December 20, 2008


I was shocked to learn that 40 million people in the US will not be able to pay their utility bills--in a winter month, for chrissakes. And Schwarzenegger has just put a halt to hiring of state employees and is laying off 235,000 state employees for 2 months without pay beginning Feb 1st. I mean, I know I've seen a lot of empty nail salons, articles on cutting your own hair to chop salon expenses, and heard about a cobbler interviewed on NPR whose business has shot up 400% because people are repairing their shoes again instead of buying new ones. And I know that Broadway shows are closing left and right--these are just examples of what I'm seeing personally. Flights being cancelled, performers' New Year's Eve gigs cancelled, club budgets down, Xmas parties scrapped, etc. Most of my friends don't have mortgages to pay off so I'm unaware of that nightmare. And I'm actually feeling quite happy that I didn't follow my parents' advice and invest--cuz now they're sleeping on my sofa! (Kidding!) I'm certainly no whiz at economic issues, but I don't think anyone knows what's around the corner. Obama is projecting that a stimulus package of more than 1 trillion may be needed to get us on the right track. Coming from the taxpayers' empty pockets?


What a perfect time to demonstrate that old democratic principle of taxing the rich! After the auto and banking industries are bailed out, someone suggested that other large, failing industries like newspapers be subsidized as well. Should whopping bail-out fees be dumped on individuals who need bailing out their damn selves? For the last 8 years, Bush has given insane tax breaks to the rich, who have gotten wealthier and wealthier as the rest of us struggled. Now that the shit has hit the fan, it's high time for them to pitch in--they're the only ones with money! One report (sorry, my fact-checker has the holidays off but I think it was on Air America Radio) claimed that because of loopholes and businesses registering in the Caribbean, very little corporate tax is EVER paid by many companies. Then they start operating at a loss and suddenly ordinary folks who are already struggling must pay their way? I don't think so. I'll freely admit that economics is not my strong suit, so maybe I'm oversimplifying this. But if so much money is needed, then it can only come from people who have it--the rich. Problem solved!

Oh, I forgot! Big companies can hire lobbyists to create loopholes and demand bail-outs despite the fact that if the banks and auto companies are any indication, they are failing because of their unfair business practices and their production of poor, gas-guzzling products. Well we may not have lobbyists, but we have mouths and pens and email and most of us can still afford an envelope and a stamp. Time for us to stand up and make some demands of the representatives we've elected. For 8 years, again and again, the Bush administration has swindled us on every front and we've let it happen. That has to change. Otherwise we're going to continue to be footing the bill for spa vacations and bonuses for failed execs. Before my pocketbook is opened up to bail anyone out, you can better believe that my mouth will be open protesting it. I hope you'll join me! I just watched a depression era film last night and thought of waiting in a soup kitchen line hoping to slurp some warm grey gruel before I shuffled back to my shelter in some busted heels. And y'all are like: "Bitch, you wore busted heels before the recession so don't try it." See y'all at the cobbler's!