I remember when I was a teenager and I was constantly borrowing money from my parents because it seemed that my lifestyle had become more than I could afford. I would beg, plead, tell tales of dire misery if I didn’t get the money, lie, say “oh I promise this will be the last time I ask”, and lastly, pout! Washington D.C. reminds me too much of myself as a teenager; only these people in Washington are supposed to be adults, aren’t they? Why is all of this important? My parents finally had to put a stop to the borrowing and teach me some hard lessons about money. The same thing is happening and needs to be done in our government.
We have a budget deficit in the federal government of approximately $ 1.7 TRILLION! Our national debt is somewhere around $16 TRILLION, give or take a few billion, In others words, this spending is UNSUSTAINABLE. The budget deficit is what we are spending OVER what the United States takes in from all sources. We have resorted to borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent from one of our most dangerous enemies…China. Why do we engage in this adolescent behavior, you may ask? POWER! Our Congresspeople, both Representatives and Senators, are more interested in getting re-elected than in managing YOUR money in a responsible way. Your money? Yes, because the government is supposed to live only on what the people’s taxes will pay for.
By law, we have what is called a “debt ceiling,” which is the maximum amount of money the government can spend before it either has to cut spending to keep us with our revenue limits, or Congress must vote to raise that ceiling. Now here is where the fun begins. Democrats will be screaming, if the debt limit isn’t raised again, that senior citizens, the disabled, the poor, single moms, minorities, endangered species, and on and on, are all going to become victims without that extra money to throw at them. The Republicans are going to stand their ground (at least for an hour or two) and demand that the Democrats allow bloated government programs and agencies to be dismantled, discontinued, or reformed (God forbid). The threats, crying, pleading, horror stories, and lastly, the pouting will commence from both sides. Yes, there are BIG spenders in the Republican Party too!
You can bet that minority groups’ favorite giveaways will be the focus of the fiscally irresponsible demagogues wailing and doomsaying to all that will listen. The reason? Too much has been promised to too many people for too long. Those programs that have outrun their funding are in reality going to die sooner or later because their just isn’t enough money in this WORLD to pay for them, and Congress knows it! Some tough choices have to be made this time around by Congress because you don’t solve anything by throwing good money after bad, money this country no longer has. When do the adults take over and stop asking for money to throw away and start finding HARD solutions to a problem that could destroy our economy?
Photo credit: terrellaftermath