Bob Sweigert


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July 2, 2013
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Grasshopper Soup: Liberal giving sounds good to me

Most people know it is better to give than to receive. Feel free with your cash.

Our underground economy of gratuities gives freedom more meaning. Tipping makes freedom more than just an empty word. Tipping is good government policy. The government could use a few tips too, like how to be honest and transparent.

But government does promote helping the less fortunate, like churches do.

The government likes being churchy, and telling everyone that, if they believe in the government, and do what the government says, there won’t be any problems. The next day they say, “No, we didn’t mean that! We’ve given it some more thought but we can’t say what we really think.”

They will say they really didn’t say what you heard them say, and they didn’t even really say what they really said. To prove it, they give Congress, or the Senate, all the memos they want. But, before they turn over the documents, they black out all the words. It’s their convoluted idea of giving without expecting anything in return.

Get on board the giving train. While dining in Tahoe, tip your waiter or waitress $1,000, or $10,000, on a $200 dinner tab. They can claim a $100 tip and pocket the rest. You will feel good, like you are the government, especially if the waiters are all your friends.

The government wants lower income people to have more. No government worth its weight in gold would make it illegal for you to give so generously and freely, would it?

Keep track of the money you tip out to your waiter or waitress the best you can, or the money you give to street musicians, or those poor people asking for help at a busy intersection. If you lose track, just pick a five- or six-figure number and claim it on your income tax form as a charitable contribution. If the IRS questions you about it, tell them you agree wholeheartedly with the president about sharing the wealth.

When you give freely you save government lots of paper work, and make the lives of government bureaucrats easier. They will appreciate you paying your fair share and be happy for the reduced work load. Then they can take another ocean cruise, attend a conference in Aspen, and do trendy things like rope courses and line dancing, which are both really fun. They can pretend to be Star Trek characters and conquer the universe at warp speed. The government can always use your help conquering things.

Giving generously to waiters, waitresses, bus drivers, or people singing and playing music at the restaurant, or on the street, is good self-government. If you don’t have receipts, the IRS will understand. They lose receipts all the time.

But don’t criticize the government about anything. They have the final say on right and wrong, legal and illegal. It makes sense to them to raid Gibson about the kind of wood they use to make guitars, while allowing the New Black Panthers to carry lethal weapons in front of voting stations to intimidate people.

Where covert operations, spying and raiding businesses with guns drawn are concerned, government operatives are the go-to guys.

Oh, by the way, happy Independence Day. We could use another one.

I’ll give the government this much — if it requires citizens to prove they are insured, but doesn’t require them to prove they are citizens, it may as well insure the whole world.

Exercise your freedom to imitate the government by giving generously. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fundamentally transform America by making poor people rich. Stimulate Tahoe’s underground economy. Share your fortune with a poor stranger.

Socialists have been spreading the wealth since 1917. Maybe if every free enterprise capitalist, conservative and progressive gave more liberally, it will actually succeed.

Of course, chances are better that Tahoe Tessie will visit Commons Beach today.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 2, 2013 06:37PM Published Jul 2, 2013 12:56PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.