Saturday, February 23, 2013

Advice to Our Government

As sequestration is looming, I have one bit of advice to all who might have a part in solving the problem:


The President and everyone in Congress is to blame, as are we, for demanding that government should do what we should do for ourselves.  We Americans are not children, needing someone to tell us what is best to do with our money, our bodies, and ultimately, our lives.

Sequestration would lop off about 2.5% of the increase in the federal budget, hardly enough to cause the End of the World as We Know It.  The problem comes because the President and the congressional leadership came to an agreement that was tantamount to blackmail:  slash spending OR ELSE we will slash it, in a way sure to be painful.  The agreement will cause much more pain than necessary by weakening our defense and suddenly firing thousands of necessary workers.  None of this is necessary; 2.5% of the increase is NOT a huge sacrifice; actually, it's not a sacrifice at all.

I've grown tired of watching politicians point fingers back and forth like children caught fighting on the playground.  "You cut first!"  "No, you!"  Sorry, folks.  We all are aware that trying to fix blame on someone else is just your attempt to avoid your own punishment.  So I must repeat, like the good mom I am:


Since no one in Washington seems to have the courage--or the good sense--to fix their mistake, here is the grown-up way to remedy it:

  • Every department head is to decide how to cut his/her budget 2.5%. It is up to them to decide how to make their division function on less money, whether that is letting people go, reducing lunch breaks, or not ordering paper clips, staplers, and new computers.
  • Politicians are to stay out of the process, except for slashing their own budgets 2.5%.  No fair telling anyone else how to cut expenditures; take care of your own problem.  
  • Mr. President, this solution includes you.  Slash your own budget 2.5%. Take one less vacation and tell Michelle and the girls to have a "stay-cation" like the rest of us.  
Cutting spending is never pleasant.  It requires self-discipline--and self-respect.  If spending needs to be cut, it's because circumstances have changed, or because self-control in purchasing has not been exercised.  Both of these conditions have occurred in the management of our national fiscal affairs.  So let's all take our medicine like grown-ups and solve the problem.