Do As I Say

I know I’m probably a douchebag for taking pleasure in seeing Utah’s U.S. Senators make fools of themselves. No, I’m not talking about Orrin Hatch’s singer/song-writer career. I refer to the junior senator from Utah, Mike Lee. Who? Yeah…that’s what I thought.

Mike Lee ousted incumbent Bob Bennett in the 2010 Tea Party wave that washed over Utah (and much of the country). A “Constitutional lawyer,” he headed to Washington with pretty much a single message: stop spending money we don’t have and pass a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. You see, Mike Lee believes that the federal government shouldn’t be allowed to spend on credit. In his opinion, if American families have to live within their means, then so should the government. Except…Lee doesn’t really believe that. Or, at least not when it’s his family we’re using as the standard bearer.

Yes, the same Mike Lee who insists the government live within its means and that the leeches of American society stop taking what’s not rightfully theirs recently was forced to disclose he sold his million dollar home in a short sale. Our distinguished Senator did not apparently properly plan for his significant drop in pay when he left private law practice to “serve the people,” and was forced to let his house go for a song. Although, it wasn’t Lee who suffered the loss; it was JP Morgan Chase that took the $400,000 hit. Lee walks away boo-hooing about his lost down payment, while the bank that took him at his word that he’d repay the loan takes the hit (please note the sarcasm and irony about the “poor” bank).

Lee, reluctantly speaking of the event, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “But you do what you have to do when income doesn’t match your outlays. You have to pare your outlays down.” Last time I checked, sticking someone else with a nearly half million dollar tab isn’t really “paring” things down. It isn’t the fact Lee and his family used a perfectly legal and sometimes unavoidable procedure to cancel their obligation. It’s that Lee regularly speaks out against living outside one’s means, planning for the future and being self-reliant. It’s that he looks down his nose at the people using food stamps, collecting welfare checks and relying on unemployment. It’s that he wants to restrict the federal government in such a way as to tie its hands behind its back, preventing it from reacting to ups and downs in the economy to offer relief to those who just need a way out…or a hold over until they can claw out on their own. Those are the things that piss me off about Lee’s hypocrisy.

And the next time he bitches about handouts and out-of-control spending, I hope someone at JP Morgan Chase picks up the phone and gives him a ring.

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Photo courtesy the reaction.