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American Discretionary Spending
By: Wayne Brown
The Huffington Post is plastering today’s headline with news that the Federal Reserve is already preparing for the USA to default on the massive $14.3 trillion debt. What a load of hogwash! This is the second news story of this day alone that has emphasized that either the debt ceiling is increased or the USA defaults on their debts. Let’s place shame on the American media for not reporting the facts on this issue. Place shame on the media for misleading the citizens of this country so a group of politicians can continue to spend like sailors on shore leave. Assign shame on the media for not fulfilling the role of truth provider as it was originally envisioned. The media in general on this issue has played to the needs of the White House and the liberal left in tainting the minds of the American public.
If the debt ceiling is not raised, that means decisions must be made regarding those funds which are considered “discretionary” in the spending by the U.S. Government. This is not mandatory spending, it is elective spending and it is outside the silos of any entitlements. In 2010, the elective spending amounted to over $600 billion dollars. Our service on debt was just under $200 billion. We can pay our debt service by simply giving some things up on the elective side of the spending process.
Obama and the left leaning members of Congress do not want you to believe that. They want you to believe that there are only two choices: raise the debt ceiling or go down in flames. When, in the history or your household, have you ever sat at the kitchen table and decided that more credit and more debt was the best way to get out of the trouble that your budget was in? It is not a practical solution and it simply plays to the needs of those who want to continue to spend until there is no choice but to tax us all into the ground. As a public, we cannot buy into this. As a public we cannot allow the right side of the aisle to compromise on this issue. If we don’t hold the line here, the house will never be in order again, if it continues to stand at all.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle would like us to believe that the money which is spent in Washington today is all very necessary and that there are no programs which are wasteful or unworthy of our support. We continue to feed money into operations which have long since been capable of standing alone in their existence…Planned Parenthood being a prime example. Discretionary spending buys power and influence. It is pork and earmark in action. It’s the same money we use in our household to eat out on Saturday night. Don’t tell me that we can’t decide not to spend that money in that way.
These are the real choices our elected officials on both sides of the aisle and the President are avoiding. They struggle back and forth and throw around their rhetoric but ultimately there are not enough people in Washington with a spine to get the right thing done. Those sitting on the conservative aisle want you to think they are working hard in this process but it is simply eyewash. How many programs have you specifically heard mentioned by any of them that could be cut from elective spending…none is likely the popular choice? This is the closing act on a three act drama which is designed to convince the American public that we must continue to spend money and increase or debt or perish as a society. Lies, lies, and more lies.
When do we actually get serious about the issue of the national debt and the rampant out of control annual deficit spending by these clowns we send to Washington? When do we realize that men and women who have made million and millions of dollars do not just decide to spend their own personal money to get elected to Congress because they were called to serve. That is not in the math in their heads. They decide to do it because it is a gravy train for them…nice six figure salary with a guaranteed retirement, special benefits out the wazoo, prestige that money cannot buy, and a chance to curry a bit of favor from those who come to Washington seeking the influence of the elected ones. That is the reason personal funds get spent…the return on investment cannot be beat!
Our federal government is a parasitic nightmare at the present looking for more and more ways on a daily basis to live off of its host…the American people. If Obama wins the argument over debt ceiling, the right is conceding the argument on taxation. They are not saying that but I think you can count on Obama and company certainly assuming it. I think you can count on a movement in that direction once the debt ceiling controversy cools. Then all bets are off as to where it will all stop. 51% of the American public will continue to pay a higher and higher tax bill while we allow idiots to run our country.
Government cannot be everything to everybody. It cannot be all encompassing without sooner or later taking the assets of those governed in order to accomplish the task. Even if that were to happen, the government will ultimately fail for those who make up the “producers” will eventually cease their efforts and become part of the dead weight on the system. There is no reward in taxation except the growth of big government which is something Americans should run from like the plague.
Americans are among the most generous and caring people on earth. We tend to take care of those who are truly in need. Government, at some point, decided that it was the official arm of that effort for the American public and it would manage all thinking in that regard. At that point, we began the process of building the welfare state in this country. No longer was it one person helping another. Instead, it became the government giving away things to people who could figure out how to get it. Initially, that faction of the population was small. Today, it is huge and growing by the minute. Our elected officials have created a sector of society which actually believes there is a free ride to be had courtesy of the taxpayers of America. As we raise debt ceilings, borrow more and more money, we continue to perpetuate that myth and grow it. Discretionary spending by government officials is the prime tool driving this process and it needs to stop and stop now.
The issue currently on the table revolves around the debt ceiling. Most of Washington would like us all to be believe that is what the problem actually is…the debt ceiling. We have run out of room to use more credit to increase the national debt thus the credit ceiling is the problem. The actual problem lies in the spending practices of the government. Entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security took in more than $70 billion dollars more than the combined sums paid out in that year. The remainder was squandered somewhere in the realms of “discretionary spending” by those we elect to office. Don’t be fooled as to what the problem really is…it is SPENDING.
Spending buys votes and voter blocks; spending helps to guarantee the re-election of the incumbent spending buys power, influence, and prestige on a global basis which tends to feed the ego of an already rich man in a much different way than he can buy for himself. Spending makes those who come up with the ideas look intelligent because they can think of yet another way to spend money. Have you noticed how few ideas have been presented by either side of the aisle as it relates to reduced spending? The cupboard is almost bare in that department. There is no glory in fiscal responsibility in Washington so say those that we have elected to office.
The American public is offered up doublespeak, technical terms, far-fetched economic guesses, speculation, and yes, even lies to support this process of raising our debt. Personally, I think we start to scrape the bottom of the barrel for ethics and morality when the President is willing to stand before the public and threaten our senior citizens with the loss of their social security checks because the debt ceiling will not be raised. A responsible president would be on television doing just the opposite; assuring the senior that they had no worries in that area; assuring the American public that the interest on debt would be paid even if some discretionary spending had to be cut to do it. Unfortunately, we do not have a responsible president in office at this time.
Leadership is about doing the right thing; not the popular thing and not the thing that best suits the needs of your political party. Americans elected those in Washington, especially the President, to offer that form of leadership; to responsibly manage the affairs of America and see that our money is spent in a wise and efficient manner. Washington is currently devoid of anyone with those traits on either side of the aisle and it is high time that the American people realize that fact and do something about it. We must make it clear to every individual in Washington DC who serves in elective office that their job is on the line if this effort to manage our finances goes down in a compromise which does nothing more than raise the debt ceiling and allow the spending to continue.
We have choices to make as a public. We can elect to continue down the same road that we have seen for the past four years (two years of Obama + two years of democratic dominance in Congress 2007-2008), continue to watch people lose jobs and suffer the effects of a diminished economy and high unemployment, continue to watch the welfare state grow as more and more politicians on the left tell us that the only answer is higher taxes. We can continue to listen to Obama and his crowd raving about class envy subjects and point their fingers at the “rich” as the cause of all our woes. Or, we can come together as a majority voting block and send those who are not willing to carry out the will of the American people home to do other things. We are the governed, we are the ones who consented to be governed but we did it under the umbrella of the Constitution of the United States of America and it is high time that we return to that orientation. God Bless America.
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