Diary

I'm a chump

I feel like an even bigger chump today than I did a few months ago. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but in hindsight, I should have known that it was inevitable.

Back in the spring when The One first started wrecking the economy and throwing away our hard earned money the jackass move that Congress pulled that made me the angriest, at a personal level, was this business of sticking me with someone else’s mortgage.

Like most newlyweds my bride of 32 years and I hadn’t the proverbial pot when we were first married. I had a lousy job and she couldn’t find one. Living in a rural area of IL with few housing options, the first winter we were married we partially spent living in an unheated trailer. Things like this tend to trigger Scarlett O’Hara reactions in me (you know, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again”) and of course, better days came. But we were always highly sensitized to the roof over our heads, so through scrimping and saving we managed finally to acquire the house we live in now and paid it off in 11 years.

Boy, were we stupid. We busted our humps and did without and now we’re going to have to pay some fool’s mortgage because Barney’s and Chris’ collective IQ and knowledge of the marketplace and economics, their moral sense of right and wrong, would rattle around in a thimble.

So this morning I read this pithy editorial in the IBD about the nuclear option on “health care” that’s about to be rammed down our throats–

In the age of the Internet, Congress refuses to post for computer access the most consequential legislation in history, as far as its effect on human lives (and deaths) is concerned, before voting on it.

The people will have to wait until it’s all signed, sealed and delivered before finding out exactly how this government-imposed monster will devour health care as Americans have known it for all their lives.

–and I realize I’ve been punked again, only much worse. Punked is the wrong word for this betrayal of 300,000,000 people, but I don’t know what the right word is.

I’m 56 years old. The other thing that my beloved and I have scrimped and saved for is the freedom of our older age together. I thank the Lord that I have smart friends who got me out of the market before it tanked last year. I thank the Lord I had enough sense to get out of the market before the internet bubble burst. I thank Him for having given me a love of reading such that I read, and understood, Einstein’s aphorism that compound interest is the strongest force in the universe– and took it to heart. Consequently, I actually still have our nest egg. We should be looking forward to kicking our shoes off and having some fun. But I can see that that’s not in the cards.

Having been punked again, I’m an even bigger chump than I thought I was. What we want to do won’t matter. Being an ant and not a grasshopper? Stupid. I also realize that our feelings about our home weren’t about keeping a roof over our heads– it was about our freedom. And now I realize, all our freedom is truly about to be destroyed, forever. Not only that, my personal nightmare is quite possibly going to come true. As my pals bs and bk, contributors here, would tell you, my worst fear is dying on a gurney for no damn reason or worse. I’ll die of something treatable because being too old, too white and too conservative, I’m a useless mouth. In fact, I’m an enemy of the people. Check that– enemy of the planet. That’s exactly what these fascist scum have in mind for me and millions like me.

I have actually been eligbile for early retirement from my job for a couple of years now. Continuing to work just incrementally adds a few bucks a month to my pension check; it won’t top out until I’m 65 and I never intended working that long anyway. I’ve always been a big believer in the idea that if you’re going to retire you need to have something to do that first Monday morning after the party and I’ve never had that, so, I’m still working. But, I think I know what to do on that proverbial ‘next Monday’ now.

Monday morning I’m going to call Evan Bayh’s office and tell the gopher that answers the phone that if he votes to pass this grotesquerie that I am going to go ahead and take my early retirement and invest my remaining days in seeing that he is run out of public office at the first available moment. In a perfect world, he’d be strapped to a satellite and launched into low earth orbit… sorry, I’m getting carried away. I’ll call Lugar’s office too, but it’s probably pointless because the man is borderline senile and he’s all done in elective office next go ’round anyway.

Obiviously, I’m a chump. But I’m going to be a chump with a purpose.