Thursday, December 16, 2010

OPINION: There is, Indeed, a Santa Claus

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa. If she’s not out shopping, then she’s in the kitchen (where you should be). Things change but they don’t change. Most of the Grandmas and Great Grandmas in this country should have earned a gold watch by now. Most have spent more than 30 years making Christmas happen. Supporting the family and supporting the economy. Who do you think put the green in Black Friday anyway?
During these last thirty to sixty years, most white women worked at the bottom of the wage scale. Women of color worked for even less. Every year they found a way to make Christmas happen. They cleaned house, cooked, decorated and taught children to read.
No gold watch for them, just social security. Very little social security at that. No one gives out the statistics on how many women now are trying to live on fewer than $750 per month. That’s 750 minus more than a hundred per month for Medicare.
These women who made our economy work for the last 60 years did so in a variety of ways. One, they were cheap intelligent labor. Two, they bought things and used services. Three they worked for free raising families and in community service. In every way they are this country’s Santa.
So what did they get for Christmas? No increase in Social Security. The consumer price index didn’t rise.
Food prices are the same, right? Medicine is really cheap, right?  If she’s been living and working on a tight budget, using the same car, the same appliances, the same clothes for the past 10 years or more, the replacement price she will encounter will be feasible, right?  Rent, mortgage interest rates, heating, and lighting are some of the many, many things that haven’t gone up, right?
Grandma will probably find a way to do Christmas with or without the help of government.
Grandma is not the only American that our government doesn’t care about this Christmas.      If you ran out of unemployment benefits a while ago, are running out of them now, or you put your health on the line cleaning up after Sept. 11, the government doesn’t care. Well, really they do, let me explain.
It’s a bipartisan movement. The Republicans are playing the abusive terrorists holding these groups hostage, and the Democrats are playing the battered spouse who won’t press charges. See, bipartisan all the way. If you say it’s wrong, they’ll call you a terrorist; and with the Patriot Act and the Obama embellishments on the Patriot Act, they can.
George Washington knew that anyone who could justify torture could justify anything.  He advised we not go there. We’re there.
Here’s the really fun part. Washington says if you don’t see the value in this bipartisan movement, it’s because you are too partisan.
In the early November election we’re partisan, but in December we’re bipartisan. Get it?
The reality is that no one in Washington cares if you are a Democrat or a Republican beyond elections. Grandma, Grandpa, Sept. 11 workers, and the unemployed are Republicans and Democrats. Washington serves the “Devil” Red China and the “God” Multi-national Corporate Empire. They do it for “Glory and Gold”.
Before the Supreme Court caved, this might have been called kick-backs. Since the Supreme Court decided we don’t have illegal elections and Multi-national Corporations are citizens, everything is cool. For millions of households this winter it will be down right icy.
Why was the tax break cut off point $250,000 per year? It opened the door for screaming about small business. Loud objections and platitudes are about all small business will ever get.  Why didn’t they, say, tax those earning more than a million dollars? Or even, let’s tax those who receive more than a million dollars in Christmas bonuses? Or why don’t we tax those who will save enough in taxes to buy a jet (and avoid being frisked at the air port; Grandma will be frisked)?
Do we have to take money from Grandpa and Grandma? They have paid more to the government than any generation.
It’s no secret war is not making us rich. Or even solvent. The Taliban will never be able to hurt us like our own government can. War is killing our kids by the thousands. No health care for decades killed millions, and more will die this winter. I want our kids home for Christmas, that’s homeland security. Washington can stay in Washington.
Don’t let the people in the black hats get you down, you are what America is about.
My Grandma’s Christmas Treat: Slice open pitted dates, fill with a mixture of peanut butter and honey, close date, and roll in cinnamon and sugar. She also filled dates with cream cheese or goat’s milk cheese.
Happy Holidays.

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