Saturday, October 19, 2013

Giving away my money

I pay taxes. And what does the government do with that money? Well, among other things, they give it to other nations. Recently I mentioned the aid to Pakistani students in the form of scholarships (even though, despite paying taxes, my kids are not offered any scholarships by the government, and I have to pay for my own kids' college as well as helping out with Pakistani students' college). And, now, the US is quietly releasing $1.6B in Pakistan assistance.

Washington, while claiming to "grow the economy and create jobs," is also giving our tax money to foreign businesses, such as spending a large chunk of the money to develop the new healthcare exchange on a contract to a Canadian software firm, instead of hiring an American company to do the work. I'm not sure how that works to grow the American economy and create jobs for Americans (which, personally, I don't think should be Washington's responsibility; they should be focused on preserving our liberties and freedoms and creating an environment where the American people take care of the economy and job creation).

But it gets better: the US is not only using our tax money, it's borrowing in order to give money to other nations. In fact, they just added $328 billion to our debt figure (now that they can borrow again).

So, where does that put us? Why, when we're unable to even pay our current interest without borrowing more, are we sending billions of dollars overseas? Don't get me wrong, I do support assisting those in need. But I don't think that's the government's responsibility, particularly when we can't even pay our own bills. Should I, as an individual, borrow twice my yearly income in order to give to the poor? I think I should be offering aid to the needy based on what I have, not on what I haven't. Without first getting my own affairs in order, I shouldn't be trying to aid others, as I risk putting the whole system out of balance and adding to the problem when I go bankrupt and become needy myself. But I also think it shouldn't be the government's position to offer assistance, especially from a deficit. People should do that, whether individually or by forming groups and coalitions. Forced charity isn't really charity, is it?

I also am facing "forced charity" in the form of a $600+ per month increase in my health insurance under the "affordable" care act. And the promise of Obama that "if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan" doesn't seem to jive with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama saying, "due to new requirements of the affordable care act, your current health plan can no longer be offered after December 31, 2013." I don't know about you, but I don't happen to have a spare $600 per month sitting around in my paycheck. Yeah, every month.

On a completely different subject, the keyboard in Google jelly bean isn't too smart sometimes. For instance, it typed ragout instead of really, and fire instead of for. And when it gets the word wrong and you go back, it bases the available options on the word it selected, not on likely alternatives based on the location of letters on the keyboard. And often the word you meant to slide type isn't one of the options (which, "options" is a tough one to get right), such as when it puts "pet" when I want "per" - per usually isn't one of the available options. I like the built in slide type feature, but it falls short of Swype or Swift Key.

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