Amazingly, to me at least, nothing much has been made of the following words uttered by Barack Obama at a recent press conference:
“And I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds
that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student
It’s clever, perhaps too clever by half, for Obama to talk about the hundreds of thousands of dollars he, as opposed to the rest of us, don’t need. Of course there is no evidence that the president has tried personally to help college kids in need of more money in grants or student loans.
Obviously, Obama is implying that, as a presidential role model, the rest of us ought to follow his example and think about the money we spend on stuff we don’t “need” and then declare we are giving up these unneeded luxuries and “donating” in the form of higher taxes the money we paid for them to some needy college kids.
So here’s my list of things I really don’t “need”: my premium cable tv movie package, my HD DVR that allows me to watch programs whenever I want and to avoid commercials, my iphone and ipad without which I survived for more than 60 years, central air conditioning (I survived my childhood with nothing more than electric fans, so obviously I don’t need AC), 2 automobiles (I grew up in a one car family and we got along fine), vacations (Again, my parents never took vacations, although they did send me to overnight camp which I really didn’t “need” either), a relatively large house which, since my kids are grown, is more than my wife and I really “need.”
I am sure that the above list of things I “don’t need” just scratches the surface. What about the money that I have already “wasted” which could have gone to needy folks? I could have sent my son to a relatively cheap state university rather than the expensive Ivy League institution he attended and I could have donated the difference to yet another needy child.
Of course people who don’t own private jets feel very comfortable proclaiming that those who do don’t “need” them. But these people ought to ask themselves where such proclamations end.
Most of the stuff we possess we really don’t need. We acquire these possessions because we enjoy them or because they make our lives easier.
But we currently have a president who feels free to lecture us about “unneeded money” that could be better spent on the “needy.”
It’s time for us all to start thinking about all the things we don’t need and are willing to give up to help the less fortunate.
Really though, what we need is none of Obama’s business. His business is what the government needs to meet its obligations. It is his business to present a budget (He did recently, but it was voted down in the Democratically controlled Senate 97 to 0). Then it is Congress’s business to pass a budget, and money bills need to originate in the House of Representatives, the members of which are kept on a very short leash by the voters who must pay the taxes.
So Obama and his wealthy supporters should do the following: write a personal check to needy people they know and stop lecturing others about their alleged selfishness.