Government Spending: Poverty or Posperity?

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By: Wayne Brown

We, the taxpayers and citizens of America, stand by and watch as our government spends its way into oblivion and mortgages our future in the process. The individual share of the government debt is growing steadily and government officials only seem to be able to come up with more ways to spend money and point to an increase in taxes as a way to relieve the debt burden. God forbid that truly cutting the spending process would be a consideration.


For the most part, the public is looking toward government to stop the spending cycle and initiate more conservative measures in terms of government expansion. Under the Obama Administration, the federal government has grown by a factor of almost 20%. This means the payroll has grown in the same proportion or possibly greater depending on the average compensation involved. Since government is not a business and does not produce a profit by virtue of its existence, this growth and expansion of government and the overhead associated with it should be of great concern to the citizens of the country. Those who would expand government so rapidly certainly are employing some reckless fiscal practices in running the government.


The story we hear from Washington now is that the government is too burdened with entitlements and military costs to find any effective manner by which to reduce spending. We continually hear that the government can no longer afford to pay out what people have paid in most all the adult years of their life. The government has taken money from every working citizen for much of their working life in the name of Social Security yet no longer has the money which we entrusted to it. If the government were a bank, I fear that some of our citizenry would be standing out in front of it right now watching it burn. If the government were a bank, it would be clear that our funds that we worked hard to get and had no choice in paying were squandered, mismanaged, and stolen.


Those in government explain away the problem by citing the fact that a post-baby boomer shrinking work force equals a shrinking cash flow in terms of Social Security taxes therefore there is more money going out than the government is taking in for entitlements. They fail to point out or remember all the years which the baby boomer generation has been paying into these funds; all the years that the government was taking in more money than it was paying out in terms of entitlement; all the years that the surplus money was thrown into the general fund and spent on pork-barreling and other forms of theft then never replaced. Plainly, clearly, undeniably, the citizens of America have been and are still being duped out of their money by an out-of-control government sector.


It is no wonder that we do not have enough money to cover the expenses of government. The Obama Administration just tossed over $800 billion dollars down the drain in the name of stimulus spending to create jobs and prod the economy along. The plan has failed miserably and more than half the money is gone. The remaining $300 billion languishes in the coffers with a yet undefined purpose but new deficit spending continues almost unchecked and will certainly worsen after the mid-term elections if significant changes in current officeholders are not made.


A recent news report indicates that the Obama Administration is now admitting that approximately $162 billion dollars of funds designated for TARP cannot be accounted for on the books. In terms of government spending, many of our elected officials would just shrug their shoulders at this figure and write it off as “chump-change”. Many countries around the world could probably operate off of the money that is “lost” in the accounting of America each year. Yet, we the taxpayers, seem to stand idly by and let it continue to go on. We continue to accept the excuses and the asinine reasoning offered for the loss or mismanagement of the funds. We, the taxpayers, do not seem to have a sense of accountability for our own government. We have forgotten that it is ‘our’ government and these people work for us.


Our national debt is approaching very near to a one to one ratio with our national output or gross domestic product (GDP). In business terms, that is essentially saying that for every dollar we take in, we already owe that dollar to someone else. Businesses that attempt to operate under such a ratio are doomed to failure and the same can be said for our government. In the process, countries such as China are buying up our debt in the public markets. Essentially, China is loaning the USA money on a regular basis to stay in operation with the downstream promise of repayment along with some healthy interest. Much like a major stockholder in a large corporation, China’s interest in the economics of our country may have already reached an unhealthy level. This should be of grave concern to our elected officials in Washington yet they keep spending money that our government does not have and China keeps buying up the debt. One day, those loans will come due.


For years now, the ignorance of the American taxpayer has allowed those in Washington to use double-speak and creative terms to satisfy the public concerns. Those who would cut spending never seem to accomplish it. At times, there have been efforts to cut the “rate of spending” and that term is tossed about as if we are actually saving money. The truth of the matter is our elected officials have only slowed the rate at which it is going out of the coffers, but it is still going out.


We are overdue to impose some of the same language regulations on the government which are imposed on the financial institutions and others in America. The government has the audacity to require the private sector to clearly explain in layman level terms all the conditions associated with mortgage, credit, and consumer loans. This is cited as a good thing for the consumer yet it apparently is not a good thing for the government to embrace. Those in government continue to employ the tired old double-speak and evasive terms which hide what is really going on with budgets, cash flow, and efforts to reduce spending.


Obviously, it would not be prudent to significantly reduce our military and its capability in light of the current terrorist threats throughout the world coupled with the behavior of countries like North Korea and Iran. At the same time, placing some restraint on military spending might make good sense. The question must be asked as to whether we are using sound fiscal practices in our current approach to military-related spending.


