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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Reality is difficult to hide

DONALD MYERS, A Mind of Staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 04:18 PM

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As a senior citizen who has survived for well over 70 years, I have lived in the real world. I tire of individuals trying to convince me that what I see, experience, and feel are not quite true.

I remember times when nearly everything was rationed because of war. That was World War II when war impacted on nearly everyone in one way or another. Almost all the young men were gone in the service. There were very few young men in any neighborhood. I do not recall ever seeing a young man in my neighborhood unless he was in uniform on leave. 

Ration cards were issued to everyone so that no one could take advantage of the war. History tells us that it did not work, but even as a small child, I knew that it did not work. We practiced meatless Tuesdays and as a catholic, we also had meatless Fridays. How that contributed to the war effort fails to make sense to me even today.

Years later as a young Marine in the far east, we were paid cash, but were required to use military script when we went into town. I still have some of that script in one of my albums from my enlisted service. The dollar was more valuable so it was not to be used in the civilian community. That also did not work.

Today, we are constantly told about how much that tax cuts cost to the federal government. How many times must it be shown that when taxes are reduced, the economy grows and more revenue goes to the federal government?

That happened when President Kennedy did it in the 60's and when President Reagan did it in the 80's and when President Bush did it during his first term. We are told that the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes and if they did we would significantly eliminate our financial difficulties. If we took every penny of those who are millionaires and billionaires, it would not cover the deficit for this year alone and it could only happen once.

My wife and I moved to Florida in 2004 when the boom was in full bloom. The money was pouring into the federal, state, and local governments and each spent it like there was no tomorrow. In the case of the federal government, it still ran a deficit while spending increased each year.

There never seems to be enough money no matter how much is spent. New programs are started and immediately, they are deemed too important not to continue. As these programs are started, they also fall under the federal budgeting process known as "base line budgeting." That system looks at whatever was spent during the year as the baseline and the next budget is increased up to 10 percent no matter how the economy is doing. That makes no sense at all, but that is one of the culprits involved in our financial problems. As ordinary citizens, we cannot live like that and our government cannot either. 

Our economy is struggling and unfortunately, the government is doing little to assist. In fact, it is doing more to hinder than help. New regulations continue to pour out of Washington and businesses struggle to keep up with them. That is one of the reasons that jobs are not increasing more rapidly.

It has been almost four years and President Bush is still being blamed for our financial problems. Does anyone really believe that? When should an individual accept responsibility for his position. In the military, it happens on the first day. When you accept command, you are responsible for everything that is either done or not done from that moment.

Think about it. This President came into office with an overwhelming majority in the House, a filibuster proof in the Senate, and three months to put together a staff and create plans for the changeover. That isn't enough to really get going? You eat an elephant one bite at a time. If jobs had really been the top priority, it would have been done, but ideology interfered because this administration believes that the government is the answer to all problems and the economy should be centrally controlled. Look at all the countries that tried to do that. They eventually failed with the USSR being the major one.

We remain the greatest country in the world with people capable of doing magnificent things, but for too long our government has stood in the way. We know that there is much to be done and that sacrifices are necessary. What we want is the opportunity to move this country forward and for our government to get out of the way and stop placing roadblocks in our way.

Donald J. Myers, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at

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