Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sacrifice or whining or fraud

I was just thinking about some of the things I heard on the news. Are we becoming desensitized to the true meaning of certain words? Are they overused for the sake of shock and awe? I was just wondering. Sacrifice for example. Just what does sacrifice mean nowadays? Way back in history virgins were sacrificed to appease some sort of deity. That's not done so often anymore is it? A few years back on September 11th hundreds of people sacrificed their own safety to save others. Every day soldiers, police and firefighters are sacrificing so much with little or no fan fare. Fathers and mothers are working untold hours for minimum wages with little or no health coverage, following the loss of their regular, well paying jobs and sacrificing their own wants and needs to help their kids achieve a better life. We read from time to time about one person sacrificing one of their own kidneys to save someone else who's kidneys aren't working. That's always been my definition of real sacrifice. In these times of financial difficulty for most of us, when it's hard enough to pay our bills let alone the ever increasing taxes and fees to local, state and Federal government agencies, there is much talk of the "sacrifice" of those people being paid from the very taxes we are struggling to pay. Such as: Receiving a reduced cost of living increase in pay. Having to pay 10 or 20% of their health coverage. Having to buy some of their own supplies. Getting fewer days off when they work less than nine and a half months a year in the first place. Some people who are able in every way to support themselves physically ands mentally are forced to sacrifice their lifelong dependency on tax supported programs by having to work for pay. I realize I may not totally understand the concept surrounding the difficulties endured through these individual "sacrifices" here but still, I'm just wondering if we may, just may be using the word sacrifice improperly sometimes.

Another, somewhat related, tax supported thing I was wondering about was our child tax credits. That is a credit a wage earner receives for having kids and earning less than a specified amount. In some families it amounts to several thousands of dollars. 4, 5 or 6 thousand or more. Wage earners who are working in the United States illegally, have no social security numbers and are not authorized in any way to work in the United States can use what the IRS calls an "individual taxpayer identification" number to receive that tax credit of thousands of dollars, often fraudulently. Amounting to around 4.2 billion dollars a year in our tax strapped economy with 14.5 trillion dollars of debt. Senator Orrin Hatch wants to examine a put an end to those refunds to illegal workers. I don't understand all the workings of government or have the golden key to solve all our financial problems but I think that if we paid 10 million dollars to a group of investigators with the authority to stop fraud and misappropriation of our tax monies in all branches of government we could save billions and billions of dollars, perhaps a trillion in a year or two. That'd be a good investment I think. But the people that did it certainly wouldn't be making any new friends doing it. No, I don't think they would.

Meanwhile, I will do my best not to overuse the word sacrifice or take any fraudulent tax credits or spend money taken from overworked tax payers. If we don't all start doing that there will be no one left working to pay the taxes for all those poor people who sacrifice so much. How does that old saying go?: "Will the last one out please turn off the lights?"

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