Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest post: Budgets, Budgets, Budgets

Please scroll down below this post for today’s Political SitRep. ~Bob

Budgets, Budgets, Budgets
Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)

The president finally produced his budget for 2014 even though it was over two months late. The Senate also produced a budget for the first time in four years even though by law it is required to produce one every year, but then when did Congress think that laws were also meant for them? The House produced its budget as usual so now we normal citizens will watch the circus as all those concerned accuse each other of being the roadblock to producing a realistic end result.

The Senate proposal makes no effort to balance the budget over the next decade. The House says that their proposal will balance the budget while not raising taxes. The president's budget increases spending by a trillion dollars and raising taxes by over a trillion dollars. Each of these proposals looks a decade into the future and yet no congress is responsible for anything other than the first year. Anything other than the year 2014 is a fantasy and make believe, but is supposedly a plan.

Our current debt is closing on 17 trillion dollars and the president's budget will add eight trillion dollars to that debt. Does anyone believe that we can survive with a debt that large? Our credit rating was reduced once by Standard and Poor's because it believed that we were not serious about reducing our deficit. What do you think will happen if we continue to increase our debt? Interest rates are currently low, but if they were to raise one percentage point that would mean an additional 170 billion dollar cost per year. We remain a good investment for other countries, but unless we regain control of our spending that will not continue.

None of these budgets really consider the effects of ObamaCare that comes into being on 1 January. The reports that tend to be issued each day seem to predict that it will be a disaster and cost a fortune. The ceaseless issue of new rules and regulations by the various agencies of the federal government are also unknown; however, if the last several years are any indication they will cost additional billions.

Sadly, I fear that far too many of our fellow citizens pay little attention to what occurs in Washington. The budget is merely an example. Trillions of dollars are nearly beyond comprehension. The late eighties saw the first budget of a trillion dollars and now we are approaching four trillion. Does our government need to be that large? A recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported 162 examples of government duplication in 31 different areas. As an example, do we really need three government agencies to inspect catfish? Each of the services has its own organization developing camouflage uniforms. Can anyone tell me why sailors aboard ship need a camouflage uniform especially since it is blue? Why not get rid of the duplication? I suspect that the main reason is that each one is supported by a certain elected official. It's not their money so why should they be concerned. There never was a time that we could afford this, but as the government grows more and more of this occurs. It is time to get serious about this and break out the axe rather than the scalpel.

Now that there are proposed budgets from all concerned, perhaps something positive will be done. Spending is the major problem and that must be addressed honestly. Any time that any of us had to face an unexpected financial problem, the first thing that most of us considered was how to reduce spending that was not essential. It is amazing how much that can be. The government must do the same.

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