I should be writing my NaNoWriMo project, and I will be, but something else is more important right now.
I want you to think about your day…
Do you commute to work? Cross a bridge? Pay a toll?
Do you use your cell phone? Enjoy the internet?
Do you like fresh food in your store? A wide selection from which to choose?
Do you like to travel?
Those are pretty basic things, we take for granted. How about some things that aren’t in your face every day, probably.
Do you know that a huge number of children only get nutritious meals at school? Did you know Corporals and Sergeants who are married with children likely qualify for foodstamps?
Did you know the VA, already overloaded, considers it a win when it only takes 120 days for a vet to get an answer on their claim? Did you know that a vet with 100% disability makes 36K a year give or take?
Hell, what’s important to you? Think really hard. Even if it’s American Idol, or some other TV show, that reaches you courtesy of an infrastructure that is in part a function of our government.
Now my good friend James from Austin might argue that the government needs to get out of most of the things I mentioned, and probably the other stuff you thought of too, but that’s not likely to happen, so I want you to think REALLY hard, what you value, and how our public institutions enable it’s existence or success.
On January 1st, not only will our taxes be reset to pre-2001 levels, but every single one of those things I mentioned and you thought about will be negatively impacted by the sequester. EVEN local, county, and state funded programs will be hurt, because when the feds cut funding from one place that’s necessary, governments downstream need to pull resources from other places to make up the gap.
Now, I want to lay out some quotes:
“At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”
“I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”
“In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.”
“Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual.”
“You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together”
The first two are from Mitt Romney’s concession speech. The last are from Barack Obama’s victory speech.
This is a list of people who, until Tuesday night, said Mitt Romney was the best man to lead us along the edge of the fiscal cliff to prosperity.
A lot of my liberal friends developed ill-will for Romney during this campaign, but in truth, he really seems to be a moderate most concerned with fiscal responsibility. He never signed Grover Norquist’s pledge, to my knowledge, but even if he did, it’s about as meaningful to him now as a big bale of Romney/Ryan yard signs.
I don’t presume to call this an open letter (who am I that people should care) but if now isn’t the time for the president to ask Mitt Romney to help bridge the gap before the things we all love, value, and care for are damaged or destroyed, when would be? Make this picture a reality.
I’ll close with this; one of my Facebook friends, after they called Ohio for Obama and it was effectively over, asked me if I was through the roof. My reply was “meh”. She said, “Can’t you just celebrate tonight?”
I have nothing to celebrate until I know that my Marine brothers who have traumatic brain injury, double amputations, paralysis, or even the old dogs with Agent Orange issues will still have the care we owe them on January 1st. For @R%#’s sake, I believe in an absolute separation of church and state but that is a holy obligation. These men and women stepped forward and were blown up, shot, and otherwise wounded halfway around the world for us so now is NOT the damned time to be celebrating, pointing fingers, strategizing for 2016 or doing anything else until we act on the coming sequester.