Recently my wife and I went through the frustrating process of refinancing our home to get the rate down. When we bought originally, the local market was so distressed that the banks considered loans in our area to be high risk. Despite our sterling credit, they jacked our rate up to cover potential further market loss of equity. So we opted to get refinanced at a new rate more in line with our creditworthiness, and put the difference into savings for future house needs. We were optimistic about finally paying a rate reflective of what we deserve as good customers, and seeing the $300 per month savings put to better use. What we didn’t see was a recalcitrant government about to reverse those gains into losses.
With the advent of January’s “Fiscal Cliff” consequences, our government has made that entire process moot. We’re still glad to be paying a lower rate after all the idiocy the mortgage company put us through (it took three months of repetitive nonsense and last-minute requirements to finish the process). But when the financial dust settled and we looked at our paychecks in January, it turns out that we’ve lost ground. Our net loss on the elevated taxes and health care premium increases is significantly greater than the savings we were going to put to better use. The sheer frustration of this brought my wife (our diligent household money manager) literally to tears. If you don’t think that makes a husband angry, don’t come around my house anytime soon.
The President used the “Fiscal Cliff” as a Fiscal Club to bludgeon what’s left of Republican congressional resistance into submission to his almighty will. Barack Obama knows well that the bleating of ignorant masses of indiscreet voters will hit hardest the ears of Republicans resistant to knuckle under on principle to the wholesale financial destruction he has crafted for this nation. He had to be laughing to himself, gloating cynically over being able to cause so much discontent while pinning the blame so easily on others.
Even former budget hawk Paul Ryan caved in to the ramrod “deal” that afforded ZERO spending reductions while raising the exorbitant debt ceiling into the ionosphere (we passed the stratosphere a long time ago). Obama then jetted off to his new $13.5 million-dollar home in Hawaii to continue his $7 million-dollar, taxpayer-funded vacation.
Ladies and gentlemen, he’s NOT one of us. He has NEVER been one of us, in terms of holding a regular job and having to make ends meet by his own industriousness. He has never been at the mercy of the private sector he so despises and seeks to undermine. Just to be fair, those congressmen and senators who approved this financial debauchery are also largely immune to the pain you and I are keenly feeling.
Look at your latest pay stub. Note the increase in tax withholding. That additional sting is almost certainly to fund things you don’t want or believe in. Then look at your healthcare premium withholding. That larger bite is reflective of the President’s “legacy” legislation. Need a raise just to offset those increases? Good luck, because private business isn’t in a spending mood, but rather a bunker mentality. Taxes, healthcare and insurance costs are up across the board, which will drive the cost of everything else up as a result.
Then look in the mirror. We did this to ourselves. We allowed this disreputable gang of thugs and cowards the keys to the kingdom, along with their claque of slavering media sycophants. H.L.Mencken said “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” This last election has caused me to increasingly subscribe to this unfortunate dictum.
Only we can stop this. Only we can restore order and a modicum of financial optimism to our collective future. I hope we have the will to hold the person in the mirror accountable. Until we start there, nothing can change for the better.