Angry politicians and the budget

I have been walking around pretty pissed recently. Not because I’m feeling holed up at home, but because I feel like American politicians are completely oblivious to the troubles of everyday people.  Of course, hasn’t this been a problem plaguing just about every nation out there with representatives?  I bet so.  That doesn’t make it right, though.

Many Congressmen–and I use the term “men” because most are men–are pretty darn wealthy.  And they claim to be representing the views of the people when they stubbornly hold up a budget plan in order to get concessions on abortion funding or the obliteration of environmental protection.  It might be true that a small majority of Americans do not like abortion. However, holding up the funding of national parks, social service agencies, and the IRS (!!!) can hardly be beneficial for anyone.  Without paychecks, federal employees won’t be able to spend. Yet when in the midst of economic crisis, we get messages from the government to get out there and open our wallets!  How’s that gonna work?

Of course, it just came out that spending is up in many parts of the retail sector.  I don’t think this is a sign of growing prosperity, though.  Wages continue to stagnate.  Food prices are squeezing us. Gas prices are on the verge of killing us.  But how many times can we wear the same pair of ratty pants to work?  Many people have hunkered down for so long that they cannot wait to purchase necessities any longer.  I’m in the market for some myself after years of not purchasing much at all.  It hurts to spend the money when things are so tight; however, I’m down to one pair of pants. And they’re maternity wear.

Bureaucracy is notoriously inefficient. And expensive. I don’t see, though, how targeting money earmarked for Planned Parenthood is going to solve our budget “crisis”.  Keeping wages from workers during this time of vast unemployment most certainly won’t.

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April 8, 2011. Tags: , . The Angry American. Leave a comment.

Why are Americans so angry?

This question has been bugging me for awhile now.  Why is everyone so pissed at each other?  There is so much ranting and raving on television, the internet, and in pretty much every periodical I read.  Liberals yelling at conservatives, the rich whining about “socialists”, crunchy moms venting about ignorant silky moms, people hating government, government hating the poor, whatever. It just goes on and on. I’ve even noticed that the advice columns in the paper have become filled with rage.  Over dumb stuff. Over serious stuff. It’s all up for grabs.

So what is making us so mad? And yes, I mean MAD.  As in crazy.  Why are people shooting each other on highways?  Why do people constantly feel the need to tell others how to parent?  And when folks disagree, why are they ANGRY?  Hell, I can’t even function nicely without a daily drug, and I know I am not the only one. Not even close.

I know one thing that makes people stressed and more prone to angry.  Finances.  While many companies are posting record profits, worker salaries are being hammered down.  Some people take real pay cuts in order to keep their jobs. Others have to swallow enormous increases in healthcare costs.  Wages are stagnant for all but the super wealthy.  I read in the NYTimes recently that the really rich have actually done better during the recession than they had before.  Uh, that doesn’t smell right.  Especially now that grocery prices are going up, gas prices have risen, and yet we’re still expected to support the economy by spending.

My husband and I have a very modest income.  We’re right at the median, so we’re actually lower than average.  It is not easy to make ends meet and manage to save or do much at all.  I can’t complain because at least we CAN meet our needs and manage to have an ice cream every now and then, but it certainly is stressful to think we really should be saving about 30% of our gross income for rainy days, emergencies, and retirement.  That is completely out of reach at our income level.

Yes, drugs have helped.  I’m not as anxious as I was before. But maybe that’s the problem.  People are medicating themselves rather than facing the music.  It’s so easy to put your head in the sand about funding your future.  At least before I was angry enough to take action. Does medication crush that active spirit?  Should I wean myself so I’m a little MORE pissed?  Nah, we don’t need another raging maniac.  I certainly am, however, thinking about what I can do to protect myself and possibly help others.  Pinching pennies every day.

I know this is not the only reason we’re angry.  I’m going to continue thinking about this issue because I don’t get it.  I don’t know why grouchiness is the little black dress everyone owns these days.  Makes me want to hide in my room. And be mad.

March 18, 2011. Tags: , , . The Angry American. Leave a comment.