Saturday, Aug 30, 2014
Columns

Borrowing with abandon into oblivion


Published:

On Wednesday, Congress allowed our government to borrow nearly $1 trillion more dollars. The left was successful in convincing the majority that if the borrowing cap was not raised, the country would go into default. The horror stories about what would happen if the debt limit was not raised were off the page.

It amazes me that so many people fail to understand that spending must conform to what one earns. Large purchases such as a car or home must be financed over years, but the monthly payments must be budgeted so that one remains above water. Our government does not seem to have learned that lesson.

A special joint committee will be established by Congress to look into establishing a budget by the end of the year. Does that sound familiar? Our constitution dictates that a budget must be established each year, yet the Senate has not had one since the president took office. That is why we have a continuing resolution that allows the government to operate for a specified period of time by using the last budget figures as a standard.

What is the first advice that an advisor gives to individuals who are in debt? They are told to reduce their spending and to pay more than the minimum on their credit card. Most of us can understand that advice because it is our money, but members of Congress and the president do not have that incentive. The money that they spend is not theirs. To add to their incentive for spending, they buy votes with what they spend by telling their voters how much money that they brought into the district.

I am old enough to remember that years ago the government budget year started in June, was changed to October to give Congress more time to create a budget. Why the budget year does not start on Jan. 1 is beyond me. Having two different starts of a year seems confusing, but I suppose that is part of why it was done.

Buying votes is not just an American trait. Politicians all over the world do that except for the dictatorships where they rule by force.

Sadly, we will probably go through all of this again in a couple of months as this continuing resolution come to an end. The tactics used this time were very successful, so I suspect that they will be used again with some added gimmicks. The solution is simple - PASS A BUDGET FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR and operate within your means.

Since our Congress spent so much time finally passing this latest "crisis" it is going to take a break. We also have the Thanksgiving holiday approaching and Congress will be gone again as the next deadline approaches.

The Christmas and New Year holidays will also see our government officials leave. When can we expect them to truly deal with the debt and spending? Added to all of this is that next year is an election year and all of the House of Representatives and a third of the senators will be concerned with their re-elections. Everything else takes second place.

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