What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day10... Dear Mr. President

Day 10
Dear Mr. President,

Today is Saturday, a sad day, but a happy one as well. We will be driving 3 hours to Santa Cruz, CA to say goodbye to my brother Charlie. Sad because we know this is the final time we will get together for him, but happy because we will be celebrating the life of a wonderful, loving and caring man. I mention the 3 hours because with the price of gas these days, being retired and on a fixed income, we are much more mindful of where we go and just how much we need to spend on gas.

Unfortunately, several people that were very close to Charlie, and even some family members will not be able to attend because of the cost of gas. I just heard from a friend of Charlie’s  that lives about 10 hours away, but was planning to come regardless of the costs. But, as so often happens, circumstances beyond his control will prevent him from attending. He lost his beloved dog last week and that cost $800, his plumbing has backed up, so he will need to get a plumber… and who knows what that will cost. He too is on a fixed income.

The point is… ordinary people are stretched so thin, and have sacrificed so much already, that when even one thing goes wrong and they are forced to pay for the unanticipated expenses that always seem to crop up at the wrong time… then they are unable to do the things they want desperately to do… like attend a memorial service for a loved one.

This is just one more example of the daily struggles, and decisions ordinary people must make just to keep their heads above water. There are millions of stories across the country playing out every day, just like this one.

But, I’ll tell you who doesn’t worry about these kinds of things… the 11 million households that make between 1 and 30 million dollars every year. I won’t even count the billionaires. Using my rough calculations… that leaves over 300 million people that struggle every single day of their lives. Of those 300 million, 44 million live in poverty, so for them it isn’t even about struggle… it’s about survival.

Is this the America we want? Is this how America takes care of it’s people? Do the rich really need more tax breaks? The answer to that Mr. President is a resounding “NO” from 72% of Americans. So no more being “Mr. Nice Guy”… it’s time everyone pays their fair share, it’s time to tell the GOP we’re not going to cut anymore from ordinary citizens, it’s time for the “rich” to pay their share as well.

There is a small part of me that is happy that Charlie is gone… his struggles are over, he doesn’t have to worry about a job, or not being able to take care of Kari, or being able to pay his rent, or if he’ll need to go to the emergency room for health care because he’s uninsured. We’ll all miss Charlie, but we’re happy that his struggles have come to an end.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
The Gadfly Granny

1 comment:

  1. Marcia, this was a beautiful, passionate, and poignant letter to our President... May your brother rest in peace knowing you are speaking on his behalf....and for all who have been disenfranchised by the eight years of Bush.