Walk in my shoes
To the editor:
This country does, and always has, run on the shoe leather of the common man. The mechanic, truck driver, waitress etc. always have done the "heavy lifting" in our economy. We pay the lion's share of all the government hand-outs, bail-outs and help-outs, both the needed ones and the totally foolish and unnecessary. We do it all while trying to balance our own budgets, educate our children, and hope that we can manage to hold on to a little of what we earn for our future.
Most of us have little money in our savings or in our wallets, we live from paycheck to paycheck. We often have to choose between basic needs and the car or rent payment. Our children attend public education, and we buy our clothes at Wal-Mart, K-Mart or the local yard sale. Many of us do not have health insurance for our families so we rarely go to the doctor. If we are fortunate enough to have insurance, we have to scrape to afford the deductibles, co-payment and prescription medication.
Many Americans have to make tough decisions every day, they haven't taken a vacation in years, nor do they have hopes of being able to afford one in the foreseeable future.
Having said that, I would like to propose a new program for all the elected officials in Washington, D.C. It is called "Walk a mile in my shoes." It would be a 12-month program and all would be required to participate. Each elected official and their families would be required to return to their respective states to live for one year as a working man or woman as the case may be. They would be employed by their local county as a grounds keeper or maintenance worker. Their salary would be paid by the federal government at the rate of $40,000 annually. They could elect to receive this on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. If they should choose to ask their spouse to enter the work force, he or she would be paid at the rate of $12 an hour. They would be given nothing, and could take nothing except their clothing and personal effects. They then would be required to rent or purchase a home, educate and feed their families, pay for their own health care, transportation, etc. - all while earning a modest income.
I am convinced that most politicians are totally out of touch with the American people and especially the American working man. If they were forced to truly live the life of a working person for one year, they would return to Washington with a new perspective on what life in the real world is like for us - only ours doesn't end in 12 months or even 12 years.
This is how we live, survive day in and day out.
At any rate, I would like to invite the Washington politicians to "Walk a mile in our shoes."