One of my favorite sayings is that when you point your finger at someone, you have four of them pointing back at you.
On Facebook, I’ve been seeing status updates along the lines of the following:
Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither. Re-post from a friend. Pass it on if you’re so inclined…
Salary of the US President…$400,000. Salary of retired US Presidents…$180,000. Salary of House/Senate…$174,000. Salary of Speaker of House…$223,500…Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders…$193,400……….Average US Salary…$33,000 to $77,000. HELLO! I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree… repost!
Addressing the second one first, sounds great! Now we’ve narrowed the annual deficit to $485 billion. What’s next?
Now, addressing the first posting…
First, nobody wants to cut anything. We have so many people in America living off of social programs that we’re stuck.
However, it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Anyone alive when Ross Perot was running his budgetary infomercials knew this day was coming. Despite the cuts and tax increases by Clinton and Congress at the time, we have since erased them and have reached a mountain of debt that far exceeds anyone’s wildest imaginations. Yet, nobody wants to cut. And if you do want to cut, you’re a “cold-hearted out of touch with the plight of the people jerk.”
Second, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and PBS do not pay taxes at all. So, yes, I remember that part.
Third, as yourself the following questions:
- Did I borrow money from a bank over the last 10 years?
- Did I put money into savings accounts, bonds, and other forms of deposits?
- Did I invent something that changed an industry? Created an industry? Or created jobs?
- Did I vote for a politician who voted for the tarp spending? Invading Iraq? The automotive bailout?
- Did I return my government stimulus checks?
- Did I tell the IRS I didn’t want the Bush tax cuts and send in additional taxes anyway?
Chances are you did borrow money from a bank and didn’t put money into a savings account, bonds, or other forms of deposit. Based upon the lack of innovation in America, I’m betting you didn’t change an industry or even create jobs for people. People voted in record numbers for Obama who gave out the lion share of the TARP funds AND gave money to the automotive industry.
The vast majority of Americans supported invading Iraq back in the day. You can’t jump off the bandwagon and claim innocence now. That’s not how war works!
We all contributed to this mess. How many people purchased homes on interest only loans and/or 125% LTV loans? You can feign ignorance and that the evil banks fooled you into thinking it was a good idea, but I don’t believe that you’d give someone 125% of the value of something they wanted to purchase. You wouldn’t think that was a fair deal or even responsible. Yet, you took the money!
Let’s just face it. We all got greedy. We all got stupid. We all complained about products made in China but had no problem purchasing them when we saw how inexpensive they were.
Still, it’s easier to blame the rich guys or other groups that we aren’t part of. It’s easier to blame the teachers unions, banks, government, etc.
The bottom line is that America really needs to look at ourselves. We really need to look and take responsibility and be accountable for our own contribution to the circumstances we find ourselves in. There are fundamentals of economics, banking, the stock market, foreign policy, business, and monetary policies that we ignored or thought we could work around or outsmart. We elect these officials. We patronize these banks. We drive vehicles that get 14 MPG. We are the ones who want lower taxes and complain when there is no money to fund our social programs.
We are the ones who caused this problem, and until we own up to that we’re going to continue to build up mountains of debt and point fingers. The Democrats will blame the rich and want to tax them more. Still, that falls short by hundreds of billions of dollars. The Republicans will blame the unions and claim “we have a spending problem”. Still, that falls short by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Our Federal government has both a spending and a revenue problem. It’s that simple! It spends more money than it makes, and it doesn’t get enough money to pay for what it wants to even if we cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the budget. Obama calls for $4 trillion, which sounds inconceivable to most but is hardly anything when you see that he build up that much debt in his first two years in office. Oh, by the way, those cuts are over 12 years… So, what he piled on in just two years is going to take 12 years to cut!
Still, nobody wants their share of the pie cut. And since we have so many people getting assistance and gaining from federal spending programs, it’s going to be hard to cut anything for a politician who wants to save his/her country but also stay in office.