Then, of course, there is “entitlement spending” that makes up another large piece of the pie. I despise the term “entitlement” as the label has been assigned by our government officials. Hell yes, we are entitled to it. After all, it was our money we paid in specifically for the purpose of it being there when we no longer were part of the active workforce of America. We had no choice under the law. At the same time, there were not stipulations which stated that along the way a person must refrain from being successful in their working career. Rich or poor, if we paid the money in for the purpose of Social Security, then we are entitled to receive the payment when we qualify. It is time those in government came to that same conclusion and quit trying to make Americans feel that they are stealing from the taxpayers when they apply for their Social Security. This is yet again another example of the double-talk coming out of Washington.


So, where is the answer? First and foremost, the answer depends greatly on putting some honest and dedicated people in high places in our legislative and budget process. We have to get rid of those who are willing to knowingly attach pork-barrel spending to bills that make good sense. We have to have people serving in office who have a reasonable business head, who understand budgets, cash flow, cash reserves, and spending ratios. We must have transparency that utilizes explanations and phrases that can be easily understood and interpreted by the taxpayer. We have to stop complicating things that are really not complicated. We have to have people in office who work to remove complication yet manage our money with accountability and purpose. Then, we might have a start; we might have a chance to be what we can be instead a country that is starting to be swallowed totally in debt as those who serve us continue their spending sprees.


The November mid-term elections offer the taxpayers of America a “first-step” in this process to rid the government of career politicians and those who would line their pockets with taxpayer funds. We have an opportunity to clean house and make a new start. As we make that new start, we also have the opportunity to establish a message of “accountability”. We have the opportunity to clearly send the message, “mismanage our money and get fired or maybe go to jail…your choice!”. If we really want change in America, this is it. This is our chance to recover the American promise of freedom, security, and an environment in which any individual can rise to new heights. This is the change that America can really believe in and has nothing to do with redistribution of wealth, spending our way out of trouble, or embracing socialistic practices.


It is well past the time for the American taxpayer to wake up and sound the alarm. It is our duty to see that we have overslept. It is our duty to wake up and realize that those charged with the responsibility have bungled the job. It is our duty to heed the urgency and make the choices necessary to correct our course as we navigate these troubled times. We must take that first step in a process of recovery. We have to start somewhere and this is a good place in time. It is our duty as Americans.

© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 27 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

If your perceptive wake-up call hub doesn't do the job, Wayne, I don't know what will. According to a recent report in Fortune Magazine, our US government is spending $3 for every $2 it collects in revenue. Our deficit is growing at the rate of $100 billion a month. $100 billion!!!

Wake up, citizens and vote the career politicians OUT in November. If not, we can all anticipate a very bleak future.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...I certainly have high hopes that America will rally itself and right the ship quickly. Of course, the lame duck session of Congress will take a heavy toll especially if the elections fall more to the conservative side of the aisle. We are in a continuous cycle of insanity like none we have ever seen. Obama, Pelosi, and Reid and bent on the financial destruction of America and the faster the better. Once they drive it off the cliff, it will be too late to fix and too late to turn it around. Our fate as servants to the royalty will be sealed! WB


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

That's right Wayne,

Bush and his cohorts, who wasted 7 years, thousands of lives and billions of dollars invading Iraq (while allowing Bin Laden to escape), and allowed a lack of oversight to nearly cause a complete financial meltdown and global depression, had nothing to do with our present situation.

Ignore the fact that the "TARP" money used in the "bail out" was LOANED, and is being repaid with interest to us, the taxpayers, producing a net profit.

Obama and the Democrats are certainly at fault.

Eisenhower warned 60 years ago of the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex and it just keeps rolling along.

The real problem with taxes is not getting what you are paying for.

Citizens of Scandinavian countries pay a far higher percentage of income to taxes than we do, but are happy to do so because they get much in return...universal health care, well maintained infrastructure and free education. They are continually cited as being at the top of the heap for math and science education, health and "happiness".

Neither Party is blameless for the present situation in America. Any one-sided rant is a simplistic endorsement of terminal tunnel vision.

Vote your conscience...but vote.

CP


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Christopher Price...Chris I don't hold Bush & Co blameless by any means. On the bailout side, if our government wants to make loans to bail companies out then they need to keep up with who they loaned the money to. 162 billion dollars is a little too much to be unaccounted for in my mind. We are currently in a circumstance in which the urgency associated with our financial situation is being used to justify some choices that I personally do not believe the vast majority of the American public would elect to follow if there were time to consider the issue before the rush to enact it. As you say...Vote! Thanks for the comment. WB


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Wayne,

I told my daughters back in the 1980's that they would have to choose between their own families and their parents because Social Security would go broke and take all their money in taxes.

