Friday, July 29, 2011

Sixty-Seven Cents

When I was a kid I spent my summers baby sitting my little brother & sister and the kids of my mom & dad's best friends. Over the course of the summer I'd make around $300.

In 1990 my parents bought a 1972 Pontiac Ventura II from my great uncle for $500. It had 42,000 miles on it and ran like a dream.

That summer I forfeited my baby sitting earnings in exchange for that car. My first ride, and it was a TANK. The kids at school immediately dubbed it the 'G-Ride' and it ultimately won me the award for 'Best Car' in my Senior English class. Thank you Mrs. Blanchard.

I drove it to school and work and I could fill it up for... are you ready for this?...... $12.00.

I did some searches online for the average price of a gallon of gas in 1990 and came up with ranges from $1.00 to $1.25. Where I lived, in the small city of Pearl, MS, gas was around $0.67 a gallon.

I remember when prices went up to $0.72. I felt panic - OMG! How in the world will I be able to afford to fill up my car?!?

In 1990 you could fill up your car for less than $15 bucks and buy a movie ticket for $3.25.

Oh the good old days.

Then again, I was minimum wage was only $3.35 & working part time as a car-hop at Sonic wasn't exactly filling up my pockets.

Now, it costs an average of $50 to fill up my 2011 Jeep Compass and a movie ticket costs almost $10 bucks!

If you're wondering where this trip down cheap gas memory lane is coming from - thank Congress.

I normally try to stay away from reading about politics and the crap our government tries to pull because - for one it's just depressing, and two - well it's just depressing.

But lately you'd have had to literally live in a cave under some rocks to get away from the news that we as a country are BROKE. I don't mean brok'en', although we're well on our way there as well, I mean broke as in We Gots No Dollas.

Out of all the shifty stuff going on in our country that rubs me the wrong way, the economy is an issue that definitely pushes my hot button. And not in a good way.

According to Obama, if congress doesn't pull their heads out of their asses and come to some kind of compromise he cannot guarantee that medicare checks will go out. Social Security benefits may not get paid and soldiers may end up risking their lives for literally nothing.

Meanwhile movie stars are living it up in mansions.. some more than one.. and in multiple countries. Pro athletes are raking in millions for playing one form of ball or another and the people who run this country are happily cashing their fat checks while trying to figure out how to screw the rest of us out of our truly hard earned money.

I understand running the country is an important job - but I find it more than ironic that the people who are supposed to be making sure our government is truly 'For the People' can spend weeks in a room arguing over who to screw but not once mention 'oh HEY! We make a boat load of money - how about we take pay cuts and dump some of our over inflated pay checks back into this country we're running into the ground'.

In 1990 a US Senator made $98,400. In 2011 they make $174,000.

That is a $75,000 raise over the course of 20 years. SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!.

This is from If there is a newer listing I wasn't able to find it.

Salaries Legislative, Executive, Judicial
*as of January 2009

President .........................................................$400,000
Vice President .................................................$227,300
Speaker of the House ......................................$223,500
House Majority & Minority Leaders ...............$193,400
House / Senate Members & Delegates ............$174,000
Chief Justice, Supreme Court ...........................$217,400
Associate Justices, Supreme Court ...................$208,100
So let's do a little math. If there were only 1 person in each of these positions that's $1,244,100. 1.2 MILLION dollars a year in salary.

Let's go back to 1990 for a minute.

The Average National Debt in 1990 was $3,364,820,000,000.
The Average National Debt today - 14,293,315,...,... well hell, it's changing too fast to be able to keep up - see for yourself here.

According to the national debt has increased $12.7 Trillion in the last ten years. And according to the debt has in fact done nothing BUT increase since President Ford's term in 1976 - and it was $653.5 million then.

Needless to say in the last 34 years our country has done nothing but sink deeper and deeper into the red, yet political figures have steadily been getting raises, bonuses, cushy health plans and the like.

~~taking a second to breath myself into a calmer state.

Ok - I'm settled down now - well enough to continue any way.

I LOVE and am incredibly grateful for the freedoms and liberties afforded to me by living in the US - but as a whole - we are a lazy, whiny, greedy, gluttonous country that has NO IDEA how cushy we have it.

In El Salvador some families live on as little as $30 a month. A MONTH!

In many African villages children are lucky if they eat, and can't even imagine what it would be like to drink clean water.

In America - we pay celebrities ONE FREAKING MILLION DOLLARS to film ONE episode of a popular sitcom - which only takes about a week.

In America we pay a basketball player THIRTY THREE MILLION DOLLARS to bounce a ball for 4 years.

If you took a half of the salary of all top politicians, actors, celebrealitiesci and pro athletes in the US for 5 years and dumped it into a bank I'm fairly sure we'd cut a sizable chunk out of the nation's debt and I'm even more sure those people could still comfortably drive their Porsches and live in their mansions without feeling the hit.

GRR - I'm worked up again and have probably rambled from my original line of thought but the bottom line is - we HAVE all the money we need to get completely out of debt sitting right here in our own back yard.

I just hope us bottom feeders don't starve or end up homeless before the rich realize that the incline in their bank accounts and the decline of our economy are in direct correlation with one another.

0 People who coughed on a furball: