RON HART: Government: Shut her down and prioritize
“Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt … the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we are running up our debt.” — Barack Obama
I am not the least bit concerned about the federal government shutdown. My worry is that it might open back up.
All of this could have been avoided if Washington politicians didn’t have the budgeting skills of an Ole Miss frat boy.
Most of the media and the government yell like stuck pigs about a pending government shutdown. Headlines like “A Crisis” and “A Historical Calamity” abound. Aside from not being true, the government had one of these shutdowns 17 years ago. It is important to spin the blame for any impending need in order for us to reorganize our financial priorities.
Washington, where most of these government moochers live, is in a tizzy. Their biggest fear now is that the panda-cam at the Washington Zoo has been shut down.
I read the list of “services” that will be halted during this shutdown: not the few essential tasks of government like defense, the courts and roads. Mostly the national parks will be closed to teach us a lesson. Americans will be forbidden to go into the woods at our national parks during the shutdown. As enforcement, 10,000 more park rangers will be hired.
If Washington fully shuts down, who will spy on us? Who will collect our cell phone records or hassle charities that disagree philosophically with the current administration? Who will sic IRS agents on us if we do not buy the government's health insurance? Who will audit our tax returns or invade and occupy other countries based on faulty intelligence? Who will promise voters future payments in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing and pensions that cannot possibly be paid? And the biggest question: How would we know?
The feds act like it is such a catastrophe if they have to live within their means. You know, spending only the money they bring in — like you and I have to do each day. Somehow some great social injustice is done if they cannot borrow to wastefully spend forever. This president speaks of the “greed of the rich” at a $25,000-a-plate campaign fund raiser.
Remember when Obama sent his henchmen cabinet secretaries to the podium to tell us how awful it would be for us if we had the “sequester”? That was the 2.2 percent cut in growth of “non-essential” government services. I’m amazed by what the government considers “services.” Remember, "IRS" stands for the Internal Revenue Service. It shows the government has a sense of humor.
Our petulant president cut the minor cost of White House tours for school children and then left on a $1 million trip to play golf with Tiger Woods in Florida. The cost of that trip alone would have funded White House tours for years.
He gets away with it because his base does not understand finance. Those people think “sequestration” means removing sequins from Elton John’s costumes.
Deficit spending will eventually come to a head, and it will not be pretty. You cannot have a love affair with borrowed money. It’s like a love affair with vodka: long-term, it will never love you back.
Think of it this way. If someone owed you lots of money, would you prefer that he be allowed to raise the credit limit on his credit card or have it stay the same so he would be forced to live within his means? Which situation would give you more confidence that you will get your money back? Which one moves the borrower toward financial solvency?
Obama uses lies and simplistic terms to try to explain it all and to get his way. He says America “is not a deadbeat nation.” This comes from a guy with an unlisted phone number so Chinese debt collectors cannot call him.
Whether the Senate gives itself more deficit spending ability is a sideshow. It will be like a student film compared to the drama that ultimately unfolds when rates rise and people do not want our paper. Now is the right time to start scaling back spending and adjusting our priorities with a government growing out of control.
Why not shut down “nonessential” parts of government and just re-open the parts we miss?
Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator. Email Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.