We Have No Financial Problems

Posted by Larry Miller on January 10, 2010 under How | Read the First Comment

financeWe, as a society, have no financial problems. Problems are things that come upon us that we have no control over. But when we create situations that are not good, we really can’t call them problems… they are more like natural consequences. If I run my hand over a sharp knife and it cuts my skin, that is not a problem. It is a self inflicted injury. It is something that could be easily predicted and planned for. It still needs to be bandaged, but I have no right to complain about this terrible thing that happened to me.

We have all sorts of politicians of both parties weeping and wailing about our dire financial problems. They act as if this terrible thing has come upon their poor, innocent selves out of the blue and these hard working public servants are innocent victims of this unforeseen recession/depression. As with cutting our fingers with a knife, running out of money is the result of our government’s own actions… not by uncontrollable circumstances.

The people of this administration, and, to a lesser extent, the one before it, have no concept of the old saying, “If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.” Kids understand this basic economic concept, but somehow it escapes the grasp of our members of congress, even most of our state legislators. What is so difficult to understand about this… it’s not even higher math?

Our dire economic situation is not a problem, but simply the result of mismanagement – perhaps the proper term is malfeasance – of our elected and appointed officials. As the sign in my college bursar’s office read, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” While we have to take care of this mess, it will not be cured unless we begin adopting this attitude. We cannot continue to hop every time our politicians come to us wringing their hands in a tizzy about lack of funding for their pet projects… and these are usually important projects that need to be addressed.

Isn’t it amazing they don’t come to us, hat in hand, for more money to put a new baggage handling carousel at the John Murtha Memorial Airport. No, it’s for defense or education or highways… yet Murtha’s carousel, along with the Robert C Byrd Memorial Bridge and so many more wasteful and often foolish projects are funded without question. They come to us for the things we most of us agree that we need.

This is a result of the practice used by both parties of funding the lowest priorities first. Then, when the money is gone and the actual legitimate functions of government remain, our pockets are picked once again in the guise of the impending emergency.

There is much blame to be absorbed by the profligate governments, but so many of us are happy with freebies from such governments at various levels. As we expect these agencies to cut back and live within their revenue, we also have to cut back on our expectations of what they can provide. We can live without much of what they provide… in fact, we can usually live better without things they want to provide as every time they give us something, they attach some strings to nudge our behavior one way or another to their benefit… and it costs several times as much.

Not giving them our tax money sounds good, however, the withholding system has pretty much precluded this in most cases and is an excellent example of a practice that is supposedly for our convenience that is really insuring we cannot resist. This approach has permeated our country’s existence. I recently took my mother to a doctors office where it was requested that she sign the demographic form which had her name, address, etc. However, along the bottom, was the real reason for signing the form… it was the financial responsibility form. These are standard, but no one wants to tell us what they are doing.

So we can continue down this path of accepting financial panic and euphemistic terms for everything they are doing to us, we can say “no” and take care of the situation, or we can save ourselves the aggravation and sign everything over to these people who will not stop until this happens anyway. The answer to this question will determine if we have the right to call ourselves “Americans” and walk in the footsteps of the likes of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

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  • Curtis D. Guyton said,

    I would agree with you, the financial mess we are in, is a self inflicted wound. The bandages are in place now, but the economy is not the real issue, seems to be a readjusting of Americas economics, and a possible revolt of the American public if things don’t shape up. People are getting tired of this stuff that is going on in Washington D.C.

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