Is THAT What I Ordered?

On the left: what I ordered, from the website. On the right: what Pam received.

For Pam’s 50th birthday today, I decided to send her some flowers. So I got on the Lopshire Flowers website, picked out a nice basket, and had it sent.

When Pam received it, she sent me a thank you along with a photo. A photo which I then compared to the photo on the website of what I thought I had ordered. Looks like they at least used the same flowers. Just not very many of them.

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Haircuts and the Invisible Man


Whenever the gals at work get a haircut, everyone notices. It gets commented on, evaluated, oohed and aahed. The haircut, no matter how drastic, is given more than ample attention.

The men receive no such treatment. It is a double standard which society has yet to address honestly.

I got a haircut after work tonight. As you can see from the before-and-after self-photos above, there is a significant difference. How can you not notice the drastic change in my appearance? But tomorrow, nobody will mention it. My haircut will go totally unnoticed.

Once again, my feelings will be severely hurt. Yes it hurts, I’m not ashamed to admit. What do I have to do–get a buzz? Color my hair red? Add blue streaks?

I just want to be acknowledged, to have my existence validated. To hear someone say, “Oh, you got a haircut. Looks nice.” Yet tomorrow, I will no doubt spend the day in my office, putting up a brave front but silently crying out for recognition…and receiving none.

It’s not easy being a guy.

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The Joy of a Supportive Spouse

Some years ago, I knew a young Christian woman who had opportunities to sing in various church-related settings in a couple different states. Not once did her husband accompany her. He could have, but he didn’t. Not once. That really really bothered me. Still does.

As a kid, my parents always tried to attend when I was doing something in public–high school tennis matches and basketball games, playing the piano for the school choir, performances at church. That always meant a lot to me. At tennis matches, my parents were often the only parents watching. It made me a little bit sad for my teammates.

Pam and I enjoy being part of each other’s professional worlds. When I speak in churches or conduct seminars at conferences, she is always there. I appreciate that. She takes vacation time to travel to my professional conferences and seminars, and I do the same for her.

I know all about Pam’s work environment and coworkers, and I’ve tried to learn enough about accounting to be conversant in her world. Likewise, Pam takes an interest in my world of work. I always appreciate Pam’s ready support, and her desire to be part of things that are important to me.

Everyone likes having the support of the persons closest to them.

Which brings me to Mitt Romney. I hope I’m not being unfair, but I’m genuinely bothered by something.

I’m a big fan of Ann Romney. She’s pretty, funny, engaging, articulate, and obviously just a very good person. Plus, she suffers from multiple sclerosis, and seems to have the best of it. Mitt is a straight-laced, goody-two-shoes, every-hair-in-place kind of guy. But Ann strikes me as a worthy counter-balance, the person in the family apt to keep things light, and maybe even a bit earthy at times (as she proved in that “unzipped” Baltimore radio interview). I’m guessing she’s a delightfully ornery person. She’s got that look about her.

Ann Romney also has a hobby which, this week, has taken her to the Olympics. She’s part owner of a horse which made the Olympic team in dressage–a silly sport, in my view, but a recognized sport nonetheless. She is now at the pinnacle of this sport, on the world stage, representing her country. This is a big deal for Ann Romney.

But Mitt is nowhere near. Rather, he’s in Nevada attending campaign events and fundraisers.

Fact is, Mitt Romney doesn’t want to be associated with his wife’s sport. He has tried to distance himself from dressage, to portray himself as totally uninterested in it. His campaign advisors apparently feel–with some justification–that being identified with a rich person’s sport could damage his carefully groomed image and cost him some votes. So he has given in. Ann must go it alone. His needs trump hers.

In an interview with NBC, Mitt Romney downplayed his interest in and knowledge of dressage. “It’s a big, exciting experience for my wife. I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it. I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well. But just the honor of being here and representing our country and seeing the other Olympians is…something which I’m sure the people that are associated with this are looking forward to.”

The people associated with this. Meaning: not me. I don’t have anything to do with it.

You won’t even be watching? Your wife’s horse is competing for an Olympic medal. As you say, it’s a big, exciting experience for your wife. But you, basically, don’t know anything about it? That’s part of her life, and heaven forbid that her interests intrude upon your time? Is that what you’re saying, Mitt?

Am I the only person bothered by this?

I’m sure he’ll say there were “scheduling conflicts” which couldn’t be resolved. But he could have adjusted his schedule. We all know that.

He could have told his campaign advisors, “I know we’ll take some hits over dressage. But doggoneit, this is my wife. This sport is very important to her, and I’m going to be there with her to share in this once-in-a-lifetime event. She has stood besides me throughout my career, so I’m gonna do the same for her.”

I would have respected that.

Ann Romney has been the model business and political wife. She has raised his children and kept his home(s) while he was out making a fortune, running off to save the Olympics, campaigning for governor, creating a state healthcare system, and for the past eight years running for president. She has no doubt put her own desires on hold so she could support her husband in his various pursuits.

Now, when something very important to her comes along, she must once again take the back seat. His presidential ambitions come first. If there is a slight chance, according to hypersensitive campaign advisors, that standing beside Ann while her horse represents America in the Olympics might hurt his presidential bid, those concerns take precedence.

And so, Ann Romney is at the Olympics without her husband, her soul-mate. He is not there to share in the excitement–in her excitement. Because he very publicly doesn’t want to be connected with this thing she’s passionate about.

Maybe they’ve come to some kind of understanding. I don’t know. Running for president is certainly an extraordinary life circumstance. But I’m guessing that, all things considered, Ann Romney would much prefer that her husband was there to share this experience.

This in no way disqualifies Mitt Romney from being president. It doesn’t affect his ability to lead and fix the country. But as a man and a husband…well, fair or unfair, it bothers me.

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Is This How We Reach the World for Christ?

Rachel Held Evans, a must-read blogger for me, wrote today (Aug 2), “Is this what following Jesus is supposed to be about? Eating a chicken sandwich to prove a point? Is this what mobilizes the people of God? Suddenly, my religion is alien to me–small, petty, reactive.”

I’ve read a surprisingly large number of blog posts, Facebook posts, and comments from conservative Christians who are very uneasy with yesterday’s Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day protest. Not opposed to it, necessarily, but they don’t feel it’s the right approach. One friend wrote to me, “Buying lunch there today in order to thumb my nose at the very people I want to ‘Love-to-Jesus’ just doesn’t seem to make much sense.” In many cases, these writers have gay friends and know that this is coming across to them in non-helpful ways. As the late Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, THEN to be understood.” I fear that the people standing in those long lines gave little thought to how they were coming across.

We need to be strategic and thoughtful about how we go forth with the Gospel. But there was nothing evangelistically strategic about Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. It didn’t start with churches or religious leaders, but with a TV political talkshow host, for goodness sakes. (Which was the greater motivation: supporting Chick-Fil-A, or supporting Mike Huckabee?) Political pundits are not concerned about spreading the gospel and influencing people for Christ. They just want to create a crowd and demonstrate their own influence. So let us NOT take our cues from TV talking heads. Christians are to be the Church, not merely a jump-on-command TV audience.

Not that the multitudes who flocked to Chick-Fil-A had ill-intentions. And there were no doubt a variety of motivations,including nonChristians who oppose gay marriage or were merely supporting free speech. Anecdotes make it sound almost like a revival, a memorable experience where Christians came together over shared convictions. So, good for that. But they were mostly flocking to support a view in an “I’m right and you’re wrong” public controversy. And people on the other side mostly saw judgementalism and condemnation. The gay community is hyper-sensitive to anything they can construe as judgementalism from Christians, just as Christians are hyper-sensitive to anything they can declare to be religious persecution.

Anyway, these comments I’ve read from thoughtful Christians, who refuse to be knee-jerk reactive, are encouraging to me. We need to think deeply about our activism and how it comes across to a nonChristian world, and not merely be puppets for people with secular agendas. People’s souls are at stake. Let’s not risk alienating people we want to reach for Christ merely so we can make a political statement.

Unfortunately, this flap has gotten way out of hand. I fear that it is doing little more than further alienating gays from the church, and making our real work as Christians–of spreading the gospel–a whole lot more difficult. Yes, political points were scored. But it will not increase the population of heaven.

