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Please Mr. President-no more free and better stuff!

January 15, 2015

In the midst of what at least some people consider to be a fairly significant uptick in the threat posed by worldwide jihadist extremist attacks, the President is in full campaign mode…again.

Since he can’t run for the office he occupies again, this latest campaign is about free stuff, a PR tour in advance of the State of the Union speech.

Free college, free time off from work, free internet and who knows what else.

As reported today, the President wants Congress to pass a law requiring American businesses to offer five days of paid sick leave a year. Given the results of last year’s midterms, it isn’t likely to happen. The only purpose is to give Democrats in 2016 a chance to say that those old, fat, rich GOP meanies hate American workers.

Still, it’s another carrot for the voters whose primary focus is on the free stuff.

Of course there is no such thing as free anything. To get on the money train, somebody has to pay the fare. When that fare is charged to American businesses, we all pay the freight.

Pundits love to toss around huge numbers that the average person simply can’t absorb. GDP, the national debt, the waste in government, on and on and on.

Frankly my dear, America doesn’t give a damn.

What most of us care about is happening not on the world stage but in our kitchens, living rooms  and closets.

For a look at the real cost of free, you need to look no farther than your latest grocery receipt.

Let’s take a look at one of those costs that the government says are not really necessary to track;  the cost of food.

Looking at two same-store weekly ads from a major national grocery chain, one from August 1, 2009 and one from January 14th, 2015 these are figures we can all understand.

Item and price – 2009                                                 2015 price 

Extra Large eggs/doz           $ .99/doz                        $2.29/doz

Hamburger 2 lb package       1.89 lb                            4.99/lb

Milk 2%                               1.87/gal                          3.69/gal

75W incandescent bulbs        1.99/4-pack                    6.99 (4-pk eco-friendly bulbs)

Sliced bacon – House brand  2.69/lb                            4.99/lb

Fresh Chicken breast             2.49/lb                            3.79

Petite sirloin steak                  2.29/lb                            4.99

Forget the so-called less-than-2% government propaganda inflation rate. This is the real-world impact of free and better.

In the case of the light bulbs, the 2009 bulbs are those awful, climate destroying incandescent bulbs. In 2015, those are no longer available. Oh yes, and they used to be made in the USA, now they are made in Indonesia. I’m sure the workers of that country thank us.

This is not war on the President’s favorite target, the 1%. It’s a war on us, the remaining 99%.

All this free and better stuff might not be costing the President anything, but it is sure costing us.

No business can absorb costs without factoring them into selling prices.

The more regulations there are, the more free education, or healthcare insurance or anything else free or better the administration gives some of us, the less the rest of us can afford his largesse.

Reminder to Washington, DC. You can exist only so long as we can afford you, and your life expectancy is shrinking in direct proportion to our spendable income.

Please Mr. President, don’t give us anything else. We can’t afford it, and neither can you.

From → op-ed

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