By: Wayne Brown
The drama continues to play out in Washington between President Obama, his liberal faction democrats, and the republicans in the struggle over debt-ceiling limits. President Obama was reported to have stormed out of Wednesday’s meeting a huff and remarked that this situation might cost him his presidency but he would not give on his terms. I find that a rather telling remark in light of the discussions taking place. It is certainly not the remark a leader would make in his quest for a solution on this issue.
The debt-ceiling limit imposed by our own elected politicians must have had a functional purpose when it was instituted. Surely that purpose was not to serve as a basis of argument between the two sides of the aisle every 18 months to come to terms on raising the limit. That would be a rather stupid process but then again it might serve the needs of some politicians who seem more interested in determining where blame falls than on solving our problems in this country.
President Obama seems to want his cake and eat it too. We apparently ended up in this financial mess in this country because we had elected officials in high office who knew of only three tasks to be accomplished, tax, spend, and raise the debt ceiling so that we can justify taxing so that we can facilitate spending and that big frigging wheel went around and around. Unfortunately, most Americans were not paying attention during those times. Most Americans have not had the time to inquire of Congress as to where the formal operating budget for the fiscal year is or why did they not pass one as they are suppose to as a function of their jobs. That omission itself glares of the attitude prevalent in Washington today of an open checkbook which leads directly into the pockets of every tax paying American. Somewhere along the line, to quote the President, “enough is enough.” I think we might be there now.
One thing is certain, the actions of the President over the past few days have not reflected positively on the Office he occupies. Americans elect a President to office who they expect to speak to them truthfully and accurately on subjects which everyone else may be bending and twisting. The President owes honesty to the American public above all else. When the President resorts to scaring our elderly population and those veterans dependent on their compensation checks in order to gain political advantage on this issue, he is no longer being honest with the American people. He is absolutely, unequivocally practicing deceit and fear-mongering.
The federal government currently has a revenue stream capable of meeting our debt service, paying the Social Security, Medicare, and military obligations. The only reason that money would not be available for that purpose on a monthly basis is that someone in high places has plans to utilize it in some other fashion for spending purposes. Basically, they want to take our grocery money and use it to go to the amusement park. Those points have been hashed over by numerous individuals yet the President fails to discuss it with the American people in those terms. The President wants the American people to believe that without increased taxation and continued spending, they entitlements are in jeopardy because the government will have to shutdown. This is a total farce.
Certainly there are some credit services talking of down-grading the USA credit standing if America should go into default. If the money we have coming in is used properly, we will not go into default. The debt service will be met, bills will be paid, entitlements will be issued but continued growth in spending might suffer because only a paltry 30 billion dollars will be left over after the bills are paid.
We’ve all heard the term, “now or later”. Folks we are living that option right now. It is not a matter of whether or not we rein in spending, it is simply when. We are way past the point presently at which it should have happened yet we have elected officials in Washington attempting to convince everyone that it would be much better if we did it “later” when it was far more convenient to do so. For now, we simply need to raise the debt ceiling so the spending can continue at the rate of 42 cents of every dollar being borrowed. When “later” comes, the debt will be bigger and so will the problem. The politicians in Washington would like to convince you that this is far more complex than any out of control family budget. Don’t buy that line…it’s time to cut up Washington’s credit cards and start paying our bills with as much cash as we can. When we need more cash, we cutting spending to get it. This may mean some programs have to go and there are certainly plenty of them out there which are long overdue to be stopped. The time has come to put on those brakes.
CEO’s get hired to improve the bottom line of the companies they lead. They do this by putting the right talent in important positions. They do this by analyzing the waste and over-spending taking place within the company. They do it by analyzing the size of the work force relevant to the productivity level…how many widgets do we produce per employee and where is the breakeven point? They analyze markets, determine demand, and take advantage of opportunity. In the process they either expand the business model to function at an acceptable profitability level for the investors or the shrink the model to get it lean and mean enough to survive the hardships it is enduring on the short-term when business struggles. In either case, they insure the survivability of that business entity and the jobs it provides in the marketplace.
Have you seen any semblance of that attitude from our current President or most of the others holding the majority choke hold in Washington? Surely you don’t have to think about that question very long before you can answer. Obama claims he inherited all his problems. In saying that, he claims to recognize the problems and the hardships they have brought on the country both in the economic sector and in the sector of government finances. Given that he understood that situation, how could he possibly feel that expanding the federal government by a factor of roughly 17% was of any benefit to the American people in terms of economics or finances? The President created a large group of government czars who have a multitude of staff positions none of which have anything to do with reducing federal spending or improving the efficiency of government which in all right should be the primary focus of any elected government official.
Unfortunately, that focus in a lean and efficient government was lost long ago when politicians realized that social programs and social spending earned more votes for re-election than working hard to see that the taxpayers were well served. Today, only about 50% of the American population contributes to the tax revenues of this country. The remaining portion does not, some for good reason, others because they have found a gravy train living on the public dole so generously provided by those we elected to office. In effect, the taxpayer’s money has been squandered to the process of buying votes…it’s that simple.
Now, we have an attitude being demonstrated and carried out to some degree by those on the left side of the aisle on a daily basis. At times, even a few from the middle and the right join in if it benefits their personal goals. We see efforts to continue expanding social programs as they sit and dream of new ways to squander money every day. This aspect is the very reason that spending cannot be brought into check. It would absolutely ruin the power base of these career politicians who have turned far too many Americans into non-productive members of society by simply making it worthwhile not to work and just live off the government dole.
Let’s cut to the chase here. Recent polls indicate that slightly more than half of the American public believes the debt ceiling should not be raised. That group believes those elected to manage the business of government should get to work using the resources they have and focusing on cutting the spending processes as accurately and efficiently as possible. They also believe those actions should yield real results freeing up revenue to be applied to our debt service and ultimately drawing down the monstrous and ever growing national debt which is slowly choking this country to death financially and ultimately will ruin all of us if left unchecked.
The message is clear. Some on the right don’t want to hear and those on the left don’t want to believe it. The message is clear and has been very clear since the mid-term elections of 2010. It’s a simple message: Get spending under control, establish budgets, create revenue surpluses to reduce deficit spending and ultimately put long term measures in place which will reduce or eliminate a significant portion of the national debt. The message is clear.
Now, if we do not currently have elected officials in Washington who can read and understand that message, then we need to terminate their efforts as rapidly as the election process will allow us to do so. We need to send new representatives in their place who do have that vision and who are willing to work at it to establish a long-term focus and guarding against anyone changing that vision. We need to be rigid in that demand and have high expectations for positive results. Anyone who is not willing to make that effort or to continue in that direction needs to pack up and go home.
The President, in this circumstance, like so many others he has encountered in his first term, has and is failing at the process of leading the charge to do the right thing by the American people. His desires to continue spending and raising the debt ceiling are destructive and selfish to say the least. His attempts to use fear and coercion to accomplish his desires are a stain on the Office of the President which is shameful to say the least. If we do not have a President who can take a leadership role and do the right thing for America, then the American people, those who have consented to be governed as one people, must take the reins and demand that the right thing be done for the sake of this great country and its future.
America is at the point of necessity. That necessity is to begin living within our means at the federal level. That necessity is real and apparent. Later instead of now is no longer an option. Now is the time and the choice to stop the spending insanity is the only viable option to securing our future.
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