"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

There Oughta Be a Law

Where to begin. Every day we are experiencing and every day we see with our own eyes what we know to be misguided behavior. But we never see appropriate remedial action. We all know that the national government is now an accumulation of programs, agencies, personnel and costs that bear no association with the fiscally sensible priorities of a responsible nation. We are not even sure what the priorities are anymore because the priorities bounce around and the spending just keep rising.

We all know that the states are burdened with mandates from Washington DC that are the consequence of a rudderless effort to keep making everything better for everyone and, in the process of such silliness, the only real beneficiaries are the people who print government bonds and currency and work for the thousands of local, state and national governments.

We see, in our communities, out of control education costs with no accountability for results. We see this issue at a sustained crisis level in our major urban areas. The performance of urban public schools stink and they keep asking for more money. How about some new ideas, some new teachers, some competitors, some results? Oh no, just give us more money.  The schools should be closed and competition and new entries encouraged.

We see the daily misuse of the descriptive phrase – “public servant” knowing full well that the only public the public servants are serving are themselves, their associates and their highly compensated union bosses. There is a declining pool of tax funds available to pay for the basic activities assigned to government because the tax funds are paying for inflated salaries, benefits and generous pension plans.  Basic services deteriorate.  Privatization and competition, coupled with sacrifice and frugality, are the solution.  All public pensions should be revised by law to do away with defined benefit plans and replaced with defined contribution (IRA's and 401k's) plans.

Most of our larger states, the ones that now seem to be unable to enact any form of remedial or corrective action due to entrenched powerful groups supported by other entrenched powerful groups, are insolvent; teetering on bankruptcy. Heaven forbid that they would even consider issuing a legitimate financial statement accurately showing asset and liabilities and accounting for unfunded yet constantly owed liabilities such as pension payments, medical payments and other entitlement and personnel obligations.

We see special groups of people who do not submit and are not called to perform to the laws and rules that apply to most of us. Police who apply different standards to their own than to the public. Politicians who receive benefits and perquisites that are reminiscent of either royalty or tyrants. Judges who are afraid to enforce the basic laws so they "go along to get along."  Teachers who do not wish to be submit to performance standards. Silly litigation for those who accept no responsibility for their actions or the consequences of their actions. More lawyers per citizen than any nation on the face of the globe.  The examples are now endless.

We experience legislation that is measured by the pound; not the principle. A simple bill demanding a balanced budget is nowhere in sight. A simple bill demanding the reduction of debt is not even being considered.  A 2000 page document written by lawyers, special interests, pharmaceutical company lobbyists and several hundred more highly compensated individuals looking out for their carefully focused interests, is touted as a giant step forward by an increasingly apparent very weak individual posing as a leader. Who's gonna pay for it?  Not the people who vote for him.

The party out of power (POOP), after holding the chief executive spot for 96 months, was tossed out due in no small part to a record monthly deficit spending pace of $50+ billion. The party in power (PIP) now, learning nothing from that experience, has ballooned that pace to $150+ billion per month. This is not comprehensible to anyone who breathes, thinks and has ever balanced a checkbook. But it is happening. And then the people who do it are now saying we must stop spending so much money or we must raise taxes or both. Huh?

The people know better. The leaders do not. As a matter of fact, they are not leaders. They are self serving human beings engaged in a daily embrace of most of the documented known human failings – greed, pride, gluttony and sloth. We have been sold out for the silliest of all reasons – selfishness and misguided direction. We cannot solve everyone’s problem. We cannot make everyone’s life better. And we just plain have no business sticking our nose in other people’s business. Government is not a church; not a religion; not a cause. As a matter of fact our guiding law says we cannot establish a state religion in our country. And yet that is what the politicians and special interests have done. They have bypassed the basic religions and set up their own. And, much like the established religions, their religion follows many of the same tried, tested and true behaviors – fear tactics; high faluting principles; demands for money not earned but assessed to the followers; lots of glorification of personalities; false sense of uniqueness for participants; an entrenched leadership group that is so self elevated it is above the masses (a bright new face on the scene named Rand Paul correctly called them "arrogant") and countless monetary and personal benefits for those on the in. Here is what the USConstitution says about establishing a religion in the United States – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

The US government has become the Church of Making Life Better for Everyone, except those who are either temporarily out of favor or just aren’t inclined to drink the cool aid, by Spending Borrowed Money. As a comic strip used to say, “There oughta be a law.” Hello? There is. It’s called the Constitution.

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