Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?




            We retirees are a pretty placid bunch, that is, until we get on the subject of politics. Then it all hangs out. This is an arena where we can really get going.
Did you vote?  This old-geezer quizzes her middle-aged kid.
“Nah.  Doesn’t make any difference who gets in, nothing changes—the government is ruled by the lobbyists, and they belong to the rich.”
“Damn it.  You’re always talking about all the perks old people get from the government.  How do you think we got them?”
“I need a beer.”
We elderly are conscientious about voting.  We know which side our bread is butter on and we butter it. 
Almost all of us vote.  And any of those, like for instance that Tea Party gang, who are Hell bent on cutting governmental expenses, say on Social Security, well, they can take their tea kettle and poor it over their heads.
We talk over with the other elderly, who to vote for, and if our eye sight is good enough to read our absentee ballots—always voting.  And  I hate to admit this, but I will.  If it’s a vote for a local politician and I don’t know anything about them, as I don’t subscribe to the local paper anymore,  I always vote for the one with a feminine name.  Figure women in government are less likely to pull fast ones. 
And for some reason, I’ve never minded taxes—Is there something haywire with my mental processing—as everyone is supposed to hate taxes.
But maybe I’m not alone—as the government in Sweden takes almost half the pay of the Swedes in taxes and the population doesn’t protest.  So it appears an acceptance of high taxes may be okay with some.
The way I see taxes is they are like lovers.  They’re expensive, but the pay-off in the end is worth it.  Without taxes, we’d still be driving on muddy roads.  Try washing dried mud off tires.  The only books in the library would be Shakespeare and the Bible.  I remember when I was a kid and how lucky I felt to get a “Little House on the Prairie” book at our tiny local library.  Without taxes, our houses would burn to the ground—no firemen.  Our kids would get murdered—ho hum—no cops.  We’d break our arm, get cancer—tough it out—no hospitals for us.  Pay teachers?  With what? 
The thing that amazes me about taxes is the number of middle-class and lower-class people who don’t want to increase the taxes on the rich.  .  In Washington State, the increase on taxing the rich was voted down. Talked to some of them who voted against the increase and they said, “If we increase the rich’s taxes, next they’ll increase our taxes.”
Sorry guys, they’ll raise taxes anyway and nobody will vote on it. Eventually the government will need the money and if China won’t loan it to us, it’s going to come from somewhere.  The politicians aren’t going to empty their pockets, as for the CEO’s coughing it up, well, we, the middle class has already said “nada” to that one, so guess who’ll fork over the big ones. Yup.  You got it. You and me. 
We, old geezers are all political. Nothing much else to do, except watch the news, listen to the radio and talk it over with each other.
I remember a discussion I had when Obama was running for president.
“He seems like a decent enough guy,” one of my kids commented.
“I like what he says, but he eats arugula.”  I said. “What’s that?”
“Think it’s something like lettuce,” and, “He’s got a lot of brains.”
“So what!  He’s afraid of white folks.”   I said for argument’s sakes.
“Ah, it doesn’t matter.  Nothing will change.  The lobbyist and Supreme Court will see to that.”
“You are one cynical so and so,”  I said. “What about that other guy running?  You know that McCain guy.”
“Nice guy, but he’s getting up there in years and old farts have brain malfunctions more than the young.”
“I resent that.” I said.
Anyhow, face it, about taxes—they’ll probably discover a cure for death before one for taxes.
Hey, one last word about Obama.  When he was running for office he emphasized how he would bring change and harmony to Washington DC.  One thing about wisdom, is that you learn when you don’t tell another person you’re going to change them.  Guess why?  Because then they’re stubbornly determined you won’t change them.  He should have said, “The Republicans are going to put road blocks on every step I take.  It will be a daily fight to the death.  And then let the GOP try to prove him wrong on that one.”  



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