Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thanks for the shoes

There I was, driving my Dad to Walmart to pick up a new pair of glasses. Tooling down the road, minding my own business. Cruising at tree-top level - tall trees, not the stubby ones in stubby ones in the neighbor's yard mind you - was a military chopper.

"Odd," thought I.

You see, I tend to notice things out of the ordinary. A military helicopter without the camo or markings flying along Hwy 33 in West Bend, Wisconsin, sort of fits that bill. I watched it fly on as I turned left at the light. It was heading east, toward Saukville and Port Washington, keeping the roadway directly below it.

I didn't really think much about it at the time.

Well, except when I wondered to myself how much it costs to fly one of those bad boys with gas prices so high. Oh yeah, and when it occurred to me how ironic it was that when I lived in Nevada County, California, we used to joke about the crazies with their black helicopter stories and there actually were black helicopters flying around all the time - they were from the Air Force base down the road.

Anyway, it wasn't until later that I found out that the president was in the area.

Turns out that George W. Bush just had to have a pair of red, white and blue Allen Edmonds saddle shoes. Fine, he didn't actually need the red, white and blue ones - they just gave those to him - but he does wear their shoes and he took advantage of flying the petrol-sucking sky barge, Air Force One, out for a fundraising dinner to pick out a few pairs of shoes.

He also took some time to talk to the employees at the factory.

Good on you George - mingling with the minions for a spell. He told them all how great his tax breaks have been for the country's economy. Turns out he's not overspending nearly as much as he thought he would this year. That's great isn't it? He was on a bit of a schedule, so he couldn't spend too much time explaining just how it all works, but by golly it just does.

Funny thing that wasn't mentioned in his self-promoting stump speach - the fact that he was in town to raise money at a dinner that cost more per plate to sit at than the average American received as part of his ballyhooed tax bribes. 'That's right guys, that 300 bucks I gave y'all to keep the economy going wouldn't even get your coat checked at the dinner I'm off to, but thanks for the shoes.

The dinner was a $1000 per plate affair.

Even more funny - and by funny I mean not funny at all, but rather sick and out of touch with any moral compass - was the fact that for an additional $10,000, wealthy Wisconsinites could get a personal photo taken with the president.

That's one third of the average full-time factory worker's annual pay - a guy making about $15 an hour. Again, thanks for the shoes...too bad you can't afford to come to my little shindig. No doubt the company's owner was there though. His corporate welfare - er, tax incentive - was probably a bit more than the average 300 bucks.

A person working full time for $7 an hour would need about nine months to make enough for a snap with the man who is supposed to represent the people of this country. And that would mean not paying rent, buying gas, paying bills, or eating food that wasn't found in a dumpster - in short, it would be everything that person made in nine months of full-time work.

And the fundraising effort was for a member of the Republican House that seems to feel that raising the minimum wage would grind the economy to a halt.

And people say there's something wrong in Washington, D.C.


Laura said...

Georgie was in Chicago last week too - hizzoner da' mayor sang Happy Birthday to him. Daley dropped a few notches in my book that day.

And they try to say that politicians are not out of touch with average america. There's people in this country getting by (or not getting by as is most often the case) on LESS than it cost to have a photo taken with the Chimp in Chief.

kris said...

Good on you George - mingling with the minions for a spell.

This made my day.

Shawn said...

Kris - DId you take aliterally? So, no posties for awhile, huh? You know I love it when you wear posties.

Melissa said...

Wouldn't it be nice to not see this stuff? I just wonder at how blissfull the naivete must be.

Kate said...

WHY were you going to Wal-Mart?!?

tshsmom said...

Another FINE example of our tax dollars at work!! :(