistance.  Now tell what moral code you hold that says your kids deserve subsidized college loans, but your local public school needs to make cuts. Or why your bank account and pension deserves to be insured, but other folks are on their own. Or why the potholes in the neighborhood streets deserve to be patched, but we don’t need to spend money on low-cost housing. Or why your town deserves a hospital, but it should only treat those who can pay. Tell me why I should care about what happens to your elderly loved ones if you don’t care about those who aren’t in your family. Tell me why I should give a rat’s fanny about your wounded vet if you don’t care about children growing up in the shadow of urban violence.

Angry? You’re damned right I am. I’m sick of the whining and the greed. I’m sick of the mentality that defines “fair” as “mine” and “handout” as “yours.” I’m really sick of hearing pampered people pretend that they’re struggling. I remember struggling. If you can’t decide what to have for dinner, you’re not struggling; struggling is not knowing if you can have dinner. Cutting back isn’t struggling; struggling is doing without. Deferring desire isn’t struggling; struggling is deciding which necessity must be delayed as long as possible.

If you’re not willing to give those in need a hand up when they need it, don’t tell some kid that ten years down the road that he owes you or the nation a damn thing. By your reckoning, that kid will be made or unmade entirely of his own effort. If you want to worship at the altar of individualism, don’t ask someone else to serve your interests. Full disclosure: My dad was a disabled World War II vet. He died in a veterans’ hospital at the age of 78. The Veterans’ Administration spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on him. While he lived, dad was also a union guy who hated those he called “selfish bastards.” I never heard him rail against people on welfare. (And how could he? He took government assistance.)

Hate the tax system? If you want to hold a forum on tax equity, I’m there. If you want to hold a rally on making the rich pay more, I’ll lead your parade. A discussion on finding new sources of revenue? Count me in. Though I’m skeptical it’s worth the effort, I’ll even get behind a crackdown on those taking benefits who don’t deserve them. (There are so few actual welfare cheats that it would cost more to catch them than we’d save.) But if you’re just a spoiled middle-class whiner who doesn’t have a sense of civic responsibility, I have just seven words for you: shut up, man up, and pay up.     

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is not about the UK? Same crap here squire. I have a further 2 words to your 7: Do I have to spell them out?