From time to time, I think it is necessary to call out citizens of one state or another for their unstinting support of the underpaid and underappreciated state employees who labor day in and day out for their benefit.  Today, a big THANK YOU goes out to the citizens of California.

California is the nation’s most populous state, and is home to some of its biggest cities, and more than a few of its best professional football teams.  California has the best wineries, and has surpassed Wisconsin in dairy production. But heavy is the head that wears the crown, California is always looking over its shoulder. And that is why running the state of California requires the best and the brightest public employees. And what way to attract the best, brightest and most productive workers than promise them six figure pensions? Believe me, it is a bargain.

Even the small towns, like Vernon, population 112, present special challenges for the city officials there. The tax cut ingrates must think you can attract top-shelf meat packing plants and warehouses on a shoestring budget. Yet even with the expanded tax base provided by all the industry attracted to Vernon by the city management, they prudently avoided spending on simple amenities, like parks for the kids. I suppose the tax cut ingrates would oppose that anyway.

So a big thank you, citizens of California! Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler!

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The threat of bioterrorism is real. Every day, Americans from all walks of life live under the constant threat of contracting smallpox grown in the labs of tinpot dictators around the world, and smuggled in containers as small as a tube of toothpaste or an ounce bottle of 5 Hour Energy. That is why programs like the one to stockpile Smallpox Drugs are so vitally important to National Security.

As usual, the tax cut ingrates are out in force opposing this, questioning why we even need to protect ourselves from smallpox when there is a $3 per dose vaccine already stockpiled. Or pointing out that the new drug is still experimental and has never been tested in humans. In other words, they are questioning the work of the brave scientists of Siga Technologies Inc., and their intrepid senior shareholder, billionaire Ronald O. Perelman.

But for a mere $443 million put up by taxpayers, billionaires like Perleman wouldn’t think it worth their time or effort to risk their huge amounts of capital on companies like Siga Technologies, and that is why we had to bring out the big guns. Andy Stern, formerly of SEIU, joined the SIGA board of directors in 2010. At the price of $255 per dose for a life, Americans can rest easy about the threat of bioterrorism from smallpox.

So a big THANK YOU to American taxpayers for helping to make it financially safe for billionaires like Ronald Perleman to produce a smallpox drug. Plus it has the side benefits of protecting our dairy workers from contracting smallpox at the farm. But the tax cut ingrates refuse to see that. It is as if the greediest among us cannot acknowledge true sacrifice.

Sometimes when I’m driving on a public road, taking my kids to school, or when I pull over to let a fire engine race by on a mission to save a life,  I reflect on what a great country America is.   Even the greatest kings of yore didn’t have the services that we ordinary American citizens have.   If their castles were burning down, who would put the fire out?  Their kids were taught that expensive tutors who only knew about four elements and thought the world was flat.   And if they wanted to go to the market, their horse carts might get stuck in the mud.  And I don’t even want to mention the toilet facilities.   But at the price of only a few percent of our annual earnings, we ordinary Americans enjoy amenities beyond the dreams of the ruling monarchs of Europe of a few hundred years ago.

And yet, unbelievably, some ingrates out there hate paying taxes.  These people are just too stupid and stubborn to see the goodness and light brought about by their modest contributions to local, state and federal governments.  They must think that roads build themselves, that fires put themselves out, and that kids read their own books.  Indeed, they keep babbling about Solyndra, public employee pensions, or something.  But they’re really against mom, apple pie and the American way of life.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to be an antidote to these tax-decrying nabobs, and extend a hearty “Thank You” to all American taxpayers out there, whose many and varied contributions to government at all levels have truly made our modern standard of living possible.

December 2017
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