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Above the Noise, Not Part of It

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February 23, 2019

As A Matter Of Fact, I AM “Entitled”!

You might be, too. But there are others who are not. I’m growing resentful. Calling different public welfare and other benefits “entitlements” is misleading,
mis-characterizing, obfuscatory and just plain wrong.

Here’s something I don’t get.

Of all the waste and such in government, what are Veterans’ benefits, Social Security and Medicare, (benefits that are TRUE entitlements, we worked for them), doing on the “chopping block”? Always?

I’m disabled. I’m a veteran. I’m not a disabled veteran, though. WHY are there still more than twenty veterans committing suicide every day while waiting for services at the VA? THEY, my friend, are entitled. I have been in the workforce since I was seven. I’ve been paying taxes and Social Security deductions since I was 15 1/2. It took me four years, a couple of strokes and DYING. TWICE. Just to be awarded Social Security and Medicare. I don’t want one lick more than what I’m supposed to get, but neither do I want a lick less.

When I see people leaving a government office, after having given the employees inside an insanely hard time, (but she was the one two hours late for an appointment because she was at the salon getting “extensions”), getting into a nice, new, (sticker on window new), SUV, (with “rims”), talking on a phone I can’t afford…”salon”? What’s that? If I didn’t get free haircuts from a friend my gray locks would be down below my belt. I try, hard, not to judge others “by the cover”, (and yes I DO know what she was there for. She was loud enough about it that everyone within five miles knew what she was there for), but…There were several other men and women in the place. On line, in the waiting area and going in and out of various back offices. People were pleasant. Children scrubbed-faced. Smiling. Saying silly things like “please” and “thank you”. Holding the door for the young girl using the “stroller made for two”. Even, (GASP!), holding the door for that Cranky Crippled Curmudgeon, me.

She ruined my day.

Fast forward a week. How am I supposed to feel when I have to spend three hours over the course of two days on the phone with an “agent” named “Mary” in MANILA due to a paperwork glitch caused by moving from Maine to Pennsylvania, (a glitch that was not my error, but theirs), I can get a bit, umm, cranky. Would it be too much to ask, of a licensed company, IN the United States, handling people’s governmental, personal and sensitive information to either be in the U.S. or at least make sure that the people interfacing with the American public have good working ability with the English language. I’m not talking about literacy. They probably have more than they need to read the forms. I’m talking about the ability to speak intelligibly enough to be understood over a phone. I’ve been all over the world. I do okay with accents. This time? Four tries to get the best one in the building and it still took an hour for a form I could have completed in about sixty seconds. Had I been an elderly person, maybe with some hearing issues, I can’t imagine the result. My tax dollars at work. Yours, too.

Why are we still paying over $100M in IRS EIC payments to illegales? Why are we still paying for the childless able-bodied, (okay, Maine has changed that), to get EBT cards? In some areas one can still exchange SNAP for CASH. In some states, it isn’t illegal to use your cash EBT benefits for tobacco, alcohol, tattoos, lottery or get this, bail. It’s not against the rules to use our EBT card in a casino, at a racetrack or theme-park, or on, get this, a cruise ship. Fraud is rampant. Abuse is rampant. Entire rings of interstate SNAP fraud and laundering schemes have been busted. There are more. The “refugee” areas are rife with this sort of abuse. Americans are ol’ softies for anyone in trouble. The trouble is, the softness has gone from our hearts to our heads.

To wit:

Why are we still “endowing” performance artists who cover their naked bodies in chocolate syrup and scream from the middle of a stage for an hour..and it goes bad from there…Remember Mapplethorpe? You’re an “artist”? Cool. Make some art. If I like it, I’ll buy it. If I don’t, you have to go and get a job. You’re an actor? Act! If you’re any good, you’ll make it big in the movies, on the stage or on television. If not? You’ll have to get a job.

Except mimes. You can all just go get a job.

Best part, all of the above consider themselves “entitled”!

WHY in the ACTUAL HELL, are we still giving money, (not the humanitarian aid that never gets to the humans that need it, but cash), to corrupt governments of nations that HATE US. Always have and always will? Why, after forty years of a “war for oil” haven’t any of the oil-rich nations we defend or have saved ponied up a few barrels? “War for oil”? I want my oil! I think we’re all entitled to a few years worth of thirty-five cent gasoline!

People in congress get their haircuts for free, too. No they don’t! WE the PEOPLE pay for them. Same with the air conditioned buildings and connecting tunnels. Replete with a tramway. I don’t have an air conditioner. To be fair, I do have a fan. As well, I have a 5-year old manual wheelchair. I have a lumpy, unimproved lawn. They can get to their office faster than I can get to my car. I get a couple of eggs in the morning, (bacon, sometimes, too!), a PB-and-J for lunch and a dish of macaroni for dinner. See, I don’t have a congressional cafeteria. Zagat rated at 5 stars. I am, however, grateful for the fact that I have food. Some don’t. Some people who are ENTITLED.

Damn. There are so many more examples. Comment, if you think of one. Ah, what the heck, COMMENT as you see FIT.

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