This entry will be about indignities and humiliations of aging. Specifically, about teeth. And also about America’s ridiculous system of taxation.
A little background. I suffer from progressive osteoarthritis and neuropathy. I’ve had two operations on my spine. I cannot stand, even with support to hold onto, for more than about 60 seconds. This makes brushing my teeth (as well as everything else!) very difficult.
I haven’t had my teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist for at least two years. Why? First, complications flowing from the totally politicized, irresponsible, death spreading policies of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis regarding the pandemic. Second, we have no dental insurance – so, the cost. Third, transportation. I have trouble standing (as I said), let alone walking or driving.
So my teeth are crumbling, breaking off, leaving the base and root to be surgically removed. Latest casualty lies in the right back of the upper row of my teeth. We had no trick-or-treaters tonight. (I miss the kiddos, but I like the idea that they’ll be enjoying Halloween in a safe environment.) Anyhow, we had purchased some candy just in case. I bit into a miniature white chocolate and cookie crumbs confection, and my tooth broke off at the gumline.
Good news? No pain, since apparently this tooth had had a root canal. (Though there is a bit of unpleasant throbbing going on back there, I admit.) Bad news? I’ll need to have what remains surgically excised, and I don’t have that many teeth left. Let alone money to pay for dental surgery when we have no insurance.
So it goes on the planet Tralfamadore.
BTW, why is it that Jeff Bezos paid income tax on just $83,000 in declared earned income, despite having had his total wealth increase by many billions of dollars during the pandemic – but the rest of us non-billionaires see no provision for dental insurance in our Medicare coverage? And why won’t Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema agree to make millionaires pay their fair share of taxes?
No point in mentioning the Republicans. They’ve become pretty much entirely a party of White-supremacist autocracy. (Black politicians who align with them – like Allen West of Texas or Joseph Ladapo of Florida – are beyond my comprehension. Come the GQP/MAGA revolution, they’ll be back to chopping cotton on the plantation.) The remaining Republicans, those with vestiges of the character like we used to see in people like Goldwater and Baker, retain only their absolute commitment to regressive principles of taxation—the wealthier you are, the less you pay in taxes.