Monday, August 23, 2004

What makes me a Republican?

I am the sole bread winner for my family. When I was in the military I really disliked how much Uncle Sam was taking from single people with no dependents. It felt like I was being gang raped by the IRS. I was barely making enough as it was, but what they took from me was just too much. It was at that point I knew that there were two things guaranteed for me: death and taxes.

A short while later I found love, got married and had a kid. Okay, now what? I'm barely making enough for ME to survive and I now have two dependents, neither of which are working. In order for me to survive in the world I realized that it was time for me to do something about it. Yes, since I had a wife and a son I was paying a bit less on my taxes (I was also promoted so that helped a bit too.) but it still wasn't enough to live comfortably. (I believe squalor is the term most often used.)

Ever since then I have been busting my butt to try and get ahead, not for me but for my family. I have been working a full job as the sole bread winner, going to school as much as possible (only taking two classes this semester, usually three), and doing what I can to maintain a happy family. My wife, by the way, has chosen to stay at home with our son because we would like to raise our child instead of having day care providers and babysitters do it for us.

When I see someone come out and say how horrible their life is and that they pay too much in taxes so that they can't afford to buy bread, or formula, or whatever it irritates me. Here I am, working for everything that I've earned, paying 15% in taxes. (thanks to Bush or it would have been 20%) When I hear them whine about what they haven't got I usually see them just sitting around, talking about how they can't get a job. I rarely ever see one of them with a book or at the library trying to get a better education for a better job.

One thing to note for people who say that there's no college opportunity for them: Pehl grants are given to people like me who are making enough to get by. They will definitely give them to someone less fortunate than myself. In fact, if the people that the Pehl program was created for were using it then people of my wealth (not that I'm rich) would not be able to get these grants. Cash is not the problem when you're talking about schooling, the problem is reaching for a hand-out when you should be reaching for a hand-up.

I used to work with this girl that was a single mother. She was a third class (E-4) and I was a second (E-5). I have the utmost respect for what she was doing. When tax time rolled around we looked at each others returns. She was taking out almost exactly what I was taking in! She was working no harder than me. She was even doing the same job as me. Yet she was taking out while I was putting in because she had her child in day care while mine was at home with my domestically employed wife. (Caveat: If you even think about calling me some sort of chauvinist for having my wife at home while I work you are dead wrong. If my wife told me she wanted to go get a job you would be hard pressed to find someone work harder to make it happen and accommodate those needs than me.) This was my first major hit against Democrats. It felt like they were saying "We prefer for you to be a single parent and have the system raise your kids".

After about two full years (summers included) I finally got my associates degree and managed to cram in a couple of Microsoft certifications. I had already decided that even though the military had given me a lot it was time for me to move on (not .org). I had come to a point in my professional career that I either stay for a full 20 year career or get out and get what some people would call "a real job". So, with 9 1/2 years in and a full belt of fresh new education I made my transition into civilian life. Luckily, there have been many get out before me to pave the way so my transition was not too difficult. My boss, which is still my boss today, had been my Master Chief when I was in. Everything was going great until we hit tax time this year. Like I said before, I paid 15% for taxes that I would have paid 20% for had Bush not given us a tax break. Hallelujah! It was like a ray of light had hit me. If I work hard then the Republican ideal is to reward me. If I don't then I should hope for a Democrat to be president. My new political credo had arrived: The harder I work the more Republican I become!

No comments: