What’s in it for Me?

If I hear one more person say that about the stimulus package I am going to scream.

Main Street was mad the government bailed out Wall Street. Then the Auto Industry came to the table begging for their piece of the pie. So then other businesses wanted to know what they were going to get. And now Obama puts money out there to help struggling homeowners. The chorus turns into, ” I spent my money well, bought a house within my means, saved my money…why should my tax dollars bail out someone who bought more than they could afford?”.  So the irresponsible get bailed out and I get nothing? That’s not fair!

Oh, the whining. Make it stop, make it stop!!

I am one of the people who got lucky and bought at the very beginning of the property bubble. We spent way less than the bank was willing to lend us. We live well within our means, and even have some savings. So, what do I think about my hard earned tax dollars going to help irresponsible borrowers? I say “help them, oh please help them!”

And why do I say that, when I won’t benefit from the tax break, or the housing help, or the Wall Street bailout? Because I realize that what helps my country helps me. What helps my neighbor helps me. And maybe I won’t be eligible to saddle up to the trough and take some of the bounty, but that’s a good thing.  If there weren’t people like me there would be no one to help those in trouble.  And I would really like to help those in trouble.

Sometimes doing the right thing means doing the hardest thing.   

We so often forget that living in a society means benefits and sacrifices.  I send many of my tax dollars to things that do not benefit me directly, but do so indirectly by helping society as a whole.  The more stable my society, the smoother my life will run. I understand this and accept this, because it is better than fending for myself.

So everyone just needs to quit their bitching.  If you want to make sure the money is spent well, lean on your representatives and don’t let them play fast and loose with the money.  Is the stimulus going to go to the right people?  Hopefully.  Of course people will work the system.  But for that reason we shouldn’t help those that are truly in need?  You just have to inhale and believe that everyone is (for the most part) doing the best they know how in a time that has no real parallel.  

And think of the people that will not have to move from their homes or pull their children from their schools.  Focus on those people, the people who deserve the help the most.  And remember that one day you may need a neighbor to make a sacrifice.  Would you want to hear them say “What’s in it for me?”

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