On the Side | Brad Hicks

It is vital that Americans begin to understand that they are being played, every day, by a political system that favors itself. Like a magician who keeps your eyes occupied while he’s doing something with his other hand, the political establishment, the bureaucracy, and the money-grubbing giant media ply us with emotional tales, demonization, and cartoonish characterizations in order to steal your trust and your money.

Never forget that during the Great Recession, when the nation was struggling, there was one place in this country where housing values increased – metro D.C.

Never forget that, during that time, when people were losing their homes due to the mortgage crisis, that the biggest culprits in the mess – the nation’s largest banks and housing agencies, who together worked to expand housing loans to people who were highly unqualified and creating risky loans – were bailed out with your money. Well, they were bailed out with money that was printed, and then assessed as a debt against the American people.

Never forget that while private sector jobs went away, and people became unemployed or under-employed, bailout funds were used to prop up federal government jobs and, on top of that, make sure that there were some pay increases.

So last week, when the big tax bill debate came to a head, and all the arguing congealed into one last series of press conferences from which came predictions of prosperity and doom alike, I tuned out.

Most folks around here will get a few more bucks from their paychecks once the new law goes into effect. I doubt many lives are going to be transformed. The transformation will come at the higher end of the income spectrum, from where most of the taxes are generated. More than anything, the tax bill encouraged people to argue about a few hundred dollars in their lives. Hopefully relationships among family members and friends didn’t suffer.

As 2018 dawns, I encourage everyone to consider who wins and loses in these political fights. This isn’t a Republican/Trump deal, or a Democratic/Obama deal. Once you enter that political argument, you are lost in the aforementioned maze of misinformation designed to keep you going in circles, watching the busy hands while the sleight one pinches you where it won’t hurt until later, when it’s too late to do anything about it.

These high-profile battles in D.C. are a Washington-versus-the-people battles – waged for the power to control how you work, spend, save, teach, etc. You are an after-thought, because there is money and power to be gained.

Hopefully this year, more people will realize they hold the cards, not the ones using sleight of hand to stack the deck. I’ll be happy to have some cynical company. 

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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