It is amazing how quickly the focus in DC can change from fiscal matters to something entirely different. Politicians remind me of three-year old children – easily distracted. Never mind the huge deficits and fiscal crisis we have on our hands which has not been addressed in over twelve years! I know – let’s talk about federal immigration reform or better yet, federal gun control laws… whatever is viewed as the next crisis is the one to which attention is given. Reminds me of the old political saying – “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.
I wrote an e-mail to my House Representative a few weeks ago asking him to vote NO on the $50.4 billion dollar bill to approve aid to Hurricane Sandy victims because a large portion of the bill included spending for items that had absolutely nothing to do with aiding the storm victims. In addition, there were no offsetting spending cuts. The House could not even approve to cut spending to cover 1/3 of the cost of this bill.
As one of my favorite Washington DC correspondents, Jamie Dupree, posted on his blog: “While many Republicans wanted a smaller disaster relief bill, some of them refused to embrace a plan to pay for 1/3 of the plan, by using an across the board budget cut of 1.63% to trim $17 billion. “Are we willing and able to do without anything?” asked a frustrated Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who saw 71 of his fellow Republicans vote against the offsetting budget cuts. The move reinforced arguments by Democrats that the GOP loves to talk about cutting the budget and saving money, but doesn’t follow through.”
Think about this as it relates to your household budget. Let’s say a disaster strikes – strong winds damage your home’s shingles and you need to have new shingles put on your roof. Your insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing the shingles, BUT will require you to pay a $2,000 deductible. The first item most of us would do is look at our budget and see what we need to cut in order to account for that unexpected $2,000 outlay. Perhaps we have savings and can tap into that, have a line-of-credit and can borrow the funds, or can do the work ourselves. Of course, we may decide to look for a second job and try to increase our revenue stream to pay for the $2,000, but putting these options aside, normal folks look to what they can cut to make up for this new “required” expense. We may look at cutting entertainment or budgeted funds for clothes or simply decide not to get the roof fixed at this time.
Let’s face facts, neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about budget cuts or reining in government spending. Their actions over the previous twelve years (Bush and Obama administrations) make this evidently clear. Our politicians are in the business of keeping our government growing – why do you think the seat of government continues to attract those looking for work? A large % of the government’s spending manages to stay in DC – how convenient!
The choices we face in each election are pretty much as follows:
Vote Democrat for unbridled spending – after all for many Democrats there is no fiscal crisis – just keep raising the debt ceiling and borrowing funds – eventually the economy will come around and with the tax increases just introduced and the savings from Obamacare, enough revenue will be generated to deal with it (FAT CHANCE)!
But a vote for Republicans is just as bad – big talk about budget cuts when they can be used to criticize Democrats, but then go forward with huge increases in spending on military and other Republican favored programs.
The U.S. government has an enormous spending problem and I believe very few if any, of those who represent us on the Hill give a damn!