Monday, March 7, 2016

Trust Deficit: How Credit Cards Bankrupted Rubio

Danville, Kentucky -- The 1960s were a simpler time. No instant replay, no internet, no international free trade agreements. Cash was the currency of the land. Every now and then somebody would write you a check, but during my time working on an oil rig in North Dakota, we were consistently paid in cold, hard, physical dollar bills.

The strenuous nature of the job demanded that us oil-men be rewarded with cash. We knew what we were getting ourselves into when we signed up to work on a rig. It meant 16 hour days on the rig. It meant waking up at 4 AM to get to the drill-site bright and early. It meant long nights at the bar trying to numb the pain of burnt skin with whiskey and gin. It meant living in a ghost town, populated only by other lonely oil-men trying to make a living before boom-time became bust-time.

As I laid awake at night in my log cabin near the drill-site, I would often wonder if any amount of money could make the risks we took worthwhile. It was dangerous work. The toxic fumes billowing from the core of the Earth would sear and sting your lungs like a cigar from Hell. Some men fell 50 feet or more to an untimely end. Sometimes there were unsightly accidents with the drilling machinery, with gruesome results.

For me, the promise of a cash payment was worth putting my safety on the line. It was a tangible reward for the hard work that I put in. The feel of a crisp dollar bill on my black tarry fingers was a grim reminder of what I had done to earn this salary.

Kids these days will never know that feeling -- the feeling of a cash reward after a hard day's work. The advent of credit cards ruined it all. Millennials trade Bitcoins and use Venmo and Paypal, rendering cash obsolete. The physical, at-your-finger-tips nature of cash induced a sense of restraint and responsibility in young Americans. Credit cards encourage frivolous spending by making money seem out-of-sight and out-of-mind.

The best part about cash was that it was all yours. You were free to pocket it, spend it, or stick it under the mattress. Thanks to credit cards, you don't even really own your own money. You have to put your money in a bank that puts your money on a card. Folks, banks can go under like in '08, taking your savings with them. That's why I only deposit my money into a pillowcase.

Thanks to credit cards, some crook in Portugal can steal your identity to buy hundreds of dollars worth of potatoes and fish. Credit cards and digital payments have made wasting money easier and more convenient than ever before, but they've made us all vulnerable to cyber-crime and prevented generations of Americans from appreciating the value of tangible, crisp cash.

Credit cards ruined America. Credit cards ruined Marco Rubio. While Speaker of the House in Florida's legislature, Marco racked up a 6-figure tab on a credit card issued by the Florida Republican Party. We can only guess what Marco spent those hundreds of thousands of dollars on: extramarital affairs, wild nights at Miami strip-clubs, Dolphins tickets, secret trips to visit his comrades in Cuba, or a cocaine habit. What we do know is that the moment Rubio accepted this credit card from his GOP establishment sugar daddies was the moment that Rubio became a puppet. In exchange for going on shopping sprees with his sugar daddy's credit card, Marco would be a Manchurian candidate, beholden to his corporate masters.

Americans are faced with truly difficult choices this November. Nearly every candidate has a fatal flaw. Hillary emailed on the job. Bernie is a socialist. Ted's a Canadian. Donald is an Anchor Baby who bought into the myth that college is a worthwhile investment. Add Marco to the list. His use of credit cards disqualifies him from the office of Presidency.

Working on an oil rig wasn't just about the money. It was about a sense of independence. Working on an oil rig was about proving that if a man was willing to get his hands dirty, he could make a living in this country. By using the GOP establishment's credit card, Rubio sold his independence to corporations and became a financial dependent. Like my ex-wife at IKEA, Marco has been swipe-happy at the American people's expense. Marco has overdrafted from the credit card of our faith, spending his way to trust deficit. It's time to close the account.