Smokes, or schools?

Monday, April 28, 2008

I consider myself as somewhat of a normal proud American Citizen...define "normal" though huh?

But it seems as of late that the pride that I should be feeling has dwindled due to the lack of concern for certain issues that we are now faced with. How does one condone a state government that chooses to ban personal practices and not stand up for failing school systems?

I have a hard time understanding why our state has spent as much time and money as they have on banning cigarette smoking in local establishments - while schools are having to pull classes like music and agricultural studies, and educators are being forced to retire early so that school budgets can be cut. Where are the priorities?

If Governor Culver is under the impression that taking taking away smoking rights is an asset to the state, time to wake up! Bars and restaurants are going to suffer because if a dedicated smoker can't smoke while enjoying a beverage, they may not patronize the local businesses at all.

Did he not just raise cigarette taxes? So our state is losing revenue also. Where is that money going to come from? Oh let me rethink that one. Gasoline tax. Now that really has my goat. For those that commute to make a living, how sad is it that one is forced to rethink their spending habits just to get the pay check that goes to buying fuel to make a living. People are already having to choose gasoline or food, food or medical costs, medical costs or utilities, utilities or the mortgage. And where does educational costs fit into a smaller than usual family budget?

My feathers are just as ruffled with the feds, too . Where is the logic when it comes to sending billions of our hard earned money to other countries that basically sit with their hands out, yet offer little to the working Americans who support it all. I find it very odd that with the cost of living soaring to recession levels, that our elected officials do not take the time to remedy our very own financial situations.

Where will the economy be when my grandchildren reach adulthood? Families are struggling as it is. Food, gas, heating, education are becoming daunting. Are my grandchildren going to stand in a ration line to attempt to buy the essentials for their families?

Who will fix what is broken? We as citizens try to speak up, but are knocked right back down and treated as imbeciles when it comes to issues that effect our very livelihoods. If our governments are looking for the people's votes, then why is it so hard for them to figure out our needs and priorities? Are we not the wealthiest nation in the world? Are we not to care for those legal citizens that break their backs trying to attain the "American Dream"? Or perhaps those that are deemed illegal have it right. Come to America, do not work for what you have, and if you do send that money out of the country, apply for all that is free, break all laws and in the end when one does get caught, scream, "DISCRIMINATION!"

In the end my allegiance remains but my skepticism also stays put.

* Trudy Schroeder is a Pilot alum who writes a weekly column for our readers.