From The Clocktower – When will we finally say, “enough?”

By Kathi Bliss
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Our leadership was at it again this week, this time driving through $26 billion in legislation they say will save more than 300,000 jobs for teachers, law enforcement officers and other public safety officials, and providing extended Medicare and Medicaid funding several states, including Texas.

On the upside, it closed a loophole used by some multinational corporations to escape paying their fair share of taxes. The downside, of course, is that it will cut food stamp funding by some $12 billion, in 2014.

This legislation presents several ideological problems for me.

First of all, the proponents of the bill gathered support by saying that it won’t add to the deficit, because it’s “paid for.” The last time I checked my calendar, it’s not quite 2014 yet. If things keep going the way they are going now, we aren’t in any kind of position, as a nation, to know what the economy will look like in four years.

In our own personal lives, we’re being encouraged, over and over again, to live within our means. After all, didn’t the so-called mortgage crisis get started in the first place when would-be homeowners projected what their incomes would be, four or five years out, when their ARMs cranked up and their mortgage payments skyrocketed?

That went well for them, didn’t it? I wonder, does our elected leadership not notice the parallels?

Then, on Wednesday morning, the Federal Reserve announced that, in an effort to “stimulate the economy,” it had decided to use interest income to buy some $10 million a month in government debt, in an effort to “open up credit opportunities.”

Now, I might be mistaken, but didn’t the government spend some $800 billion on a bailout package that was supposed to open up lines of credit for the common man.

The net effect of that, if I observe what’s happening around me lately, was negligible at best. Why on earth would the powers-that-be at the Fed think, “well… this time it will work.”

It doesn’t work. Spending money you don’t have, costs more money.

Now, the House is going to consider allocating $600 million to border security, to bolster the use of unmanned surveillance drones, among other things.

Great. I’m all for increased border security. But securing the borders is only a tiny step into fixing what ails this country, where illegal immigration is concerned.

A friend of the family, a banker by trade, once told me when I was trying to rearrange some debt that there was no way I could get out of my financial hole if I decided to keep digging. Translation: You can’t solve your money problems by borrowing more money.

It’s a fact. No one can solve money problems by spending more money – including the Federal government.

As a nation, we have allowed our collective leadership to mortgage us right up to our eyebrows. The spending isn’t stopping. It’s not even slowing down.

It reminds me of my first year in college, when every credit card company in the universe was pounding down my dormitory door to give me a credit card. I took them all, and I spent like a lunatic.

Eighteen years later – I’m still paying for that. And those debts I’m talking about, are only in the thousands. A drop in the bucket as comparison to what our government is doling out every single day.

Yes, as a nation we have serious problems. Yes, our economy, according to many experts, is in the tank, and is in the most precarious position it’s seen in generations. Yes, according to our leadership, these spending measures are saving jobs.

But then… if jobs are being saved, why does the unemployment rate continue to climb.

Mr. Doggett, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. Cornyn – I’m looking at you.

This has to stop. Have we not yet learned that throwing money at our problems is not solving our problems. Rather, it seems, throwing money that we don’t have at problems we can’t solve is making things worse. It’s time. It’s time to take a serious look at why our national budget is bleeding money, and stop the bleeding.

In your home, when you have to tighten your belts, do you not prioritize, think about it and then, if you have to, turn off the cable or cut back on luxuries. If your water bill or power bill is higher than it should be, don’t you look for the leaks, find the problems, and make the repairs? Or do you just keep paying outrageous bills and say, “this is just the way things are.”
kathibliss@post-register.com

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