Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Be The Oracle

by Janice Lindegard

Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher, but I just can’t let ignorance go unchecked. Recently, a rant about the Pledge of Allegiance has been making the Facebook rounds, claiming that children are not allowed to say the Pledge. Well, that is just not true. In fact, most of the court cases that involve the Pledge were brought to protect a child’s right NOT to say it.

I hear “nearly half of Americans didn’t pay income tax.” That’s because many of those people don’t have enough money to tax. Others, mostly middle class families (defined as a family of four living on $50,000) used their legal deductions, available to everyone, and tax credits available to the unemployed, to lower their liability. They still paid into Medicare and Social Security.

One of my favorites is “Medicare is free.” Do these people look at their pay stubs? My husband paid into Medicare for nearly 50 years, but our insurance bill increased when he went on Medicare this year. How is that free?

Frequently when I counter ignorance with fact, I hear, “Well, you know more about it than I do.” Good. Then, they start turning to me for my take on the issues. Better. Often, they change their minds. Best.

Too many Americans are too uninformed about the issues. Get informed. Speak up. Be your community’s oracle.

Janice Lindegard is a writer and educator living in Naperville and the editor of this blog.

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