Tha burdon of the National Debt can be seen in 1991 in my essay on a Hub, "1991 PRESIDENTIAL PREDICTION-PART 1"


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Tom Whitworth...Social Security conceptually could be an okay idea if the money were invested and generally grew over the long-term which it likely would have. The way it has been handled, it has amounted to nothing but a tax which has in turn been spent so all we have in the coffers is the promise of the government that we will be taken care of when our time comes to draw it. As long as the boomers were working that had some merit but falls apart quickly as the workforce shrinks. In some circles I could describe such a process of taking money from people and they might call it a Ponzi-Scheme. Afterall, I gave up my contributions with the promise that I would receive the payoff at the proper time. Now, I could easily get nothing for that and the government wants to write it off to hard luck. We have a term for that out here in Texas....BULLSHIT! Thanks for the good comments Tom! WB


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

I cannot understand, cannot be accounted for on the books. What? The government cannot tell me there is no trace of where it went. I can tell where everyone of my dollars go to. I get a check directly deposited in my bank. In orfer for me to use it, either I have write a check, or use my atm card as either a withdrawal or a debit against my account. There is a record for every transaction the government makes.

Keep on hubbing!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

My concern right at this point in time that the upcoming mid-term elections may be so riddled with fraud that we may not get the "change" we have been hoping for. We need to tip the power away from the tax and spend Democrats, but if the unions have their way the Dems will be in Washington for life.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Right on, Wayne. How is it that Economics 101 can repeatedly be violated by government, yet the same jokers whose votes & policies dug the hole always demand to be re-elected?

Here's hoping that November 2nd will make a difference & restore a bit of common sense.


TimBryce 6 years ago

Wayne -

I'm not a fan of Donald Trump, but I think he's right in the sense it's time we got some businessmen in there who know how to run a business (not more community organizers who are hell-bent on bankrupting us).

All the Best,

Tim


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@eovery....If the feds can lose $162 billion dollars of money that was supposedly going to be "loaned", would it not make sense that maybe you would look in the files of those you loaned it to? Or, possibly there are no files. What the hay...just write it off so we can balance the accounting...its just taxpayer money and its only a few billion dollars. Maybe we need in Washington????? WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@breakfastpop...You concerns are well-founded Poppy. I think we will see more blatant voter fraud in these mid-terms that we have ever seen in the past. The American taxpayer is apparently helpless and Washington knows it. WB

@Ken R Abell...Right on, Ken! Government either needs to be declared a "profit center" which must produce surplus revenue to be held in reserve or it must be operated as a "zero-based" budget function. The current approach, "The Wimpy Method" (I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today)will not continue to fly. The government claims it cannot afford the boomer generation on Social Security but it does not seem to have a problem hauling Nancy Pelosi around in a taxpayer furnished 42 million dollar 757 jet aircraft. These people make me sick! Thanks for the good comments! WB

@TimBryce....Tim, the key is we don't need a whole bunch of senators and representatives sitting around all year trying to come up with new ideas on how to spend money. We ran out of that need long ago. We need some ideas on how to quit spending money and someone with the smarts to implement it. We need some laws that define how the government runs that do not change every time we elect a new President or Congress. The attitude in Washington is that they are simply just applying the use of "yet uncollected taxes"....it a self-fulfilling prophecy and can only lead to higher taxes as a result of the assumption. Thanks for the good words! WB


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

The problem for me is deciphering the rhetoric tossed about by politicians. When Obama used the term "transparency" I took the bait. Now, when I hear him say the recession is over, either he's trying to pull the wool over my eyes or age is affecting my vision. My personal feelings are that the recession is over when the unemployed go back to work. Anything else is a lie. I feel incapable of trusting my instincts in the political arena. Voting becomes a matter of deciding who has the better people behind the candidates. I think the general state of confusion combined with today's desperate economy and the knowledge you can't trust any of them any further than you can throw them, creates apathy. Thanks for the passionate piece.


CornerStone51 profile image

CornerStone51 6 years ago from Mifflintown, PA

Good hub Wayne...but very scary. Thanks for sharing the info and your great insight. God bless.

Gayle


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Amy Becherer...I think your misgivings and frustrations are shared by so many. Obama owes much of his success in attaining high office to the expectations and hopes for real change on the part of so many Americas. Unfortunately, like his other transparencies, he is not speaking of a "change" that the average American is really in favor of. Most Americans, regardless of their politics, find the idea of moving into a socialist society repulsive to say the least...Obama finds much comfort there and that is becoming more obvious all the time. The true danger in our society is so much of the younger voting population has no fear of socialist concepts and actually find them utopianly attractive. Our country is probably in the greatest danger it has ever been in since the beginnings. Vote for what you know is right, create your own transparency. If the facts are hard to find...that's no accident! WB

@CornerStone51...Good to see you around Gayle...Thanks for the read and the good comments! WB