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Eat More Chicken: the Cows are Getting Their Wish

I imagine this is an all-hands-on-deck day at Chick-Fil-A. It is, after all, a relatively impromptu Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. I’ve always respected the company (like their refusal to open on Sunday), and I’ve always loved their food. Pam and I often eat there on the way to music practice on Thursday nights.

Years ago, while traveling across the country from Indiana to Arizona to spend the Christmas holidays with my family, I saw a billboard for a Chick-Fil-A restaurant. I was ready to eat, and Chick-Fil-A sounded great. My mouth was watering. So I pulled off at the appropriate exit, went into the mall…and it was Sunday. Chick-Fil-A was closed. I was SO disappointed.

I’m glad Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy has the backbone to take a public stand on biblical principles. And to take what is, from a business standpoint, a politically incorrect stand. I’m not in total agreement with his statements, and I’m definitely not in agreement with some of the organizations Chick-Fil-A supports. I don’t think taking a public stand like this against homosexuals is going to win anybody to the Lord (just push people away, more likely). But hey, the world’s a better place with Christians who hold strong convictions, and it’s certainly a better place with those delicious chicken nuggets.

Now, Dan Cathy is not suffering religious persecution, as some people hysterically claim. He is merely suffering from disagreement. That happens when you are a prominent person and take a public stand. People disagree with you, perhaps vehemently. But in a pluralistic society, disagreeing with a Christian stand does not constitute religious persecution. It’s just a matter of passionate disagreement. (We are WAY too quick to cry “Religious persecution!” in America; we really don’t understand the concept.)

If Dan Cathy had stated a preference for Ford cars over Chrysler, it would have made Chrysler owners mad, and they would have criticized him. But that doesn’t mean they would be persecuting Ford owners. Or that Cathy was bigoted against Chrysler. So people–chill out, okay?

Is this controversy good for Chick-Fil-A?

I suspect that, from a marketing standpoint, the company would rather be known as a restaurant chain with great food, rather than as a right-wing restaurant chain. They’ve always been up-front about their Christian values, but never in an in-your-face kind of way. More a matter of living their values, rather than of flaunting them. But now, they’ll be known in some people’s eyes as a right-wing company.

But it’ll blow over. Remember those Christian boycotts of Disney back in the 1990s, because they were extending benefits to the gay partners of employees (seems like that’s what it was about, anyway)? My denomination endorsed the boycott, and since we never rescinded anything, I assume the boycott still stands. But nobody knows about it. I’m sure United Brethren people spend thousands of dollars every year on Disney movies, theme parks, and products.

We Americans have a short attention span. We follow whatever pundits tell us to follow at that moment, and when they move on, so do we. This controversy will have a short shelf life. Chick-Fil-A will have a big spike in sales today, and continuing for a few weeks. But then things will return to normal, and people who just like their food–conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike, and people of all faiths–will patronize their local Chick-Fil-A without thinking any political thoughts.

So if you want to get all worked up about this, and if you want to post somebody else’s graphics on Facebook, go right ahead. Knock yourself out. Give Chick-Fil-A this moment in the sun. Couldn’t happen to a better company.

For the moment, biblical values are getting lots of play in the media. But considering all of the vitriol associated with it, and the nastiness being flung around by people on all sides of the issue, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. It’s sad how quickly Christians can be incited to raw incivility, if not full-blown hatefulness. I suspect that this bothers Cathy, and that in the future, he will not be so vocal.

(Perry Noble, a megachurch pastor with an edge, a solid evangelical who knows how to talk straight, wrote an excellent blog post about the controversy: “Ben & Jerry’s, Chick-Fil-A, and Political Correctness.”)

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Was Peter Just a “Dumb Fisherman”?

What was the Apostle Peter like? The narrative I learned in Sunday school was that he was just a “dumb fisherman.” The image I absorbed was of a burly, manual-labor kind of guy, but not all that smart. If God can use a dumb fisherman, then he can use anybody. That’s the lesson we learned from Peter.

But was Peter really dumb?

I don’t think so. In fact, I think he was quite smart and articulate. He could still be impulsive (cutting off the guy’s ear) and misguided (wanting to build tabernacles at the Transfiguration) and cowardly (denying Christ). But I don’t think Jesus selected a dummy.

