I’m glad that a government shutdown has been averted but the fundamental problem still exists: We are spending more than we take in. One of the principle roles of our legislators, whether state or federal, is to oversee the spending of our taxpayer funds. They are good at spending but not so good at overseeing. These legislators are paid extremely well and have some of the best perks in America but they can’t even balance a budget. Regardless of how smart some of them may be, they don’t have the fiscal discipline to accomplish one of their most fundamental tasks. As we know, intelligence has little to do with personal discipline. We obviously shouldn’t look to Washington as a model of how to conduct our own finances. If we did, some company would repossess everything we have. It is one thing to live with the aid of a marginal and responsible amount of borrowed money, but our government has gone beyond all bounds of marginal and responsible. There is so much money spent on worthless items, special interest projects, and items that we just can’t afford. Regardless of how worthwhile some programs may seem, if we can’t pay for them we shouldn’t have them. It’s just like our families and churches. There are a lot of worthwhile projects and assets that we don’t have because we simply can’t afford it.
When legislators get control of our money, I’m not sure they weigh whether we can afford their special projects or not. Once elected, they seem to be primarily in the business of keeping constituents happy so they can get re-elected. How do they keep them happy? They keep them happy by allocating money to special programs or projects of their constituents. In effect, they buy votes. Multiply this vote buying by the number of state and federal legislators and we see why we are trillions of dollars in debt. In short, we are spending money which we don’t have; we have to borrow it to spend it.
The assault on this nation is formidable. Not only are our moral and ethical values taking a severe battering but our financial solvency is in the tenacious jaws of nation-crushing debt. Anyone can go to a legislature and spend money. It takes someone with fiscal discipline to do the right thing so as to live within our means.