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October 11, 2012

Free Big Bird

Patricia A. Kelly

Poor guy. Can you imagine being on welfare for decades when you are fully capable of caring for yourself, and even earning a decent living? Even worse, can you imagine having people suggest you need welfare when you are fully self supporting?


In truth, Big Bird is making quite a decent living. His image is everywhere, from television to story books to toys, and now to political advertising. I hope he is getting royalties from the Obama campaign.


This brings up a serious question, which hardly bears considering. Is Big Bird committing welfare fraud? As a leader and role model for America’s youth, that would be a tragedy. Could it be that one of the most watched and loved creatures – and television shows – in America, is not paying for itself?


I don’t think so. I think there’s plenty of money in Sesame Street. Maybe Big Bird, Oscar and Kermit are subsidizing some of the other shows on PBS. If that’s so, they should be ashamed, both of trickery, and of making us listen to the money-raising “telethons.” Anyone can donate to PBS if they wish; but it’s not okay to borrow the money for it from China, nor is it okay to ruin the reputation of a perfectly capable, self supporting bird.


I’m sure Jim Lehrer can make enough to get by on, too.


In reality, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need starts with things like food, a roof, and safety, not self actualization; and not the arts. These things are hugely important, but should not be supported with borrowed money. If you know people who purchase theater tickets with credit cards they can’t afford to pay for, then, slap their hands and tell them to use the money for peanut butter and bread.


It’s one thing to be a rich country with extra money, and support the arts, or plant 30-foot-tall trees instead of small ones. It’s quite another to buy anything but necessities when American infrastructure is collapsing; and we’re talking about shrinking the military and cutting programs that people, required by the government that pilfered it, have already paid for directly from their paychecks.


Enough already!


Times are tough. We need to take care of our needs. We need to free people up to keep as much as possible of their salary. We need to work on energy self sufficiency, not beginning with throwing away $90,000,000,000 on untested green energy start-ups, but in harvesting the fuels we have, while moving in the direction of sustainability as soon as we can.


We need to re-build our government into a lean one that doesn’t waste our money on social experiments. We need to free up our teachers to teach children who are willing to learn, not decide that we should pay them more because they have to babysit children who are out of control. School is for learning. Daycare is for babysitting, and it doesn’t cost as much as school. We need to create a lean, not wasteful, military that is ready to defend us, and to thwart attacks by its very existence.


The complete lack of common sense that exists in our liberal government today makes me shake my head in wonder. How could anyone think this way? People go to work, and help their neighbors all the time.


Here in Frederick alone, there are charities from the Community Foundation, to the Patty Pollatos Fund, to Christmas Cash for Kids, to the Religious Coalition, with enormous generosity on the part of our population to those in need. Don’t you really think we do a better job than a far away federal government would? Don’t you think we might even give a little more if our tax burden were less?


Back to poor Big Bird, how do you think he feels? He knows he’s tall and smart and kind. He knows that he can and does make it on his own. He must be so humiliated.


Send a dollar to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign today, and earmark it to the “Save Big Bird Fund.” Every dollar will help to save this poor creature from a life on the dole. He’ll thank you, and so, in the end, will the American people.


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