I have determined that my family should expect a three percent reduction in our spending capacity this year due to a down turn in our business. As my wife is responsible for spending the budget, I asked her to provide me with a list of items where she would cut that three percent. The following is what she suggested:
We will cut:
School lunches for the children and all food on the weekends
We will turn down the thermostat during the winter to 35 degrees Fahrenheit
We will give away the family pet
The car fuel budget will be set at a maximum. She suspects we will not be able to attend work the last four days of the month
I asked if there were not a more reasonable way to trim a mere 3% of our family budget.
She replied, “Not if I want you to go out and find a way not to trim it!”
All this fuss about the Sequestration is about a 3% cut in national spending. Some say that it is all discretionary spending so that amount is much higher. But in the end, all spending is discretionary. All it takes to make it so is a vote. This cut is about priorities.
Entitlements, whether embedded in the military budget or in the civilian one, are that in name only. If our nation were no longer able to borrow 45 cents of every dollar we spend, what would be our priorities? If we could borrow only 35, 25 , 15, 5 cents on every dollar, what then? What are our nation’s spending priorities? This list of priorities defines a budget, something that has eluded our Congress for years.
If you owned a business and paid an employee to construct a budget as one of their primary functions, and they absolutely and stubbornly refused to comply with your wishes, wouldn’t you fire them? How many businesses can be well run without a budget setting forth priorities? None!
Yet we allow our Congress to cry like little baby boys and girls whenever we ask the same of them. Instead of acting like employees that we pay to form our nation’s budget, they pout and stamp their feet threatening to tear apart their bedrooms and run away to the neighbor’s house up the street if we dare to ask them to grow up.
So now we call their bluff. The nation will be thrown into a scene of watching our Congress meet on their chamber floors in their finest garb to begin to holler and cry and throw fits. They will ask the leaders of the agencies they fund to come before us and to pout and demand with threats that they won’t clean their rooms if we deny them their candy. Let them all meet on the floors of Congress and have the biggest collective crying and screaming fit they can muster.
When its all through, and the tears have dried, and they are calmer in their own minds, they will finally look at each other and wonder why their fuss did not work this time. Perhaps a few will even wonder what all the fuss was about. Realizing the American people have taken on the responsibility that comes with being adults in charge of legislative children, they will finally then get about cleaning up their chambers, dusting off their finest garb, sitting down in their designated chairs, and beginning to do the difficult work we sent them to Washington to do.
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