It occurs to me that everywhere we look, things look better than when we were raised. Our houses are bigger, our cars are newer, our roads are better, and our buildings are grander. It appears we are a wealthy nation.
But are we really? When I was young, there was no talk about trillion dollar deficits nor were there many credit cards in circulation. My family didn’t have one nor did I have one until I was over 25 years old.
What we have today is a federal government that spends like there is no tomorrow. The sequester and the House feuding with the Senate is the only reason federal spending has been controlled somewhat. Our President spends and believes we need to raise taxes to spend some more. Congress did the same thing, and it didn’t seem to matter which party was in control. In the past the Democrats spent and wanted to raise taxes to keep on spending, while the Republicans spent and didn’t want to raise taxes. It didn’t mean that the Republicans stopped spending, though.
Our current Congress may be different, but only time will tell. And don’t get me started about our state agencies.
I belong to the Florida Forestry Association, and last summer I learned that our federal government was destroying their surplus military equipment instead of passing it on to local and state governments. I used to work for the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, and we used to rely on those surplus machines to make ends meet. Our agency didn’t have a lot of money to spend, and in Florida our constitution requires a balanced budget. No money, no spending. So the GFC needed that surplus equipment.
I also know that local fire stations do the same, as does the state forest service. I thought to myself, what in the world are the feds doing. Is there a safety issue with the equipment?
No, it wasn’t a safety issue. Instead, it was our federal government protecting our air. The administration destroyed this valuable surplus equipment because it did not meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s air emissions standards.
Good Grief! How wasteful!
It appears our government thinks we are wealthy, too!
But in case you are sitting back and thinking that we, the people would do it better, let’s take a look at ourselves. Out here in the real world, we have a spending problem, too. We spend for all kind of good reasons, just like our government; but in the end we spend more money than we make, thanks to credit cards, mortgages, home equity loans and much, much more. Our children have hocked their life’s ambitions to pay for schools that we could not afford. We live in houses with upside down mortgages. We drive cars that are worth less than what we owe. We all appear wealthy.
I wish I could say more, but there isn’t much left to say.