In reading Peter’s speech on Pentecost Sunday, I see a guy with a very good command of Old Testament scripture, who could put together a strong argument for Christ on the spur of the moment, and who could command a crowd’s attention. Of course, in Sunday school we were led to believe that this “dumb fisherman” pretty much just opened his mouth and out came this speech, compliments of the Holy Spirit. But while I won’t downplay the Holy Spirit’s role, I don’t think Peter was just a wind-up doll.

As I read other stories about Peter in Acts–at Solomon’s Colonnade (chapter 3), before the Sanhedrin (chapter 4), with Cornelius (chapter 10)–I see a smart man. He had a firm command of Scripture, able to quote relevant Scripture off the top of his head. And he was convincing as he spoke about Christ being the Son of God.

In Acts 10, Peter had a vision which involved extending salvation to the Gentiles. This was a fundamental, earth-shaking concept. Chapter 11 finds him in Jerusalem defending the idea in front of, no doubt, some very smart, educated people. But he held his own, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, they accepted this revolutionary idea. I’m sure Peter had to defend it in many other settings, too. Jews would not easily extend their “chosen people” identity to Gentiles.

Plus, he wrote two very good epistles, the first of which quotes Old Testament scripture rather extensively. He knew his stuff.

So no, I don’t think Peter was a “dumb fisherman,” any more than I think Jesus was just a “dumb carpenter.” I think Peter was a very smart fisherman.

I think of my Grandpa Welker. Just a “dumb farmer”? Not at all. Though he never went to college, Grandpa was one of the smartest guys I’ve ever known. He could talk to anybody about anything. Grandpa’s oldest son, my Uncle Marvin, is another very smart guy. You have to be smart to succeed in farming today. It’s a complicated business. Uncle Marvin never went to college, and I’m guessing that as a kid he hated school and wasn’t a very good student. But if you’re looking for native intelligence, Grandpa and Uncle Marvin have it.

In Jesus’ day, a college education wasn’t exactly common, and there wasn’t much need for book learnin’. It was a farming and fishing society, with lots of manual labor. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t smart people.

I think Peter was a smart and articulate guy, with a good dose of personal charisma thrown in, a natural leader. And that’s partly why Jesus picked him.

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Thank You, Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey, author of the megaseller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” died today (July 16, 2012). He was an extraordinary person.

I read the book soon after it came out. It remains one of the best books I’ve ever read. Here are the seven habits:

1. Be proactive. Take the initiative in life, and take responsibility for your choices. Control your environment, rather than let it control you.

2. Begin with the end in mind. Know what you want to accomplish.

3. Put first things first. Do what is most important, not what is most urgent.

4. Think win-win. Look for solutions that benefit everyone, rather than solutions that have a distinct winner and loser.

5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Listen to the other person’s viewpoint; understand where they are coming from before stating your view.

6. Synergize. Let the strengths of various people combine to achieve something better than any one person could have accomplished. He calls it “creative cooperation.”

7. Sharpen the saw. Balance and renew yourself–mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually.

Those are all good principles. But the one I’ve found most enduring in my own life is Number 5, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” I can be reactionary, responding quickly to something I don’t like. But Covey presents a much better path. A path I’ve tried to follow for over 20 years.

Stephen Covey

Largely as a result of learning this principle, I tend to assume the best about people, giving people the benefit of the doubt until I learn otherwise. For example, when I hear of decisions by local government that seem questionable, I step back and remind myself of these things:

  1. Smart, competent people were involved in making these decisions (I give them the benefit of the doubt in being smart and competent).
  2. Whatever objections I have, these people have already thought of and discussed at length.
  3. I don’t have all the facts. They do.
  4. Don’t criticize until you understand the facts.
  5. Even then, ask yourself, “Is it really necessary to criticize? What’s to be gained from that?”
  6. Remember: If I were in their shoes, I would want people to trust my judgment.

I take the same approach at work toward decisions made in local churches or at the denominational level.  And I take that attitude toward decisions made in my own church, Anchor. We have smart people with good intentions. They weighed all the pros and cons before acting. While their decision may not set right with me, I need to understand all the facts before criticizing them. In the meantime, I give them the benefit of the doubt–I don’t understand why they did what they did, but I assume it was the right thing. (Unless there’s a past pattern of poor judgment on their part. Example: Congress.)

