I’m an American

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I’m an American. I am proud of that. I wake up, I go to work, I work hard and honest, I go home and spend what free time I have cleaning house, playing with pets, and enjoying life with my wife, who does similar or the same daily tasks as I.We try to spend our money wisely. We eat nearly every meal at home; or pack a lunch to go. We don’t often eat fast food, stop for coffee/drinks, or anything unneeded. We drink water, and cheap powder mix drinks. We bought a water filter and canteens, because it was less expensive than bottled water. We generally aim to keep our total meal cost for breakfast, lunch, and dinner under $15 for the two of us, for the day.We conserve energy and gasoline costs by consolidating trips, carpooling, or walking/skating to work. We turn off lights when we leave a room, we buy low energy bulbs and appliances when needed, and sleep by a fan or energy efficient oil heater to keep from using the central air or baseboard electric heaters.My wife has a four-year degree; right out of college the economy went to hell. She worked 4 jobs at once and up to 80 hours a week: bartending, serving, interning for free, and freelancing. Ultimately, to find a job in her field she had to move from our home to find work. Shortly thereafter I saved up what I could and moved away as well, finding a job in the same city as my wife, working 55+ hours a week, on top of working from home for the company I had moved away from. We now have rent on top of a mortgage payment, which is still better than the position we were in, but not by much. There is no viable form of public transportation, so I sold my car to get out of monthly payments and high insurance rates, and replaced it with a 20 year old beater vehicle.

Credit: freeimages

We try to buy American when possible. Sometimes, due to the much cheaper nature of foreign goods, and our limited budget, this is not always the case. Same goes for local vendors, produce, etc.

Our health insurance costs have risen yearly, before and after the recent healthcare legislation, and it’s a cost that we both are scared to go without “Just in case”.

It’s terrifying to think that despite our hard work and thriftyness in lifestyle, we still live paycheck to paycheck. Despite our best efforts, there is no real money to save for emergencies. We have no time to protest, we have no time to take off from work for rallies or fundraisers to make any real difference in our political atmosphere. We’re at the mercy of our lawmakers and wall street brokers to make a difference in our economy. Neither seem to be working out very well.

All we see on the news is political bickering, or more money being spent on foreign aid and wars. Simultaneously. Money we have to borrow. We’re both for helping other nations, but not when we can’t support ourselves. It’s crazy to hear that we are trying to secure foreign borders when we can’t even secure our own.

Moralistic arguments plague politics. Same-Sex Marriage, Drugs, and many other topics are hot spots for politicians and their platforms. I was raised in a conservative household. I was taught that America was about freedom. Freedom to live, worship, and anything else so long as it didn’t harm another. Quite frankly, I’m not a homosexual. However, I can’t even begin to understand how legalizing homosexual marriage will diminish the sanctity of my marriage when Kim Kardashian was married 72 days, and Britney Spears was married 55 hours, yet they stand out as Celebrities and qualify as “news”. Nor can I understand how preventing the freedom of American citizens to live their life how they choose or marry whom they want is more important than focusing on the fact that our country is, and has been bleeding out financially for years.

If it’s moral politics that you stand for, please sit down. Judgement is between an individual and God. Their God, your God, or no God, it’s not anyone’s place to take that role of supreme judge. This is why we vote, this is why African Americans are allowed in the same school or business. As Americans we pride ourselves on freedom, and scorn those who oppress the oppressed. Who defines “freedom”, who defines “those”, and who defines the “opressed”. Does it take a national voice? Does it take 51% of the population? Our constitution states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, but yet it seems that so often our politicians just fight against the new, fight against what they personally disagree with, rather than fight for ALL of the citizens they represent.

My taxpayer dollars bailed out the banks after they failed America, yet they introduce us to new banking fees. We pay taxes on everything we look at, think about, and more, yet we have no control over where it’s spent. GE pays no taxes, yet my wife and I struggle to pay our power bill despite working constantly, sacrificing time better spent at preserving the sanctity of our own marraige, and having the best positions we can find. Any mention of higher taxes on corporations of the wealthy is met with extreme outcry. Why should the successful pay more? Because we can’t pay anymore. We can’t. Our credit cards are maxed out because of emergency and necessity, not because of carelessness and “living beyond our means”.

We’re just another family in a financial crisis doing everything we can to keep swimming in a sea of the morally offended, campaigning, and celebrity distraction. That’s why. We’re not part of the Tea Party, 99%, 53%, or any other group. But we’re thankful for all of them. They aren’t perfect, and it’s easy to make the few crazy look like the group at large, but what they have to say isnt outrageous, it’s outrage.

If you’re “wealthy”, and you’re angry that your taxes might be raised, you may want to consider “the little people”. The people that you may hire, the people who may purchase your things or service, and people like me, who really have nothing left to give. Except the life insurance policy on me for my wife. Which unfortunately makes it seem at times that I’d be more valuble dead than alive.

We’re outraged. We’re offended. We’re hurting. We don’t have the means of doing anything about it, and if we do, we’re branded as radicals. I’m not part of any movement. I’m just an American.