Yesterday I was listening to our “conservative” Senator from Iowa on the radio discussing the skimpiness of the spending cut efforts of Congress.
Senator Charles Grassley ( a Republican from Iowa ) was decrying how paltry the reduction in government spending was. He pointed out that one third of one percent of the government spending for the next five years was all that was accomplished…
Now to put this into real numbers we see the reduction as 39 billion dollars against a spending binge of 12 trillion dollars over the next five years. He was not proud of this effort and I commend him for openly emphasizing the meager attempt to cut the costs of government. If you take these percentages and apply them to the life of the ordinary citizen this is the level of effort that would be visible. Suppose you were going to spend thirty thousand dollars next year and you decided you were spending too much money so you would reduce your spending by one third of one percent. This would amount to 30,000 multiplied by .00333 which comes out to $99.90. Think of this. This is $8.23 less you would spend per month or less than $2.00 per week. How much do you think this would impact your budget? This demonstrates how out of touch with reality our politicians have become.
This could be a fine campaign issue but it would require a whole new set of premises for people who think they are gaining by getting redistributed wealth and the value associated with confiscating a growing portion of the working folks. Consequently this will not be an issue until the crisis becomes so desperate that someone will feel a pain that will result in an outcry and action will be the only alternative. This is the inevitable result of taking a “pragmatic “ approach to issues that affect the future. It is the short sighted view that if I don’t like the alternatives maybe the consequences of the wrong choice will somehow not occur. How else to explain the ongoing deficit, the pretense of genuine cost concerns and the spectacle of the growing fiscal calamity of Social Security and Medicare?
What will it take for Congress to collectively awaken to the folly of their ongoing spending spree?
They talk of the information that they need to make sound decisions especially if it centers around the credentials of a nominee for federal office affiliated or nominated by the opposition. But they ignore the information that they have staring them in the face regarding the cost of doing government business as it is now structured. The fundamental issue that must be articulated and reiterated is the role and nature of government, how it must be constrained and limited in its activities .The people seeking office and interested in retaining office do not demonstrate what it is they can rationally accomplish as a politician. The reason for this is they are under the illusion that working toward a society where one must pay most of his earnings in taxes or derive his livelihood by being on the receiving end of a dole is not an ideal but a dungeon. Recognizing that wealth is a means to creating capital, which leads to productivity and profit and jobs for those willing and able to work cannot be stifled by regulations and taxes. This is paramount for the politician that wants to work in a field that requires a knowledge of the nature of his chosen profession in government. It is commonly understood that too much government is stifling to individual freedom, reduces economic vitality and debases the currency.
This understanding is mouthed daily across the land and even from the mouths of our representatives. It is not the understanding that is lacking. It is the courage to act according to what you know. Why do politicians get elected and then turn out to be a far cry from the expectation they have portrayed in their campaigns? It was not because they could not articulate a platform of less government. It is because they cannot or will not act in accordance with their expressed convictions.
This of course does not apply to those politicians who are blatantly foolish enough to think that increased taxes and spending are not a dying trend. What we have is the ignorant and the cowardly. This is our choice in the voting booth and this is why we have a Congress filled with blustering compromisers willing to sell the country and its citizens down the river for another term in power. Power to do what? Certainly not to preserve, protect and encourage prosperity arising from productive activity. It is the power to control, the illusion of status and the pompousness of position. This illusion shadowed by the reality of a destructive gluttony for wealth redistribution is slowly but surely leading to the time when the money can no longer be squeezed from destroyed credit, exhausted revenue sources and printing presses gushing dollars without worth. This is where our politicians are “leading “ us and themselves.
Until and unless we grind into their minds the fact that government must be restrained to its proper limited functions, this march to disaster will continue.
Where better to start than to make the paltry spending cuts a battle cry?