Saturday, January 12, 2013

Big Brother is Taking

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” 
 George Orwell, 1984

"Do you hate Obama yet?" asked the front office receptionist. She has just looked at her paycheck and was running the numbers on her calculator.

Always careful to avoid political talk at work, I replied, "I never really liked him. Why do you ask?"

"Well, wait until you see your paycheck today," this young, liberal-leaning woman said. "You'll hate him." Before I left the lobby, she had finished her calculations and announced that she was now taking home less money than when she started working at the company two years ago.

This tableau is one that no doubt played out in countless workplaces throughout the country in the past week or so. As the cold, hard truth of government spending and ineptitude run amok is revealed to all in the concrete form of reduced take-home pay, workers are waking up to the fact that they've been had. And they're not too happy about it, to say the least.

My paycheck is indeed lighter, but not only because of the expired withholding tax. The company's medical premiums have skyrocketed; thank you, "Obamacare." In 2013 I'll pay four times as much as I did last year for medical insurance in each 2-week pay period and ten times as much for dental coverage.

I don't blame my company or the insurance company for the increase; I blame the government.

I've been following all of this tax fuss rather closely, and so the element of surprise (or maybe shock?) was eliminated in my case. But I'm sure that, for many 20-something-year-old front office receptionists who thought President Obama was a superhero, the hard lessons of our overweening, progressive, "Big Brother" government are just beginning to sink in.

Perhaps young workers waking up to reality will be a good thing for our country's future. I certainly hope so. If we're to have a future, the younger generation needs to understand what's going on and vote accordingly.

The confiscatory fun is only beginning for Big Brother. Just wait until next year, when PPACA ("Obamacare") becomes fully effective. As I said to another coworker who stopped by my office to bemoan her take-home pay shortfall, soon work will be like a hobby. Just something to occupy our time, keep us off the streets and out of trouble--and oh, yes, as President Obama once famously said, "spread the wealth around."

Everyone else's wealth.