This country is in a political conundrum. We can’t afford all the programs the government has but no one wants to cut any of them or raise taxes. The main problem is that the government has too many programs and funds too many needless projects. However, to the recipients of those monies, they are their lifeblood for financial existence. Any cut to those who have become dependent upon the government evokes the weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Another problem is what defines a cut in Washington. With baseline budgeting, an eight to ten percent increase is built into every program. Therefore, if a line item is only increased by four percent, then it is decried as a four to six percent cut, even though there was an actual four percent increase. Not even these Washington types of “cuts” can be done without the hue and cry of foul play.
A third problem is that Washington operates like the worst credit card abusers among us. They spend to the point where the interest on the debt is as big of a problem as the original debt. Washington should be stalwarts of fiscal responsibility. Instead, they spend as much as they need to in order to keep vocal constituents happy, regardless of its fiscal prudence. As the whining of those who want “free money” from the government reaches fevered levels, our representatives in Washington do what keeps these people from being upset with them: Award them with money.
It seems that too many politicians are more concerned with their own electability than they are with what is the right thing to do. It’s hard to grasp the manner in which they are so financially irresponsible in a way that no citizen can afford to be. Yet, they feel trapped. If they do the right thing and be responsible, making real or Washington-type “cuts,” they fear the backlash of the electorate. As an example, a lot of politicians believe that cuts need to be made to the Medicaid program. The program subsidizes too many able-bodied Americans. Because of the backlash of such a cut though, most politicians will never vote to do what they believe. They don’t want to put their jobs in jeopardy. Thus that which is politically expedient trumps that which is financially responsible. It leaves us in a real political conundrum.