Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Poetry Month, Day 2

I made several attempts this morning to write a little something about my annual exasperation with April in Maine ("spring," but without warmth, growth, or other indicators), but everything just kept coming out whiny.

So I moved on to listening to the Senate hearings. I have never listened to Senate hearings before, or any other hearings for that matter. I found them fascinating and terrifically educational (in particular on the topic of how senators, generals, and ambassadors speak to one another under one very specific set of circumstances, but also when it comes to the various disagreements as to what we oughtta be doing and/or not doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan).

The most interesting and, probably, useful, part of using the hearings as the soundtrack for my day about town, which included four short trips in the car over the course of the day, was the content whiplash that ensued as I switched back and forth from my everyday life to the hearings. In my days, I think about things like helping with triangle similarity, lower back pain, possible bike routes through town, the benefits of raw milk, and whether or not I'll ever earn and save enough money to buy a house. They're thinking and talking about how to pay back the gargantuan debt we're accumulating with our current actions, whether the living and governing conditions are actually improving in Iraq or not, and whether or not we have enough troops (with enough rest) to continue with the war and the rest of what fighting a war entails. Humbling, to say the least.

So. Back to it. I should warn you, though, I've also had Social Security on my mind lately. It's not that I pay more SS than anyone else, it's just that I don't ever get to forget about it because four times a year, I make the calculation and see just exactly how much of my money goes to paying benefits to current retirees that, under the current system, won't be there when I'm ready to retire. Maybe it's the perceived entitlement to "getting it back" that I should work on. I could just think of it as a generous contribution to the elderly. I have to say, though, that at this point I'm more inclined to find a way to give the money directly to my dad (retiree who works full time to pay his mortgage and health insurance) so that he can make improvements on the house that I'll eventually inherit.

But I wasn't going to talk about that. Yet.

1 comment:

Jonathan B. said...

Well, you're right that you probably won't see much, if any, of that SS money you're putting in. But if it makes you feel any better, some of the money you are paying into the system, as a young struggling first-time business owner, is going to fund the retirement of my millionaire grandparents. They say thanks. As do I. I'd be temped to question the wisdom of it all, but apparently social security was invented by progressives, and you can't argue with progress, can you? No, you can't.