And I take the same approach in my marriage. When Pam says something that strikes me as wrong, or when she proposes an idea that initally sounds like a bad idea, I try not to respond immediately. Instead, my first reaction is to give her the benefit of the doubt. I’ve trained myself to take a breath and remind myself:

  1. Pam is very, very smart.
  2. Pam mentioned it because she thought it was a good idea. She doesn’t suggest stupid things.
  3. Pam has been thinking about this for a while. I just now heard it for the first time.
  4. The idea probably has merit. I just need to understand it the way Pam does.

Then, rather than respond negatively or in a knee-jerk way, I ask questions or make comments to discuss and learn more. If it is, indeed, a bad idea, she’ll realize it without me needing to tell her.

At least, that’s how I WANT to respond to Pam. I don’t always. Pam will tell you that. I can be a jerk of the knee-jerk variety.

I do not, unfortunately, take the same approach on Facebook. On Facebook, I remain far too reactionary. So I’ve still got plenty to work on.

But regardless–thank you, Mr. Covey, for being one of those rare writers who have made a lasting impact on my life.

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Why Does Mitt Romney Deny His Past?

I really don’t care if Mitt Romney remained involved with Bain Capital after heading off to save the 2002 Winter Olympics (which is what he did–he commendably rescued a sinking ship). If he had the capacity to deal successfully with the Olympics, while at the same time keeping his hand in a very successful company–good for him. A President needs to be able to multitask, to give quality attention to several (or many) things at the same time. So good for him.

But why is he denying that this was the case? That puzzles me.

There is so much evidence and documentation of his continued involvement at Bain after “leaving” in 1999. Steve Kornacki put it all together in a Salon article. Including:

  • Romney was listed on SEC documents as Bain’s president, CEO, chairman, and sole shareholder for years after 1999.
  • In 1999, the Boston Herald reported that in taking the Olympics position, Romney would “stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions.”
  • In July 1999, a Bain press release identified Romney as CEO, and said he was taking a “part-time leave of absence.”
  • In a November 2000 interview, Ann Romney said her husband remained involved with Bain.
  • Marc Wolpow of Bain told the Boston Globe in 2002 that he reported directly to Romney while he was in Utah directing the Olympics.

Other reports show that Romney apparently earned at least $100,000 salary as a Bain executive in 2001 and 2002, though he says now that he had left the company.

Why is Romney denying his past? Why can’t he just come out and say, “Yep, I was doing both things at once. I was focused on the Olympics, but I still carried some influence at Bain and was involved in some decision-making there. What’s the problem with that?”

He should be proud of his work at Bain, just as he should be proud of his work as Republican governor of a predominantly-Democrat state, and of his role in instituting universal healthcare in Massachusetts. Yet he keeps rewriting his much-documented past.

I disagreed with John McCain on key policy issues, but I always felt he was honest about his past, the good and the bad. I trusted John McCain; I just didn’t vote for him. I’d like to be able to trust Mitt Romney, but he’s making it very hard, and I don’t know why.

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Can’t We Just, You Know, TALK?

On the July 15 edition of “Meet the Press,” I saw something which I thought was all but dead: two partisan operatives being objective about, and negative toward, their own candidates. Republican strategist Mike Murphy criticized something Mitt Romney was doing, and Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen responded by giving a simliar criticism of how Barack Obama was falling short.

It was so refreshing!

This is something we’ve lost in our polarized culture: the ability to have an objective conversation. That “Meet the Press” exchange was not a conversation–a TV show isn’t built for that–but it showed me that Rosen and Murphy were capable of stepping back from their partisan roles and engaging in a real conversation.

I long for a conversation in which people can freely argue both for and against a particular candidate. I can give you pluses and minuses for Barack Obama, and pluses and minuses for Mitt Romney. I’d love to have a conversation with someone who can put aside partisan preferences and just talk freely, without thinking he must convert me…or I him.

I’d love to feel free to voice my many criticisms of Barack Obama, and to hear my Republican friends respond with their reservations about Mitt Romney. Just talk, and see where it ends up.

