Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Not My Deficit

The other day, someone commented on how his paycheck was littler now. I expressed my sympathy.

Then he went on to tell me that he was a state employee and that Scott Walker's budget plan had kicked in and was affecting his paycheck now. He said, "I don't see why it's up to me to fix a deficit I didn't create."


So when the economy was tanking, and Gary got a pay cut and this man got a pay raise, he wasn't helping create the deficit? When we pay hundreds of dollars each month for our health insurance, and this guy paid nothing, he wasn't helping create the deficit? When we have no pension plan, but we are paying for his pension plan (and he's not), he didn't help create the budget deficit?


Sure, sure, I know the man wasn't the one voting for these perqs for himself and other state employees. I know that if I were in his shoes, I'd be taking the paycheck and benefits and not giving them back, just because people in the private sector were being paid less. I know that it's hard to have your paycheck cut, even if you're still being paid generously, because after all, it's less generously than you were paid last month, and that's not fun.

But still... he didn't help create the deficit?

I think we've all helped create the deficit. Pell Grants for our college kids. Social Security for the senior citizens. Libraries. Government subsidies for the arts. PBS. Tax money going to help build ball parks. WIC. Public schools. Medicare. I think even the most libertarian, small-government folks among us have helped create the deficit, even those of us who've been voting and lobbying against government expenditures.

But, c'mon, the guy who is upset that he is now having to spend HALF as much on his health insurance as I am? Sorry, bud -- whatever sympathy I had for your smaller paycheck is now gone.

1 comment:

  1. No sympathy here for him, either. We've been paying for our own health insurance since 1995. These days that means a $10K deductible....ugh.

    And yes, everyone helped create the deficit and now we all need to accept that it must be dealt with.....