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Remember in November - it's getting closer and closer.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@sheila b. ....Definitely, hopefully we can make a difference! WB


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 6 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Howdy, I hereby nominate Wayne Brown for the 2012 Presidential election.....any body else agree? Great job Wayne, so to the point of what is needed to hopefully undo some of the damage by this administration. This was awesome - I hear you loud and clear dear friend. Cheers.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Whidbeywriter...I probably have to many skeletons in my closet to run but I do appreciate the thought! LOL! On the other hand, I am definitely not a socialist nor do I have any communist friends! WB


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Change... From what to what? I better understand the concept of "change" now: Change most all incumbents and throw them out. Get a new batch of crooks in government. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.. It is not a black and white solution (no pun intended). I know there are good politicians. I met one once at his funeral. Great hub! Keep them coming...


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@dallas93444....Yes, a daunting thought and why would constituents want to give up on the concept of Congressional Seniority that these career theives have created for themselves to stay in office a bit longer. No, if we are going to redistribute the wealth then I think we should launch the concept first from Congress by spreading the opportunity for gaining wealth there to more and more folks...it's the new American Way. Forget ethics, forget the will of the people. It's all about power and how much you can steal and what you can screw up and how badly in the process. WB


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Wayne as you know I am not an American citizen, but follow a lot of your political views and I must say my friend you have kept fellow hubbers very well informed about the plight of your government and their pros' and con's.

I am blown away by the amount's of $$$$ not accounted for and yet people are unemployed by the thousands and very worried about their futures and financial situations while politicians abuse power and finances to suit their game plans. Are they trying to bankrupt America? it sure the heck looks like your heading that way.

I agree with many comments left here and one was about Donald Trumps remark. You definitely need intelligent sound honest business people at the helm of government to stave off bankruptcy. Right now your on a very slippery slope and I pray that November tosses out the rotten wood in your government or you could all be arming for a revolution. Very well written Wayne, why don't you run for the Presidency?:0)


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@saddlerider1...I think your questions are spot on Ken. Yes I do believe there is an effort to bankrupt the country at least on the part of some...others are just willing participants salving their own greed while they line their pockets. We are on a very slippery slope with a fate from removed from democracy at the base of the hill. We must change and soon. Thanks for the great feedback! WB


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thank you for your well thought response to my comment. My greatest fear is that the economic disaster, front and center in America, will create a mass response toward reckless change. Your feeling that socialism appears attractive to the young is correct, I believe. The young and many older adults I know are weary of the old tired rhetoric so prevalent among our present political forces. In the past, debating, deliberating and carefully considered decisions on where to cast your vote hasn't garnered positive change. This could spell "cast it to the wind" actions that diminish our standards of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...not to mention, our status as a leader among nations. I hope and pray for the best for America.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Amy Becherer...You are welcome. I try to keep it simple for myself. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has duck feathers then it's likely a duck. Obama is not a duck in any shape or form. I said that to say that we gamble each time we go to the polls but hopefully we gamble within the bounds of the democratic philosphy. This time, we stepped over the line...way over the line. This guy has more alarm bells going off around him with regard to his loyalty and dedication to the welfare of America that a Chicago fire station during the great fire. He is surrounded by socialist, marxist, and communist; claims to be a Christian yet does not defend the faith; says he's not a Muslim but seems to condone everything in that vein on a global basis. This country is in more trouble today because of this single individual and his desires than at any time in its long history. It is absolutely imperative that we move away from this mindset and move away fast so that we can get back within the bounds of democracy. Hopefully we can get started in that direction in November by switching enough seats in the Congress to shutdown the process and basically deadlock things for a couple of years. Then we can take care of changing the leadership in the White House. Oh and by the way, as I have pointed out in earlier hubs, get ready for a desperation move....Obama & Clinton on the 2012 ticket...Biden will be history and Obama knows he has no other way to win. George Soros will make sure Hilary is on board too. WB


maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Wayne...

Wonderfully perceptive and informative Hub...It was so interesting I read it twice...The commenters that have responded to this Hub have further confirmed my belief that Hubbers are at the forefront of political awareness.

I believe the Tea Party was formed in direct response to the deteriorating economy and the resultant job loss and the home mortgage meltdown... The Tea Party, as originally proposed, and to a large extent, still continues to promote smaller government, discpline in spending, reduced taxes to spur small business, and congressional accountability...Like any grass-root movement, there is always the 10% that will attempt to move a popular protest left or right, with each getting the most ink because they make the most obvious targets for controversy, hence, media revenues...

America is aroused...and the message will be loud and clear in November...much more-so than what the media is forecasting...

Thanks again for the insightful write...Larry


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@maven101...Thanks much Larry. I appreciate your good comments and insight into the situation. We are off track in America far more than we have ever been and it is our duty to get back on track and soon! WB

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