Thank You President Obama for Freeing Me

Bruce Bialosky

2/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Bruce Bialosky

Hi, I’m Dave.

Until recently I was a full-time employee and had a very good job. In fact most years we were so busy I worked some long hours and received some significant bonuses from my employer. But now I have been freed from having to spend so much time supporting my family. Because of some great new policies from our government, I am now working part-time and spending more time with my family.

It has been an adjustment. When I told my wife the exciting news that I would spending more time at home, initially she wasn’t delighted. She sure seemed like she did not want me around.She asked how we were going to put the money away for the kids’ college educations. I was a little surprised she was not more focused on the time we could spend together, working on our relationship. She seemed like she thought having me at work was more beneficial for us. Then I told her about all the neat government programs that would help the kids pay for college. Plus, I am confident we will grow closer as we have more quality time together. I did point out we may have less money to spend, but sharing time was what life was all about.

The kids were really excited to hear about me being around a lot more. Kinda. Madison asked if I really was not going to work. When I told her it would give us more time to get to know each other, she said “Dad, get real. I’m like really busy with school and my friends.Maybe soon.”And then she stared at her phone and said she was having a conversation with a friend. Buddy Boy was a lot more receptive. I told him I could now learn how to play those video games and we could play together. He said, “Hey, don’t you think it would be geekish for me to be playing video games with my old man?” When I told him no, he turned and closed the door to his room.I am sure once he warms up to the idea we will have a blast together.

I went on HealthCare.gov and found out that my income is now going to be lower so I qualify for some really big subsidies. As long as I don’t go back to working full-time, the government will pay for over half of my family’s health insurance. All I have to do is just keep my work at the current reduced level and we will have some great coverage.I can even pick up some work on the side (if you know what I mean) and not have it affect my ability to have the government pay for most all our health insurance. Once I figured it out, we are really better off with me working less and staying home more.

Then with my new free time I found a speech that Mrs. Obama gave to college students.She told them “Don’t leave money on the table. ”This was regarding getting student aid that she told them did not have to be paid back.Pondering that I thought why not me?So I applied for Food Stamps -- thankfully now called SNAP -- and it makes me feel so much better. I was really surprised to find out that at my new income level that we qualify as a family.

The nice people at the SNAP office told me there are other state and federal programs I qualify for to help underwrite my new reduced income.For example, they will help pay for my utilities. While I was so busy working I never realized there were so many programs to help people. I have researched it and found there are over 100 programs to help pay for me.How stupid I feel working hard all these years when I could have been home and the government would pay for all these things.

As I begin my new less demanding life, I am really just beginning to explore the universe I am now part of each day. Who knew I could work so little and still get all this stuff from the government? President Obama, thank you for freeing me from the burden of having to work so hard to support my family.Now I just have to get my family used to having me around. And find something to do with my time.

I’m Dave, and I love this new America.