The joke is on us

My Thoughts

Dr. Bill AtwoodApril 10, 2013 

Last week when the president announced that April should be proclaimed as Fiscal Responsibility Month for the federal government many assumed it was an April Fool's Day joke. Sadly the joke is on us as the leader of the free world seemingly has little understanding how our economic system works.

He sees no problem with large deficits and even larger national debt. He sees successful businesses as exploiters and those in our society who sit back and simply take without giving anything in return as the victims of rich people's greed.

The fact is that the European model of economics doesn't work and hasn't ever really worked. Look at the economic chaos in Greece and Cyprus and you have a taste of what is to come here.

The unemployment numbers came out last week and even CNN was talking about the fact that the numbers are down only because more and more unemployed people have given up looking for jobs so they no longer count as unemployed.

The horrific fact is that only 63.5% of American adults are employed. That is a level that rivals the numbers established in the Carter administration in 1979.

The stock market is up only because the feds are printing more money each and every day and the banks are not lending so they invest in the market driving up prices to levels that do not truly reflect the economic troubles we are facing.

The president now wants to drop the credit score standards so that higher credit risk folks may qualify for loans they cannot re-pay. What will happen? You and I know that in a few years we will get to bailout lenders "too big to fail" and the government will stick it to the taxpayers.

If the president is really serious about fiscal responsibility he needs to understand a couple of concepts. He and his party need to develop a budget designed to getting the federal spending down to a balanced level.

The impeached former president, Bill Clinton, loves to talk about his balanced budget but he fails to remember that during those years he was forced by a conservative crowd in Congress to balance that budget. Once the tax and spenders returned, the budget went into the red zone again. Then Senator Obama referred to George Bush's budget deficits as unpatriotic.

After he develops a budget along with a plan to reduce the deficit he needs to learn that government can't afford everything and that government isn't responsible to pay for everything.

The president needs to realize that this government is spending way more than it is taking in. Nancy Pelosi showed her true colors when she stated there wasn't a spending problem in Washington. She's right -- There isn't a problem at all because they spend and spend and spend. There is a fiscal restraint problem in Washington and Nancy and the rest of them haven't met a government program they don't love and embrace.

What we are seeing is a decline in opportunities for small businesses to grow because they fear increased taxes and they fear the effects of Obamacare. It is getting so scary that there is now talk of delaying implementing some of the regulations of Obamacare for a year so that the collapse of the economy can be put off.

It was heartwarming to hear that the president has decided to give up 5% of his $400,000 annual salary. While it is a nice gesture, the $20,000 he gives up won't be noticed in the Obama family coffers. They still live in nice digs and the girls will still be able to attend a private school that costs $50,000 for the two of them and the president will enjoy a hefty retirement along with his ability to earn millions in speaking fees and book deals.

My pay has dropped a great deal in the past five years. I have absorbed a much greater percentage hit than the president given that my salary is far, far, far less than his. We handled the pay cut by doing something he doesn't understand -- We cut our expenses.

It is very simple to have fiscal responsibility in Washington. Spend less -- Much less.

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