It’s coming. Less than ten days. Democrats will sweep the White House and both Houses of Congress in overwhelming numbers — that’s settled. The only question left is what it will cost me.
I’m not asking for anything. I don’t want government to give me more money, or better health care, or a break on my mortgage. Not that I’m wealthy — I’m a public school teacher raising a family of four on a single income. We get by, even in these times, on creativity and thrift.
That’s what worries me. I’m not asking for anything, and I’ve been around long enough to know: when you’re not the one asking, you end up the one giving.
Already government has thrown my family under the bus to solve the mortgage crisis. My wife and I were practical: we bought a small townhome we could afford on one income, and we pay a little extra on the principle each month. Yet the $700 billion bailout wallops my family with $9,000+ in added national debt burden. What we don’t pay off in taxes we’ll be paying off in higher prices — these things trickle down.
Every year my school system revises its health insurance plans. Every year the choices cost more. Do I expect national health care changes to improve this for my family? No — we’ll end up paying higher premiums in return for less access. How else will government extend health care to cover everyone?
As for that tax cut for 95% of Americans, I’m not naive. The wealthiest 5% won’t be content writing bigger checks to the IRS. Their salaries will inflate, which will translate into higher prices. The Haves always extract their pounds of flesh from us, no matter how many tax code revisions Congress writes.
So the landslide cometh. How deep, and for how long, will it bury my family?
Obama is a respectable man; he’s run a classy campaign. He deserves the win. Plus, millions will celebrate a very welcome milestone: our first African-American President.
Yet I won’t be joining the revelry. The color of a person’s skin isn’t enough to celebrate. Far clearer is the schooling President Obama will give my family in the time-honored modus operandi of liberalism: those who make wise choices and play by the rules pay for those who don’t.
I don’t pretend a McCain presidency would be much better. McCain pushed just as fiercely for the bailout as Obama; his health care plan would result in equal failures. The Republican ticket hasn’t inspired an ounce of enthusiasm from me.
But that doesn’t mean I should illusion myself with the Democratic ticket. Obama gives some Americans just cause to celebrate. Not my family of four, which stands only to lose, lose, lose.
Why would I celebrate that?