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Boating: New boating fees are coming soon!

August 10, 2011
By boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

"Whew, that was close," said Erie Earl, as he hoisted a beer at the Nauti Turtle last weekend. He was speaking of the narrowly averted default by the U.S on the money we owe.

"It dragged out so long that Standard and Poor's still downgraded our credit rating from AAA to AA? We're in for some bad things coming our way," said Pittsville Phil. He'd long ago dropped the 'as you know I was on Wall Street' verification statement.

"I've heard the mega-yacht center in Fort Lauderdale may be doomed by the budget cuts. It is heavily subsidized by the government, because it is sure to bring jobs to the state," said 'Rye Bruce!'

"I don't understand why they need a mega-yacht center there when half the boatyard slash marinas are hurting," I wondered.

"You are against everything that helps Florida jobs," said Run-aground Ralph (RAR). "I can't figure you out? What is wrong with constructing a hundred million dollar mega-yacht center? You get construction jobs and shipwright jobs and bottom painter jobs."

"I didn't know liberals were against government spending," RAR's wife asked RAR.

"Did he tell you I was a liberal?" I asked the wife.

"You were for the Obama health care reform," RAR growled through his teeth.

"I was for reform. Who thinks medicine is perfect, Doctor Ralph? I was for the saving of Social Security and Medicare."

"See, I told you he was a liberal," said RAR, "and I'm not a doctor!" Some one murmured 'thank goodness.'

"I don't get this S&P downgrade? Sure it was a mess, a damned political sideshow, but they got it done," said Erie Earl.

"It ain't over," said Boston Bob, "the 12 Apostles have to find trillions of dollars to cut when they are forced to meet and implement the agreement."

"I thought you worked weekends at the airport? I hoped that we were rid of at least one liberal," said RAR.

"The airport work has dried up, for now. Not enough of you rich people traveling right now."

"Wasn't this S&P group the ones that rated Lehman Brothers 'A' the Friday before they filed for bankruptcy? Fox News reported that they overestimated the debt by two Trillion in their preliminary report, but even after they corrected it, they still lowered the rating," said Twin City Tom. He's normally very quiet unless he really has something to say.

"They could make up the deficit by raising fees on boats below forty feet and cutting the Coast Guard budget," I said. Only a handful of our group missed the joke. 'Teabagger George' dove right in. His diatribe was too much for the table next to us who complained to the waitress.

"Gettin' loud overhear, gotta hold it down," she cautioned.

"The tide is moving pretty good," said Erie Earl, "maybe the Dolphins will show up." 'Teabagger George' continued to mutter as he pretended to look for Dolphins, '...nobody's raising my taxes....take my guns.'

"Dolphins are on the other side of the pass," said Boston Bob. "Oh, they must be liberal Dolphins trying to stay away from the right side of the pass," said RAR jokingly.

That set off 'Teabagger George' again. We suggested he go home and watch his Ti-Vo-ed Teabagger TV.

"Do you still want to turn Medicare into some local second-class clinic system," asked Boston Bob (BB). "I don't want to force our senior citizens to take whatever doctor they can get, stand in line for care and not get the best and newest medicines."

"You don't want to be driving for an airport car service so your son can live in Manhattan and work at Starbucks, either," I said. BB said his son got a decent paying job in Manhattan. "Don't quit your job, Bob, there is another dip coming. To retort your 'don't wants' you liberals are as bad as the Tea Party because you want to wait until Medicare is plucked cleaner than a goose before you to act. Not so different than the Tea Party who want to privatize it to death!"

"You're just hung up on the VA," said RAR. I admitted I think the VA would be a very good template for the reformed Medicare system but I acknowledged it would take the cooperation of the medical community and a change to the 'fee for service' system.

"That proves my point, he's a closet liberal who wants to socialize medicine. We'd all be paying through the nose if the VA took over Medicare," said RAR.

"Senator John McCain said that if all of the veterans over 65 were forced to join the VA, it would save the country billions. What you don't like about the VA is your kids who operate your old medical equipment and supply business would have to bid to get the VA's work unlike Medicare who goes with everyone no matter what they charge!"

"Commie," said RAR as he threw some bills on the table before heading out to his boat.

"Call me what you want as long as we keep subsidizing the mega-yacht centers and up the fees on small boats. Don't worry Ralph, we'll get it done!"

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