You just don’t see that anymore. Instead, people argue tooth and nail in favor of their prefered candidate, and will not accept any criticism of their candidate (or will dismiss it or rationalize it away). I’m at fault, I admit. When people take nothing but an anti-Obama position, then I’m goaded into responding in kind. I seldom affirm pro-Romney or anti-Obama statements, so I’m as guilty as the next person. Guided largely by my assumption (right or wrong) that the other person has no interest in a conversation, I default to argument mode. And I hate that.

I would love to have an actual conversation. A conversation where someone makes a point in favor of Mitt Romney, and I can say, “You’re absolutely right.” And the person then says, “But on the other hand…”, and then gives a criticism of Romney. And I can respond, “I disagree. Here’s how I would defend Romney.” A conversation without dividing lines.

Because nearly everyone I know is a Republican, I’m normally cast in the position, at least out of fairness, of defending Obama. Of defending him against someone who will not admit the slightest shred of good in anything Obama has done. There can be no conversation with such people, and that disturbs me.

I just want to talk. Not argue. I’m tired of arguing.

Can’t we just talk openly, honestly, about politics? Can’t we try to follow Stephen Covey’s principle, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”?

The fate of our country does not hinge on whether you vote for Obama or Romney, or whether I vote for Obama or Romney. So ferociously trying to win every political argument is silly. The fate of our country, more likely, hinges on our ability to engage in civil dialogue with people who disagree with us, and to honestly seek to understand the merits of opposing viewpoints.

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My Severely Stupid Attitude Toward Taxes

I’ve got this crazy personal philosophy which both Democrats and Republicans dislike. At least, I don’t hear anyone in the political world, of any persuasion, advancing my notions. Which means I must be ignorant, misinformed, out in left field, naive, or some combination of all of the above.

Actually, I possess all of those things in heaping quantities. Yet, I will open my mouth and disgorge my stupidity. Here’s what I believe.

I believe that if you buy something, you pay for it. One of those personal responsibility things. When my parents buy a car, they don’t wait 20 years and then give me the bill.

My crazy notion is this: each generation should pay for what it buys. A “pay as you go” deal. My generation, collectively, through the people we have elected, has racked up trillions of dollars in debt. We “bought” that debt through our want-it-now greed, fiscal lack of discipline, bloated bureaucracies, multitudinous ear-marks and governmental services, and sundry stupid decisions. So we should pay for it.

We bought it, we pay for it. We broke it, we pay for it. Kind of the same thing.

Not pass it on to future generations (the “kick the can down the road” thing). Which is what everyone in Congress and the Administration is proposing with their “raise such and such amount of money over the next 20 years” thinking.

So I oppose tax cuts (on the basis of what would seem to be conservative principles, but apparently aren’t). Which means I disagree with continuing the Bush tax cuts. I agree with the President about ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. I disagree with the President about continuing the Bush tax cuts for people like me, making less than $250,000. We should (brace yourself) basically garnish the waves of my generation to pay for our extravagance. We should not give the bill to the next generation.

The only way my generation can pay for my generation’s bills is by taking it out of our hides. The economy will never grow enough to pay for our high living. Spending cuts alone will never suffice.

Democrats, of course, will object, “I didn’t vote for George Bush and his wars and unfunded drug plan, so don’t make me pay for it.” And Republicans will say, “I didn’t vote for Obama and his healthcare plan and bailouts, so don’t make me pay for that.”

But like I said–we’re in this together. “We the People” got us into this mess. So “We the People” of my generation need to cough up the money.

I know, I know. It won’t work on oh so many levels.

Economists say increasing taxes in a time of recession would seriously hurt the economy. The “fix” is to give people more money to spend–to buy more products, so companies hire more people to produce more products, giving more and more people more money to spend. I get it. “Spending” is the solution to a poor economy, according to The Smart People.

I also realize that if we extracted $15 trillion in taxes from We the People, most of Us the People would need to declare bankruptcy. Because that’s a whole insurmountably gargantuan bunch of money. So I’m a terribly naive and unrealistic idealist. I get it.

Or, by advocating tax increases, maybe I don’t get it. Proof of my don’t-get-it-ness is that nobody, absolutely nobody advocates what I’m suggesting.

But I still say: each generation should pay its own bills.

Is that so unreasonable?

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