Thursday, August 6, 2009
It's Time to Grow Up
I'm not sure I want to start a riot, but I am sure that as things currently stand our government is headed once again in the wrong direction. The pendulum has swung so far so suddenly, my head is reeling.
I feel very strongly that I must speak up for reasonableness and sanity in our efforts to heal the deep wounds in this country before it is too late. The two most pressing issues are 1) excessive government spending and 2) health care reform. I will take on the first today and the second tomorrow.
It is very clear to me that we got into the economic problems we are in through excessive spending, excessive credit, excessive borrowing, greed and our total inability to save and delay gratification. The steps being taken to fix this situation are just more of the same. The answer to our economic problems is not to borrow more money and give it to those who have been irresponsible. A quick and easy solution is what Americans always want, it is not what we need. The only way out of this problem is through it.
If an individual files bankruptcy, they must go 7 years without credit, living entirely within their means. This is as it should be. If you do not have it, you cannot spend it. Borrowing does not fix the problem. Sure it's painful. But it provides an opportunity to learn how to save before spending. We continue to have it backwards. There is a reason for the pain and pain is not always bad. Much good can come from pain and suffering.
It is no different when it comes to operating this country. Borrowing money is not the answer. Yes, people will be unemployed. They will suffer. Dreams will be shattered. But it is as a result of our propensity for excess. There is enough in this country for everyone. We should not be asking the government for handouts, we should be helping our neighbors. The excessive borrowing which is taking place now within the government is not only postponing the inevitable it is going to make the inevitable much worse.
Have you ever known of someone who had a credit card bill they couldn't pay and so they rolled it over onto another credit card? This eased the strain for awhile, but ultimately with mounting interest the problem was only compounded. Where with discipline and suffering they once might have been able to pay off the first card, they ultimately created a situation that was impossible to get out of without filing for bankruptcy. So it is with government borrowing that seems to ease the problem today but tomorrow will create bigger problems that will be more difficult to deal with.
Americans have proven themselves to be creative, resourceful and caring individuals, especially when their backs are against the wall. It is time for us to realize our backs are against the wall. We will not do this as long as the our elected officials continue to throw fake money at the problem.
Perhaps some of you have seen the news clip of the WW II Veteran who is training dogs to be companions for war veterans when they return home. He is trying to raise money for this expensive but very worthwhile cause because the government can't do it. The outpouring of generosity he has received for his project since the news report first aired has been overwhelming and he has raised a significant amount of money. If the government were spending money on this project, our taxes would be paying for it and the bureaucracy that goes along with it would cut into the funds. More importantly we would be deprived of the meaning and joy of giving to and supporting a worthwhile cause.
It is time to encourage our government to quit borrowing and to let this country find its economic balance as it surely will and can given the creativity and imagination of its people. We do not need and cannot benefit from a government that we require to fill our social, ethical and moral obligations to one another as human beings. The government was never designed to rescue the needy when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves but are too self-centered to see it as a viable option.
We all seem to want our government to be our savior and protector instead of relying on our own strength and ability to take care of ourselves and each other. The government was created to maintain order and structure to our society, no more, no less and to protect our interests in the world arena. The rest is up to us. We have become like children who do not want to leave home and stand on our own two feet.