Life is a matter of having what you want and paying the price for it. The problem with politics is they leave off the last half of that…
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) September 26, 2012
Isn’t that true? Don’t we, as a matter of course in this country, talk about things like education, medical care, “good jobs,” Social Security, and Medicare like they’re the birthright of every American? This is like saying that having a body like a professional athlete, plenty of money, and a beautiful girlfriend is the birthright of every American man.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have it.
You want a body like a professional athlete? Eat healthy and exercise for 3-4 hours a day, every day, for years. Then you’ll have it.
You want plenty of money? Go into a profession that pays well. Work hard. If need be, get a second job and invest everything you make. Then you’ll have it.
If you do the first two, dress nice, work to develop your personality a bit, and spend enough time looking, then you should be able to get the beautiful girlfriend as well.
However, notice that although you can have what you want, no one hands it to you on a silver platter. You have to pay the price to get what you want.
However, there is no similar trade-off being offered by politicians in D.C. Instead, if any trade-off is offered at all, it’s mostly illusionary or demagoguery. The fact of the matter is we have a 16 trillion dollar debt and are running a deficit of more than a trillion dollars a year.
Even liberals, if pressed, will admit that this is not sustainable.
But, whether they’re pressed or not, they also won’t agree to cut any spending. Even today, in the Tea Party era, Republicans in D.C. are guilty of this, too — although to a lesser extent. The Republicans have already agreed to cut defense, but now they’ve changed their minds. Although the GOP is incessantly talking about the importance of the deficit, it’s also pushing for tax cuts for high income earners. It’s understandable that we wouldn’t want to raise taxes on anyone, but should we be reducing taxes on the wealthiest Americans when we’re running a trillion dollar deficit?
However, it’s time to start asking some hard questions like…
* Can we afford to have both massive government and 47% of the population not paying income tax?
* Can we really continue to fund a decade of retirement and medical care for every American?
* Can we continue to spend more on our military than all our closest rivals combined?
* Our biggest expenditures are Medicare, Social Security, Defense, and interest on the debt. How can the government continue to function as a nation without cutting costs in those areas?
* Do we ever intend to pay back our debt? To do so, we’re going to have to run a surplus. When does that happen?
* If we have to choose between Social Security and Medicare, which one do we cut? If we have to choose between cutting Defense and Education, which one do we cut?
* What services are we willing to do without to reduce the cost of government?
These aren’t academic or unimportant discussions. They’re at the core of what our government should be doing and HAS DONE throughout most of our history. Whether we like it or not, as it becomes more and more difficult to finance our debt, history is about to repeat itself.