There’s a child’s story called “The Giving Tree.” The basic plot of it is this:
For those of you who haven’t read THE GIVING TREE since you were kids, here’s the story. When the boy is little, he plays in and around the tree all the time, and they’re very happy together. Then the boy gets older and asks the tree to give him some money, so the tree gives him her apples to sell at the market, and this makes her very happy. Then the boy grows up and wants a house, so the tree lets him cut off her branches to make one, and again, she is happy. Then the boy wants to sail far away, so the tree lets him chop down her trunk and make it into a boat. When the boy finally, finally returns to her, he’s an old man. The tree apologizes that she has nothing left to give him (and politely does not mention that this is because he has TAKEN IT ALL.) The old man says he’s tired and that all he wants is a place to rest, so the she lets him sit on her stump. AND THE TREE IS VERY HAPPY. (The full text is here if you’d like to see the madness for yourself.)
I’m sure the “tree is very happy” to be a shadow of its former self and only good for an old man to plop his ass down on it. Not. This young boy grows into a greedy bastard, plain and simple. He took everything and left nothing for anyone else aside from an old stump. No future children, his or anyone else’s, would be able to benefit from the tree’s shade or apples or branches to swing upon. He kept taking and taking until there was nothing else to take, never giving back anything of substance.
America has always been a generous nation, a “Giving Tree” unto itself.
What we saw on Tuesday was a majority of America’s voters turning into the selfish little boy constantly demanding more and more free stuff. How much longer until America is nothing but a stump?
After a long discussion yesterday morning, my wife and I decided to use the money that we are now spending on items we donate weekly to the local food pantry and on the Untrim-A-Tree Christmas gifts and instead send it to the St. Jude’s Children’s hospital for cancer research. A majority of America has spoken that they want the government to keep giving them free stuff paid for by our tax dollars. We are simply no longer going to supplement that in any way, shape or form and would rather give it to kids who we know are truly in need.
Our taxes are already paying for the 47 million Americans on food stamps, so why should we spend extra money to help stock food pantries? Our taxes are already paying for people to get so-called “Obamaphones” — some of whom are now getting 4G LTE phones that even my wife and I do not have yet. At one school in Prince William County last year, teachers pooled money together to buy a bike for a needy student for Christmas through their “Giving Tree” program. When that student’s parent showed up to pick up the bike, she drove up in a BMW that is more expensive than the cars that either my wife or I drive. Her child was with her, he hopped out of the car, grabbed the bike and rode home on it. That was no Christmas gift and there was no expression of appreciation or gratitude from either the child or the parent. Why should we continue to buy Christmas gifts for children whose parents’ own priorities are so out of whack?
Being a parent is about sacrificing your own desires to help better things for your children. If that means owning a less expensive car so you can properly feed and clothe your child, then that is what you should do. If that means you don’t buy something that is a luxury so you can instead provide a necessity, then that is what you need to do.
I would much rather redirect our charitable contributions to helping children suffering from rare forms of cancer than making sure some kid on Christmas morning has a new Disney Princess doll to go with the rest of her collection. Let’s not forget how poverty is defined in America.
Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:
● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.
● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.
● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.
● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.
Even 0.6% of people the government says are living in poverty have a jacuzzi while 18% have a big screen TV.
I’m done with it. Spend my mandated tax money on what you want, but as of right now our discretionary charitable contributions will no longer go to supplement anyone’s “free stuff.”