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Butt Scratching and Bass Fishing

I am a devout listener to Dave Ramsey. This morning I was listening to his show and heard one of his lengendary rants. For the full rant click here (I highly recommend it) Dave’s quotes are in italics.

He starts off by telling the story of two different friends that he has. Neither went to college and both are hard workers and good family men. The difference is that “Henry” worked his way into a trade, was laid off, and then used his knowledge and experience to start his own business in that trade and now has 17 employees. “John” worked his way into a trade and up into management. Henry works 70+ hours a week and makes 300k a year. He spends most if his “free” time working on his business. And anyone who knows what running a small business is like, knows that it never really stops. John works the minimum 40 hours needed and makes 75k. “… most nights you will find him in front of the TV where he has become an expert on “American Idol,” … When he is not in front of the TV, he spends a LOT of time and money bass fishing on our local lake. He never works over 40 hours a week and hasn’t read a non-fiction book since high school.”

This is America, and there is nothing wrong with either set of choices.  (good, because I spent four hours watching So You Think You Can Dance last night) Nothing wrong, that is, until the politicians and socialists get involved …

I have seen several elitist people on the talking-head channels make the statement lately that people making over $250,000 per year have a “moral imperative” to pay more in taxes to take care of the country’s problems. This is not only infuriating—it is economically, spiritually, and morally crazy!

Where in the world do these twits get off saying that Henry should be punished for his diligence? If you are John, where do you get off trying to take Henry’s hard-earned money away from him in the name of your misguided “fairness”? If you want to sit on the lake, drink beer, scratch your butt, and bass fish, that is perfectly fine with me. I am not against any of those activities and have engaged in some of them myself at one time or another. But you HAVE NO RIGHT to talk about “moral imperatives” about what other people have earned due to their diligence. That money is not yours! You want some money? Go earn some! Get up, leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home.

We are in a dangerous place in our country today. A segment of our population has decided that it is the government’s job to provide all of their protection, provision, and prosperity. This segment has figured out that government doesn’t have the money to give them everything they want, so somebody else has to pay for it. That is how the “politics of envy” was born. “Tax the rich” has become the mantra of the left, and this political season it has been falsely dubbed a “moral imperative.”

Ninety percent of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich. They are Henry. To tax them because you think it is a “moral imperative” is legalizing governmental theft from our brightest, most charitable, and most productive citizens…

Please, America, re-think the politics of envy! You are sowing the seeds of our destruction when you punish the Henrys of our culture.

If you think taxing the populace to support government programs is the best way—and I don’t—then at least tax every single person the same! There are very few Henrys out here who would squawk much about paying a set percentage of their income—if everyone else did, too. But this idea of some butt-scratching bass fisherman saying government should tax his neighbor and not him—just because his neighbor has succeeded—must stop.

I happen to agree with Dave.  Last year I had a baby.  I went to a midwife who assists in Home Births.  When I asked how much her services cost, she gave me a sheet with a sliding scale.  Matt happened to be in the top bracket of the sliding scale and therefore we ended up paying $4500 for a home birth.  The biggest reason why we decided to do a home birth again was because of the cost.  I asked why so much and she said that because they do some births for free, they need to make up the difference somehow.  I have to say that I really don’t like that I was supplementing someone else’s birth.  Especially when we ourselves are finding it difficult to pay the bills.  Now, I know that there are some people who truly can’t afford medical care, they are barely hanging on and the cost of having a baby would almost bankrupt them.  I am not talking about those people, (not just because 99.9% of them live in other countries).  I’m talking about the people who consistently live beyond their income.  I don’t care how much you make, if you constantly spend all you make on toys and status symbols but are behind on your bills then you are doing something wrong!  You can’t spend all of your money on sustaining your lifestyle and expect other people to pay for the things that sustain your life!  Get your priorities straight and ACT YOUR WAGE!  I am more than willing to help people who are in need.  But don’t sit on your butt, watching your big screen TV, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and then tell me that YOU are in need.  I don’t think so.
Not long ago Matt’s income decreased and then he lost his job.  What did we do?  WE CUT OUR SPENDING.  Yes it can be done.  We got rid of our cable, we stopped going out to dinner, I stopped buying toys for the kids.  We got rid of a couple subscriptions and memberships that were costing us money.  And when that wasn’t enough?  What did we do?  I started a home business (with CASH NOT CREDIT).  I don’t make a lot, but I make enough to kill some little nagging bills (the obligatory $52 medical bill that shows up in your mailbox if you so much as look at a hospital).  I was also a offered a job designing for an online scrapbooking site and I’m working on getting that started.  Matt is now working two jobs and is spending almost all of his free time working on the house so we can sell it and decrease our monthly expenses (to heck with the cheese, let me out of the trap!)
What we didn’t do was wail and gnash our teeth and expect our government (who can’t seem to do math) to take care of us.  We’ve all heard the phrase “if want it done right, you have to do it yourself.”  It’s true!  And when the government gets involved with ANYTHING they just screw it up.  Stop inviting them into my life!  It’s MY LIFE and I don’t want them there!  I don’t want them telling that I can’t homeschool my kids or have my babies at home.  I don’t want them telling me I can’t drink raw milk or pick my nose if I want!  This is the same government that decided just days ago that child rapists did not deserve the death penalty because it is not equal
to the crime and would therefore be cruel and unusual punishment.  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!  Now whether you believe in the death penalty or not is not the issue, but lets not pretend that child rapists aren’t the foulest of life and that ANYTHING should be considered cruel and unusual for them.  For heaven’s sake, I am a law abiding citizen, but let’s not get ridiculous and invasive with our laws.  All of those examples are issues that are currently being debated and/or regulated by states (nose picking excepted) and are both ridiculous and invasive.  I don’t plan on homeschooling my children, nor to I plan on having anymore at home, but I do like to support local business and so I buy raw milk.  So I would like the option of doing all of those things if I so desire.  I love and care for my children and am doing everything I can to help them grow into responsible people who will positively impact their community.  Don’t tell me how to do it, you don’t know better than I do, trust me.
I seriously don’t mind paying a certain amount of taxes.  A government is like a person, it needs money to survive.  But like a person, it can get greedy if it’s not checked.  And the government is not being checked.  It is being enabled and cheered on by people who don’t understand how it works!  Now, I know that there are a lot of issues that people are worried about in this upcoming election.  And there are things that I like and dislike about both candidates.  I mostly republican, so it surprises me that I REALLY like Barack Obama and some of his ideas.  But he is WAY off the mark as far as the economy goes (I am entitled to my opinion as are you, and if you don’t like what I say, too bad, it’s my blog :).  Dave Ramsey listener Scott said “Our economy will only revive when we all expect more of ourselves.”  Well said Scott, well said.
Well, that’s my big rant for the day (or month) and a BIG GOLD STAR to anyone who made it to the end of this 🙂

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