Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Tweedle-Beetle (budget) Battle…

If you were going to go to your boss and ask for a raise, which of these two approaches would you think would be most likely to work:

1.      Hey boss, you know these on-line games are expensive and I really need a new iPad.  Also, my wife really likes to eat out so I need some more money.  How about a raise?

2.      Hey boss, my little Johnny has an incurable disease and will die if I don’t get a raise to pay for his care.  That will lead me to suicide and you’ll have to find someone else to fill my job.  Not to mention that my family is eating dog food to survive and we’re running out of furniture to burn to stay warm.  How about a raise?

Welcome to the world of politics.  Every time the government wants more money, they figure out what will cause the absolute MOST pain to those paying the bill (you and I).   They tell us that firefighters will be laid off, teachers won’t be able to teach, city services will be cut, jobs will be lost, travelers will be inconvenienced!  Oh woe and dispare!  Wailing and gnashing of teeth will ensue!!! 
These guys are pro's.  They intentionally aim the ‘cuts’ at those things.  Does anybody out there REALLY believe that there is no other place to do budget cuts ($44 billion from a $3.6 trillion budget???) than from the most critical places???  The frightening thing is how many people have been suckered in to believing this hogwash.

The government, in the guise of our elected representatives, have figured out that doom and gloom are far more effective at getting you and I to open our wallets.  Imagine if they came to us and said, “You know, we need to raise taxes or else we’re going to have to eliminate waste in some of our government spending!”  Most of us would say, “Ok.  So eliminate waste.  Sounds better than raising my taxes.”  See the problem?  They can’t tell us that there are alternatives to shutting down control towers in airports or eliminating TSA checkpoints or cutting the military budget during a war.

But first, we have to have a reality check.  The budget is NOT being cut.  The budget (read as ‘spending’) is actually going up, AFTER THE CUTS, by 15%!  Remember, only in Washington do they consider last year’s budget as a ‘baseline’ or zero point, and figure everything from there.  In their minds, what we gave them last year is now the starting point.  They tacked on about 18-20% above that baseline for this year and now are looking at reducing that increase by 3%!  I have to ask:  How did we make it last year without all of these cuts?  Somehow these elected idiots have figured out how to get 15% more money and call that a cut since they originally were going to increase it by 18%, and that somehow, Armageddon will ensue because of that non-existent 3%.


One other thing that comes to mind for me:  if these cuts REALLY will cause ALL of this calamity, then we now have proof positive that the Federal Government is involved in too many things.  Think about it.  Why should Federal budget cuts impact firefighters, policemen and teachers, all of whom are paid at the local level with city or state funds?  The only reason is because the Feds send money to the states to help pay for that stuff.  The sad truth is that the states have decided that they love that federal money more than they love their sovereignty.  Why should Federal budget cuts impact air travel?  That’s a private industry!  Oh, yeah – The FAA and TSA.  I don’t have a beef with the FAA.  As a licensed pilot, I think they perform a vital role.  However, the TSA is another story.  Why is this job a government job?  So here’s a question for you:  If the airlines still ran security, would the Federal Government having money problems impact travelers going through security?  Probably not. 

One quick aside:  The reality here is that until it was taken over by the government, searches of our ‘stuff’ was perfectly legal since the airlines paid for and ran security. The moment the government took over airport security, our 4th amendment rights were violated.  I personally don't think that's a good thing.  But I’m getting off topic.

The bottom line is this:  our politicians are scum.  Our media are scum suckers.  All of this ‘theater’ is destructive.  We are being played.  The media are not complicit – they are part of the ‘play’.  None of what’s happening makes the life of any citizen better.  We’ve completely lost our way – the role of government was to listen to the people and find ways to allow the individual to grow and become all they are capable and desirous of becoming.  Our government has become a business in its own right.  Virtually everything you see or hear from the Federal Government is managed by PR firms.  Companies like Hill and Knowlton massage every aspect of the message.  These companies get literally millions of dollars every year to figure out how to ‘push’ the public in the direction the politician wants them to go.  In other words, they are using our tax dollars against us.  No real surprise there, though – we should be pretty well trained by now by the IRS, TSA, BATFE, EPA, FDA, USDA… the list goes on-and-on.  Maybe that’s why they need 3.5 trillion dollars in tax money from us.

Unfortunately, our Federal Government provides very little value from the value they take from us.  We give of our blood and treasure, and in return, they take more. 

Kinda sad, isn’t it?

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