As if reading about the Baucus healthcare “reform” bill making it out of committee in the Senate wasn’t depressing enough for one day, I was paying my bills this evening, and made the mistake of reading the “newsletter” that the electricity company sends with the bill. Apparently, the state legislature passed a law requiring electricity companies to decrease consumption in their areas by 1% in the next year, and 3% in the next three years.

I ask you: how is the electricity company supposed to decrease consumption? Aren’t I the one doing the consuming? How can the government mandate a third party to change what I’m doing? Personally, I already try to keep my electricity consumption down, simply because I hate spending money unnecessarily. Now that I’m the one writing the checks, I’m a worse fanatic than my mother ever was for turning off every light except the one I’m using, and keeping the heat or air conditioning as low as possible (to tell you how crazy I am: I wear a jacket nearly all the time at home because it saves $50/month in the winter).

The newsletter went on to explain various programs that the company is enacting to reach this goal. Blah blah, very nice, not applicable to me, and wouldn’t make much difference to me if I were a bigger consumer. Then the punchline: these programs are going to be paid for by an extra charge on the bill. So despite the fact that I already use a minimal amount of electricity, and will not be using any of these programs to encourage decreased consumption, the state legislature just increased my electricity bill. Basically, in the name of saving the environment (which doesn’t need saving, and I’m not the one hurting it), they just took some more of my money; in addition to the property tax and income tax bills that arrived in the same mail, and the school taxes, and the gas taxes. . .

I can’t win. The harder I work, the more of my money the government wants. Even if I live frugally and try to conserve resources on my own, I still end up paying for the people who don’t. Seriously, folks, if Obamacare passes, I’m not going to waste money on getting my license once I finish residency. The amount of impending paperwork for decreasing monetary returns is soul-crushing. . . One of the residents is reading Atlas Shrugged, and was raving about it to me today. . . I think I would only get more depressed if I read it: the vision of an unattainable, unrealistic ideal of personal responsibility and freedom would be so far from the European-style socialist morass that our country is devolving into.