I am writing to thank you for your excellent Editor’s Note about the “Christmas message no one wants to hear” and in regards to Mr. Johnson’s response.
I find it harder and harder to relate to people who do nothing but find fault with the money our government spends to help people like those who have lost jobs in a tough recession that is not of their own making.
I especially find it hard knowing that ever larger amounts of my hardearned taxpayer dollars are going to subsidies for large corporations who ship jobs overseas and avoid taxes by hiding the money in remote places with little structured government.
Mr. Johnson seems to be of the opinion that we are forming a “moocher class” of unemployed workers and other undeserveds who would be more responsible citizens if we liberals and do gooders didn’t keep throwing money at them.
I question that his idea of a “moocher class” must be among the ranks of those who have lost jobs in this recession through no fault of their own.
What about the CEO’s of large corporations, the Wall Street Brokers, and the bankers; the ones who made out like bandits while our economy collapsed? Where is their sense of responsibility to our federal deficit for instance?
Why aren’t they being asked to do their fair share of sacrificing since the recession sure hasn’t kept them from coming to Congress with their hand outstretched asking for more subsidies and more tax breaks? As if they were the only ones not expected to contribute to this sudden urgent need to get our fiscal house in order?
Since the Republicans won the majority in the House of Representatives we have been hearing a lot about making sacrifices with everything on the table and frankly I would have been okay with that if the “everything” had included those corporate subsidies and the tax cuts for those making $250,000 plus.
But Congress has already passed the tax cuts and I haven’t heard word one about subsidies. Instead they’ve railed against the Health Care Bill and whispered again about privatizing Social Security, using language intended to confuse and disarm anyone not paying close attention.
As a Baby Boomer who’s lived through the same old discussion on Social Security many times before when it was coming from the Grand Old Party, you better believe I am paying attention and I’m sure I am not the only one.
As for repealing the health care bill? Sure, lets balance the budget on the sick and take away their only defense against a multi– billion dollar industry who has increasingly tried to insure itself by denying benefits it promised them!
And because fighting all those battles with sick clients costs lots of money they better make sure to hire plenty of lobbyists lest Congress, in the midst of trying to repeal the health care bill, should forget about authorizing subsidies to keep their profit margins secure. Frankly, I think those in the higher echelons of that industry should be ashamed of themselves.
In conclusion, I agree in part with Mr. Johnson’s assessment that money can be the root cause of a great capacity for selfishness and greed. But we need to understand that the corruption can permeate all classes of society and too often grows with the wealth of the individual or entity it saturates in its wake.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Money can also generate a lot of generosity and goodwill, from the humblest act of a homeless man who finds a wallet on the street and returns it to its owner to the billionaire who gives his fortune to the eradication of disease in a third world country.
No doubt both would win favor in the eyes of the Man from Nazareth, Jim, and I especially liked your interpretation of his ministry when you write that “we shouldn’t let money get in the way of a good thing.”
There is an old saying “You can’t take it with you.” I think there is much benefit to living our lives as if each additional
day on earth is precious and knowing that we are the richest when we can pay it forward.
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