Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bailouts, bailouts everywhere

A guest post by (the artist formerly known as) TikunOlam

Everywhere I look someone is getting bailed out. Whether it is people at shul on reduced membership dues, the folks who get tuition assistance at the day schools (even when it is the grandparents footing the bills) or the big companies giving out bonuses to their top employees from government bail out money, everyone seems to be getting a handout.

You see, all of these years, my husband and I have been fiscally responsible. We did not get a risky mortgage on a house that we couldn’t afford. We don't have credit card debt. We stopped at two kids to ensure that we could pay for their tuition, orthodontic bills and shabbos shoes. When we first moved into our current home and we were tight on money and our heating system broke down and our water heater’s life came to an end, we made it work by putting off getting rid of the disgusting old carpeting and managed without buying furniture for the living room and dining room until we could afford to.

No one bailed me out. I didn’t expect anyone to. And now, years later, with relatively successful careers and a number of years of being able to afford two cars and family vacations, we are cutting down on expenses just in case next year’s income goes down. We are making sure that next year our children’s tuition will be paid and we won’t need a bailout from anyone in order to keep our house.

You see, I think that I am starting to understand Republicans. I am finding my once generous do-gooder self getting tired of watching as shul membership dues go up, tuition for my children goes up, real estate taxes go up, in part, so people like me can help the folks who “need” bailouts. Why am I paying increased tuition so the children from the family of 6 with the stay-at-home mom can go to private school? Like I would not have wanted to be a stay-at-home mom with the luxury of having as many children as my heart desired?

I am tired of feeling punished for being responsible. It almost makes me want to go back in time and buy that new crib for my kids instead of taking the hand-me-down one, hire the nurse when my children were born so I could get some desperately needed sleep, buy the house with the fireplace and Jacuzzi tub instead of the modest home with the 500 year old kitchen. Why should I be the sucker? Why not let someone else just bail me out?

Think I will do an experiment. I am going to go out today and buy a pair of those ugly, overpriced “Uggs” and maybe one of those awesome iPod Touch things and see if I can get someone else to pay for them. Let you know how it goes.

Celebrate Passover 2009 with
Magnificent Passover Gift Baskets from Oh Nuts.

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