Making sense out of cents

October 22, 2013 

The recent actions by our elected leaders in Washington were quite a spectacle.

We saw Ted Cruz arguing for a cause important to his way of thinking and those folks in the Tea Party camp.

We saw the President of the United States stating that he wouldn't talk to anyone unless they gave up their few bargaining chips before he would even sit down to talk.

Harry Reid refused to bring bills to the Senate for votes, The Speaker of the House doing the same thing as Reid, Nancy Pelosi babbling over something on a daily basis, and everyone pointing fingers at the other party over the stalemate that partially shutdown the Federal Government for almost three weeks.

It must have been nice for those many federal employees to know after the second day that they would be paid in full and not lose a day of vacation pay or sick leave. When my fellow teachers and I were furloughed, we lost the money and it wasn't ever promised to be repaid.

The media painted the Tea Party folks as trying to stop Obamacare and being willing to shut down the government to do so at the last minute. In the same stories, they chided the House of Representatives for voting 40 separate times trying to eliminate or delay Obamacare. Harry Reid refused to ever take it to the Senate and even if he had Harry knew the president would not sign it. So the Republicans were not "Johnny come lately's" to this issue.

Please don't attack them by stating, as many of the pundits do on television, "It's the law; get used to it." It seems to me that when this state and other states have passed the Defense of Marriage act, Immigration Laws, death penalty laws, drug laws restricting drug legalization, the left just kept coming back again and again and then getting judges to just toss the will of the people. That is how the system works but heaven forbid if a conservative challenges the president's health care boondoggle.

What the Tea Party folks were really concerned about is the out-of-control spending in Washington. The debt ceiling, which Senator Obama voted a couple of times to not increase, is now almost $8 trillion greater than when he took office.

Both parties are responsible for this debt and all of us need to agree to make changes that will allow us to stop this crazy spending. The problem seems to be that Republicans want to cut every program and Democrats have never met a tax or program they want to cut.

The federal numbers are so large we can't begin to understand them so I would like to make it a little easier. First, we spend more than we take in. Secondly, we need to stop doing that. We spend $50,000 more per second than we take in every second of every day of the year.

Imagine family's finances in this manner: annual income — $21,700 but they spent $38,200 in the same year. They charged to their credit cards the new debt of $16,500 making their outstanding balance on their credit card a whopping $142,710. When they want to increase their credit card limit, the banker says they have to cut down on their spending and they report to that banker that they have trimmed their budget during the year by $38.50.

If you add eight zeros to each number except for the last one, which only requires seven zeroes, you will see an example of the national debt problem, except that the current numbers are even worse.

We have all been there and we came to our senses and cut the spending. Many families and many businesses have survived financially because one or more of the folks involved began to act like the adult in the room and stopped acting the role of the spoiled child. Somebody put the brakes on the spending and got the financial house in order.

The Tea Party folks aren't crazy and they don't want to harm folks, deny people medical care, or have dirty drinking water or air. What they are saying is that we simply cannot afford to give or spend more dollars than we take in and they used the bully pulpit of the debt ceiling vote to bring attention to their concerns.

When we see that more than half of the population of this nation is getting entitlements, we need to look at each program; evaluate it, check for fraud, examine places to cut and then make those cuts.

It would be possible to balance the federal budget within 10 short years by simply cutting one cent out of every dollar for the next few years to allow the revenue to catch up to the spending.

And that one cent cut makes sense.

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