Image Courtesy of The American
Ask three people this question and you will undoubtedly get at least 3 different answers. One answer might be Iran developing a nuclear bomb; another might be Islamic Terrorists; and a third might be the growing tensions in the Middle-east. I think the biggest problem facing American today is closer to home. In fact it rests right here on our soil. It is, “the loss of common CENTS!”
Did I catch your attention? Yes I meant to say CENTS because COMMON SENSE became a scarce commodity here a long time ago. And “cents” represents the biggest problem facing the United States today which is run-away spending and our growing debt crises. I’ll leave it to the economists and number crunchers to impress you with all of their charts and projections of what can or will happen. I’ll just ask you to open up your minds and once again USE YOUR COMMON SENSE regarding what I’m going to say.
I’m sure most of you have heard that old saying, “There are liars, damn liars, and statisticians.” I will change that old saw to read, “There are liars, damn liars, and politicians!” I hear them daily on TV trying to dazzle you with their impressive “knowledge” of our economic problems and how they are going to get them under control if they are elected or re-elected, etc. To all of them I say, “Bull S—!”
This problem has been coming on for years and years and YOU, our chosen representatives (both democrats and republicans), have done nothing about it. That is because you knew that actual solutions required making hard choices (read balancing the Budget and belt tightening) and implementing those choices. You did not do this because you were afraid, if you did, you would offend some of the voters and you might not get re-elected!
I learned early in life that you may want something but if you don’t have the money to pay for it, you find a way to do without. I’m sure many of you also have not had an easy time in life and had to struggle with financial issues. Your personal experiences probably influence your opinions on some of the hot issues in this campaign. These might be ones such as ObamaCare, Social Security, and Medicare. So, not being a politician (and choosing to not be “politically correct”), I’m going to tell you the hard truth. “WE CAN’ T AFFORD THESE PROGRAMS AS THEY NOW EXIST!”
Here are a few facts for you. Public Debt currently stands at about $15.983 trillion, National Debt is over the $16.048 trillion mark, and TOTAL US Debt is over $57.003 trillion. So, should you be worried? Absolutely YES!
I heard our President on TV the other day answering a question about the size of our National Debt say; “We don’t have to worry about it short-term, but it is a problem long-term and even medium term.” Just how out of touch with reality can he be? I can tell you I AM worried and he should be too! And why am I worried? Because our Congress and the President are doing nothing to prevent the inevitable financial catastrophe we are now facing.
So why does our President say, “We don’t have to worry about it short-term”? Because if he said we should be worried right now, you might remember that Congress has not passed a single Budget during his Administration and in every year of his Administration (including the current one) our National Debt has increased by more than ONE TRILLION DOLLARS! And then you might think it is time to give someone else a chance to solve the problem.
The Constitution requires Congress to Pass a Budget each year. The process starts when the President submits his Proposal to the Congress where it is NEVER approved. The House then massages (or ignores totally) what it receives from the President by adding, deleting and manipulating the items and cost estimates until they finally get something they can pass by a majority of the House Members. This is sent on to the Senate who meanwhile has been working on its own version of the President’s Proposal. So the two version usually bear little resemblance to one another or to the one submitted by the President. A little back-and-forth occurs between the House and Senate to reconcile the two versions and they are ultimately Passed by both the House and the Senate and sent to the President to sign or reject it (a little or a lot of tongue-in-cheek used here to describe what occurs). But of course none of this has occurred in recent times.
The point I’m trying to make above is the Budget becomes bastardized during this process with a lot of “Pet Projects”, unnecessary spending, and a total loss of accountability of who is responsible for what. Since we have no requirement for a “Balanced Budget”, meaning you cannot spend more than you take in, and no accountability we the taxpayers are the ones getting screwed and stuck with the bill.
It is easy to say that our debt crisis is the fault of the President (past or current), or the Democrats, or the Republicans but the truth is the fault belongs to ALL OF THEM and it also belongs to ALL OF US! We are like spoiled children. We want our ObamaCare, our Social Security, Medicare, etc. when in truth we CANNOT AFFORD THEM as they now exist!
Back in the early 1970s I decided I wanted to retire by age 55 while I was still healthy enough to do and enjoy the things I had been unable to do as a child and later as a father. In 1982 I was trying to plan how I could accomplish this and how Social Security would affect my plans since there was already talk about looming problems with the Social Security Program.
Examining the Social Security Program one of the first things I discovered was it met the criteria of a Ponzi scheme. If you don’t already understand why it meets the criteria, I doubt you will agree with my conclusion so I won’t explain further.
I realized I had to discover a way to retire without counting on SS to be there when I retired. Of course changes have been made to the SS Program since 1982 that have prolonged its ultimate collapse. But it is still a Ponzi scheme and must fail unless drastic changes are made to it! Medicare and ObamaCare, as they currently exist, fall into the same problem as Social Security.
I was able to retire at age 55 and although I live a little “higher on the hog” with Social Security and Medicare, I’m not sure I can survive ObamaCare. I say this because I believe it will be “the final nail in the coffin” and will result in a total collapse our economy.
I hear our Politicians say daily how they are going to reduce the deficit by half (or whatever) over the next 10 years or so. How many of you realize they are talking about the yearly spending deficit and not the “National Debt” which currently stands at more than $16.048 trillion and will continue to grow each year? Looking back at past promises of savings through program streamlining, fraud prevention, or revenue enhancing, I think you will find they seldom, if ever, materialize.
So which of our two leading Presidential candidates will be able to solve this looming financial collapse we are facing? The answer is neither one! The only way IT CAN BE SOLVED is by having a president, a house, and a senate all working together along with the citizens of this country to make some very hard choices and bring sanity back into play.
A first year economic student knows you can’t continue spending more money than you take in or you will go broke. They also understand that increasing the tax on just the top 2% of the population that pay taxes won’t generate enough revenue to offset the 47% of the citizens that pay little or no Federal Income Tax. And you, with your common sense, should understand that ObamaCare, Social Security, and Medicare cannot pay out more money than they take in. Increasing the amount taken-in by increasing the costs on the citizens won’t work either. Frankly, most of us have run out of money.
The President says it all will work if everyone pays their “FAIR SHARE” (of course it won’t!). But what is everyone’s “FAIR SHARE”? I say one thing that constitutes a “fair share” is demanding less of your government and accepting more responsibility for taking care of yourself. Understand the difference between “wants” and “necessity” and learn to do more with less.
It is time we force Congress to do the following:
1. Pass a Balanced Budget Law with caveats allowing for deviation during times of a National Emergency.
2. Do whatever is necessary to restore The Line-Item Veto Act of 1996 which allowed the President the authority to eliminating “pork barrel” spending and similar items.
3. Demand that Congress and the President work together to reduce the cost of government by eliminating waste, fraud, and “pork barrel” expenditures tacked onto other Bills.
4. Reduce the size of government at the federal level and reduce their wages to levels comparable to the civilian workplace and restructure retirement plans to a sensible level.
And last, tighten your own belt, expect less of government, accept greater responsibility for your own well being, and demand that your chosen representative do their jobs and REPRESENT YOU the citizens or else do like Donald Trump and say; “You’re FIRED!”