Freedom Feels So Good It Hurts

When the Republicans in the Senate voted against rescinding $2 billion worth of tax deductions for the oil industry, I was so happy I went out in the back alley and punched myself a couple of times.

Maybe the five largest oil conglomerates reported $35 billion in profits the first quarter and Exxon alone reported $11 billion in profits the second quarter, but so what? Three quarters of Americans may want to end the deductions, according to a Wall Street Journal poll, but Republicans, who promise the party stands up for the little guy, held tight to their position.

After beating myself up, I figured I deserved it for being a typical American. Why shouldn’t the oil companies continue to get huge tax write-offs? After $200 billion in profits, they need the extra $4 billion the U.S. gives them in write-offs every year. Taxpayers will pay for their deductions: We can just cut Social Security, Medicare, and education funding, plus food stamps for poor and starving, to make up the difference.

Oil conglomerates have a right to increase the cost of my gas to pay their CEOs more, and continue to buy up smaller oil companies so they don’t have any competition and can charge me even higher prices. That’s capitalism, the American way. Besides, these oil companies might hire somebody some day instead of increasing dividend checks to their wealthy stockholders. We don’t want to kill jobs.

Voting for the Republicans as we do, we deserve a good whacking. As a matter of fact, the more I think about how stupid I was for supporting this system, the more I want to make myself pay. I think I’ll go out and hit myself over the head with a brick, not once but twice.

As an American, I worship the freedom to pay higher prices at the gas pump so the CEOs at Standard and Exxon and British Petroleum can continue to rake in $1 million a hour in salaries and bonuses. America stands for free enterprise, the right for workers to compete in a dog-eat-dog downward spiral to see who will work for the lowest wage. It’s the American way!

These conglomerates have a right to make as much profit as they can. Where would we be without all the rich people that make America great? They could all move someplace else and we’d be left looking like some poor South American country.

I will always stand up for my right to be pushed around and intimidated. None of that liberal-elitist-socialistic thinking for me. If everyone isn’t armed, what happens to my right to be shot? Luckily, we now have more guns that people, so my chances of being shot increase, making me even more American.

No unions for me either. I won’t pay some official just so he can bargain to increase my paycheck. I’d rather compete with Wal-Mart and MacDonald’s on an equal footing, me bargaining for my wages and working conditions against them. For every dollar more I might make in wages, some poor investor might have to stop driving a Porsche or vacationing in Boca Raton. It’s not fair to me, so I think I’ll just go whack myself again.

Now the job-killing FDA wants drug companies to stop marketing drugs that do nothing and cost a fortune. Not fair! Genentech could lose $1 billion a year in revenue from selling Avastin just because a few thousand people died from its toxic side-effects. Regulation is never good; it undermines American profits. Just because owners lied and cheated is no reason to take Avastin off the market. It’s my right, as a consumer, to navigate, my way through 100 pages of 2-point small print to see if a drug will kill me. I don’t need a nanny government telling me what’s good for me.

Medicare? I say allow me to pay whatever health insurance companies want to charge me or I can go without. My Republican representatives want me to pay more for Medicare and get fewer services; that’s the way the system works. So what if 45,000 people die every year because they can’t afford medical care? I have a right to choose to go to the doctor or not, depending upon how much money I have; that’s my unfettered freedom. So what if my life is shortened by twenty years?

Education? Why should I have to pay for someone else’s education? I have mine; they can get their own. Let’s remember individual rights. I have a right to be as dumb as I want. Why should I worry about other people’s kid’s education? All this politically-correct thinking that I’m my brother keeper is boloney. I’m a good Christian and worry about my own soul. Just keep the state out of it. It’s me against the socialists, but thank God I have the Republican Party to protect me. As a matter of fact, I think I deserve another good whack!

Don Monkerud is an Aptos, California-based writer.



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