Independence Day. Celebrated for the day our forefathers said “Enough is enough! We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.” When it gets right down to it, it was all about money. They were taxed like crazy, over the stupidest stuff. So they wrote a 1776 version of a blog and they all signed it. It didn’t end the war. That dragged on for another five years. But they made their point, and that’s what we celebrate today for.
Last week, six of our leaders said “Enough is enough!” and they went against the tide and made their stand. Ironically, it wasn’t because they were being taxed too much. It’s because we weren’t being taxed enough. Well, not all of us, but those whose wealth keeps increasing while the little guy gets the shaft in numerous other ways. Today I salute our state representatives who risked all to say no to a budget that was egregious in countless ways. Paul Baumbach, Andria Viola Bennett, John Kowalko, Sean Lynn, Sean Matthews, and Kim Williams. Thank you!
Our forefathers built the house that is America, but it needs constant maintenance and upgrades. That doesn’t come free. It has always been paid off the backs of our citizens. Nobody loves it. I’ve never heard anyone say “I love paying taxes”. But it is our duty as Americans. When there is no revenue coming in for one of the rooms in America, we need to take a look at it. The paint is starting to chip, a screen needs replaced in a window, the floor is stained…but we want to keep the room like that. The worst part: we know what’s coming next year. The ceiling has a hole in it, the window is cracking, and the bed is falling apart. Instead of fixing the smaller problems now, we are adding to them. We could fix the things that are broken now, and do smaller maintenance to fix the things that will be broken. Instead we not only move the room around and throw out some old paperwork, we pay for it with funds that were meant for the bathroom! The bathroom had a leaky pipe years ago, and it was a big mess. But it was decided to get the funds to fix it and allocate that money for the pipes. We used some of that money for our room. Not cool at all.
The pipes wound up being okay, but some of the rooms in the house were under attack from termites, so it was decided funds would go to that. We knew this had to be done, after all, we were on the cover of a magazine with the title “Termitetown, America”. We took the steps to help prevent further termite damage with some of the pipe funds, but at the last minute, the big dogs in our room made the moneygrab from the pipe funds, not to pay for the termite invasion, but to pay for posters on the wall in the room.
To add insult to injury, they kept buying nice things for the room, like letting some of the people that live there keep money even after they spent less. One would think this is okay, they used the funds wisely, why shouldn’t they keep it? It’s written in the rules of the house, and all of the other rooms have to abide by that rule. And they got to spend it on whatever they wanted, as long as it was for “house expenses”, which really, can mean anything. Instead of doing something meaningful with those funds, many of them paid for the problems they created with some neighbors when they wouldn’t treat them nice.
Out of the 41 people who help keep the room in order, nine of them voted no for the way they wanted to pay for it because they knew it was just making a bad situation exponentially worse. All of them could have made new house rules to make sure the room was not only looking good now, but in the future as well. But instead they put a little bit of spackle up and left a lot of holes. The Superior Six represented the part of the left side of the room owners who have a majority over the right. For them to go against their own side was considered a taboo thing. But next year, a vote is made to decide who keeps making the rules on both sides, and as the room falls apart, a lot of the voters are going to say “How did this happen?” And they will be reminded who made it so.
Independence made America what it is. It made us our own country. But it takes work, and money. There shouldn’t be such a wide gap between the haves and have nots, but there is. The problem in Delaware is we have a Governor who is more concerned with proficiency gaps than budget gaps. But the steps he’s taken to close those proficiency gaps cost a lot of money, and it is feared those gaps will widen further instead of closing. And I think that was intentional. We have a Department of Education built up, with great amounts of money, to create that illusion and continue it. All for the purpose of giving more funds to keep the charter schools going and create new ones.
As you celebrate your freedom today, and in the next year, remember the price for that. Know that your security is in jeopardy because the bulk of our legislators didn’t want to act. And when the wound gets infected, remember that on Election Day 2016 and fix it!