All of Us Must Share the Pain


With the coming elections in November, every one of us must prepare for a very different reality.  We are faced with a startling array of problems.

We are in the midst of the most serious financial crisis in the history of the country.  We are indebted to foreign governments by trillions of dollars.

We have crippled the job creation engine of small business with a matchless burden of regulation and taxation.

We are planning to pick the pockets of anyone even remotely successful to fund a power-grabbing/vote-buying scheme for universal healthcare which in neither universal or does anything to improve anyone’s health.

We have encouraged more and more of our citizens to chuck self-reliance out the window and become ever more dependent on government largesse and we tell them it’s an “entitlement”, that they are entitled to take money away from working people so they don’t have to work, save or plan for their own futures.

Can any reasonable person believe that the unbearable burden of debt caused by the unrestrained spending of money that we don’t have, can be cured by doubling down on the same old profligate self-delusion?  Can anyone with a trace of common sense actually believe that nonsense?

Ending this cycle will be painful.  Very painful.  And there is no way to avoid the pain.  During the Civil War, soldiers on both sides were only given something to bite down on to deal with the pain as their legs or arms were amputated. That was all surgeons of that time had to offer.  Now we all have to find something to bite down on, because the pain for at least the next 10 years will be intense. There is no economic Novocaine for us.

We are faced with a choice in November and if we don’t choose wisely, and by that I mean making choices that work against our own short-term interests, we will watch our nation be destroyed.

The single thing that we have to keep in mind is that no matter whether Democrats or Republicans, the politicians that are trying to get re-elected are going to lie to us.  The political wannabees are also going to lie to us.  The truly pathetic part of this is that both will tell us the same lies that they’ve been feeding us for a hundred years.  The will lower taxes, achieve higher domestic spending, guarantee larger entitlement payments, assure us of more and higher paying jobs, and so on, and so on.

Lies.  I know that’s not the most diplomatic way to put it, but I think the time for diplomatic fantasies and soft-sell of the truth are long since past.  Both parties have helped bring us to this state.  Both.  Not just the Democrats and not just the Republicans.

So come November, we have to choose truth over lies.  Or, if you prefer, intelligence over idiocy.  Or character over political expedience.

But we have to keep in mind that whenever we hear one candidate speak of tax cuts, or increases in aid from Washington for your state, or congressional district, plan on voting for the other one.  And if they BOTH tell variations of the same lies, it’s time that we begin to look seriously at the other candidates on the ballot.  And we must all be prepared to spend a fair amount of time being vilified by the dinosaur media, as you get to town halls for all the candidates, and call them out on their idiocies.  The current power elites, the government, bureaucrats, the unions, the media, and academia, all like things just the way they are.  But we can no longer allow things as they are to continue.

Should the changes we need in government be seismic?  I’m afraid that would make the cure worse than the disease.  It took us decades to get to this point, and it will take us decades to correct things.  There are steps that we can take, and I would expect the candidates in November to speak to at least several.

For instance, freeze wages and benefits for all civilian Federal workers.  They are currently well above the national private employer wages, so let’s just freeze their wages and benefits until the private sector catches up.

Let’s freeze hiring for non-military Federal positions as well.  Given the elimination of automatic wage increases, and an ever increasing workload demand due to reductions in available workers from deaths, retirements and normal attrition, we should be able to reduce the total federal civilian employment levels by 35% to 50% within 10 years.

Do not reduce taxes.   Stabilize them.  The private sector cannot and will not invest and expand when taxes are a major uncertainty.  But we cannot reduce taxes.  We must reduce spending, and use the tax surplus to buy back our debt.  And Congress cannot have access to the excess.  Balanced budgets be damned!  We need to generate budgets with a surplus.  The bill for our “champagne-for-everyone” spending spree has come due, and now is the time to admit it.

There are many more ideas that can be floated.  We must do more than just expect candidates to pledge themselves to painful changes. We must mandate that they actually follow through on pledges to rein in the spending.  If they won’t, or if we refuse to admit that there is no painkiller available for us, we, as a nation, are going to end up looking a lot like Greece.

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About Jim Yardley

Retired after 30 years as a financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, and independent voter.
Gallery | This entry was posted in 2012 election, Economy, Elections, Government Spending, Observing Our Culture, Political Doubletalk, Taxes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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