Friday, March 30, 2012

Fantasy Time

It’s Fantasy Time again.

No, this isn’t a posting about Fantasy Baseball teams. Nor is it a posting positing how Republicans will solve all our problems by easing taxes on the rich while reducing health care for women, children and minorities, and in general socking it to the disadvantaged (for a pithier description of the “cruel” plans of the GOP, as depicted in their new federal budget proposal adopted by House Republicans this week and endorsed by presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney, read today’s lead editorial in the NY Times:

No, this is a blog about dreams, of expectations waiting to be fulfilled, of freedom from want beyond one’s wildest imagination. All at a price of...$1.

You can’t win it, if you’re not in it. So I’ve got my Mega Millions ticket. I’ve got more than 640 million reasons why I should win the Mega Millions drawing tonight. Of course, so do millions of other wishful thinkers. It only takes $1 to walk away with a prize, as that man who recently won hundreds of millions in a lottery found out when he impulsively bought one ticket during a stop at a Long Island supermarket during a visit from out of state with his family. The machine picked his numbers. I let the machine pick mine as well.

I’m not piggish. I don’t need to win it all. I’d be more than happy to share the bounty with several winners. I just want enough to be “comfortable.” Naturally, one person’s perception of comfort differs from another’s. As I’m already retired, comfort for me won’t mean retiring from full-time work. Gilda, on the other hand, probably would, though I dare not speak for her. At the very least, she’d work fewer hours, take longer vacations. She’s always wanted a home by the water, so I could see us indulging her longtime dream. We’d set up trusts for our children and grandchildren. We’d set up charitable trusts. We’d work hard not to forget that being rich carries responsibilities.

Which brings me back to reality and a retraction from what I wrote four paragraphs ago. Republican politicians are engaged in fantasy thinking, believing as they do that trickle down economic theory works. They are to be chastised for their insensitivity, yet I can understand their adherence to their version of an entitlement society where the wealthy are the entitled. They just want to ensure their status quo.

What I cannot understand is how and why Americans who are purposely kept down by the Republican elite support them. There have been several articles recently on the thought process behind this phenomenon, but the rationale escapes my comprehension. What’s more, I cannot fathom how dumb the electorate is, that voters cannot remember it was Republican policies that got us into the economic mess we are in and the two disastrous wars we have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Republicans harp on the growing deficit, and voters don’t remember it was Republican foul-ups that swamped us in red ink.

In his response to President Obama’s last State of the Union speech, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Indiana) said the GOP believes in possibilities. “We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon to haves,” said Daniels. Tonight’s Mega Millions drawing offers one version of that road to have-dom.

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