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Monday, January 19, 2009

What's Good for the Goose is--

Taxpayer- the Goose;
Congress- the Gander

Normally, I don’t pass much along that I receive through e-mail. Mainly, because most of it is telling me how to get rich, collect a lottery, have bad luck, have good luck, get divorced, get married, and ten dozen other idiotic suggestions.

The other day, I opened one that made me laugh. It pointed out, probably to an extreme, just how our current government representatives (I used that word loosely) who carry out (another loosely used phrase) the business of governing, can save us even more tax dollars.

I figured you’d get a kick out of it. Don’t laugh it off, there could be some substance to this guy’s suggestions.

Ready? Here we go.

Says the author, ‘When a company falls on difficult times, one of its first moves is to reduce staff. The remaining workers struggle to do even a better job, and the board awards the CEO a generous bonus for making such a ‘tough decision’.

Regarding business in Washington, the author suggests ‘reducing the House of Representatives from 435 members to 218, and the Senate from 100 to 50. Their remaining staffs should be reduced by 25% over the next eight years.

‘Such a move would result in monetary gains (think taxes) of:
‘$44,108,400 for the elimination of base pay for congress. That would be 268 members at $165,200 per year. ‘$432,100, 000 for elimination of the above peoples’ staff.
$59,675,000 for 25% reduction in staff for remaining house members.
$37,500,000 for 25% reduction in staff for remaining senate member.


Let’s continue with this next juicy tidbit.

With half of Congress gone, the current, I repeat, CURRENT, $15 BILLION pork barrel is automatically reduced to $7.5 BILLION.

Whew! I’m relived. Only $7.5 billion. I thought they were talking about big money. Still we’re saving an additional $7.5 billion.

‘Naturally, the remaining representatives, senators, and their staffs would need to work smarter and harder (just like their constituents out in the real world) to become more efficient.’

‘Stop and think. Congress has more tools (technology) available than it had back in 1911 when the current number of senators and representatives were established. Why can’t Congress as a whole do more with fewer members like the American worker is being forced to do so?’

The writer added. ‘I hope you noticed Congress did not hesitate to take a holiday a few weeks back when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems.(that should tell you something of the concern they have for us) Also, there were three senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past eighteen months-campaign trail- and still they have been accepting full pay.’

How many of us out here could get away with staying off the job for a year and a half, and still get paid? If you find a place, let me know.

Now, total the writer’s figures.

The sum total of tax dollars to be saved annually by insisting our worthy representatives and senators follow the same work guidelines as the average Joe Six-Pack comes to $8,073,383,400.

Saving that much each year, in less than ten years, we could have the $700,000,000,000 bailout paid off.

If the biggest business in the country expects big business to make the cuts to get the bailout money, why doesn’t it do the same?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Mudhole for Christmas

I hope everyone had as nice and heartwarming Christmas as we did. I didn’t get the sports car I ordered; Gayle didn’t get her diamond broach (I convinced that it tumbled off Santa’s sleigh somewhere over Norway); no one in the family won the lottery; but we were blessed with family and health, two blessings I thank the Lord for every day.

There’s nothing more important than family.

Unfortunately, nowadays, it is impossible for all families to enjoy the day together extended as they are.

But, we always remember those not with us and think fondly of them when we’re apart.
Like I said, ours was pretty much normal, but it was festive.

Christmas Eve, Eve, we gathered at my daughter’s for a cheese and wine celebration and exchanging of gifts. My daughter married into a fine family that is a pleasure to be with. My next daughter’s family is just as wonderful to be around. My older daughter’s family I regret to admit I’ve never met, but I know we would cherish being around them just as those down here in Southeast Texas.

Christmas Eve, we go to my in-laws, Jim and Janelle, for the most delectable, most tasty, most Cajun of gumbos. If your sinuses are clogged when you sit down at the table, one thing I can guarantee you, partner, they won’t be when you get up.

Susan, Little Mikey, and Big Mike spent Christmas Eve with his mom and grandmother, two of the most gracious and fine ladies you’ll ever meet. Amy, Keegan, and Jason spent Christmas Eve with us at Jim and Janelle’s.

Christmas Day, after exchanging gifts at the house, we headed for Janelle’s and Jim once again. It’s always a feast there with turkey, roast, dirty rice, deviled eggs, cornbread dressing, candied yams (with marshmallows), sweetpea salad, cranberry sauce, and buttered rolls, topped off with a thirty-thousand-calorie Sweetheart Salad.

Look out bathroom scales.

This year my grandsons added a little spice to the gathering.

The four year old, Keegan, arrived first. He was his usual amiable little self. My nephew, Cory, took Keegan out back to play with the puppy. That little squirt could have played with the dog all day until he discovered the mud puddle in the corner of the yard.

He was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, and a pullover, none of which we could identify when his mommy pulled him out of the mud. In fact, the cream-colored dog was brown.

So, Cory gave Keegan the hose to wash off the dog. Keegan did a great job, a spectacular job cleaning off the muddy mutt, and then he calmly turned the hose on Cory and did the same spectacular job cleaning him off, all the while laughing like a maniacal little devil.

Cory dug up some dry shorts and an Orangefield T-shirt for Keegan who rushed outside just in time to greet his little cousin, Mikey.

Now, Mikey wore tennis shoes, brilliant white socks, starched shorts, and neat pullover, a perfect picture for Christmas.

Well, I don’t have to tell you what happened.

Those two little guys found every mudhole, ditch of water, and soggy flowerbed they could. Now,
you might not believe me, but since they’re both kinda tow-headed, I had to look twice to tell them apart at the end of their adventure.

But on that Christmas day, those two little ones had the time of their lives, racing through mud, falling in water, and in general, seeing who could cover up the most of their skin with mud.

Needless to say, when the day was over, and they were cleaned up as much as was possible, they headed home.

I don’t need to tell you they were asleep before they hit the end of the block.

They gave all of us a Christmas we’d never forget.

And I hope you enjoyed yours as much as we did.