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Irresponsible Americans and our Government

I can’t think of a better way to describe the federal government than to call it irresponsible. What else can you call it when it is in the condition it is in? In the first two sentences of this post, I have referred to the federal government as it, but that choice of pronoun isn’t really accurate. They, or them would be better choices, as the federal government is made up of individuals from all across our country. Maybe a better way of describing the federal government would be to call the people who comprise it irresponsible. How else can they be described, when those people refuse to take the actions necessary to end the slide we are on?

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Take a look at some of the top political stories of the day. The Washington Times and Fox News both have stories about the report issued by the CBO yesterday. That report tells us what some of the consequences of the debate that is being enjoined about taxes, budget deficits, and spending cuts. Positions are being staked out by both sides. Lines are being drawn in the sand. John Boehner announced last week that no increase in the debt ceiling would be allowed, unless it was accompanied matching spending cuts. Harry Reid has had his own “never say never” moment, in which he let it be known that erasing cuts in defense spending would not be allowed, unless the Republicans allowed tax increases for the wealthy and corporations. Same song as last year, and the year before, and the year before, just a different verse.

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Irresponsible GovernmentRemember the great compromise that was reached last year. Actually, it wasn’t as much of a compromise, as it was a fallback position when nothing else would work. The Republicans let themselves be maneuvered into a position that forced their hand on cutting spending. The debt ceiling would be increased in increments, while automatic spending cuts would be put into effect, across the board. These spending cuts included cuts in defense spending. All the while, taxes remained high, with the Democrats wanting to raise them even higher. All the while, the fiscal can was being kicked further down the road, and closer to the fiscal cliff we all know may not be too far around the corner.

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Here at Political Realities, I am in favor of lowering taxes. I will always err on the side of allowing Americans, both individuals and corporations, to keep more of their hard-earned money. When Americans have more money to spend, they usually spend, or possibly invest it. The last time I checked, spending money is what drives our economy. It makes the world go round and for that reason, I am in favor of making the Bush tax cuts permanent.

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I am also a believer that being fiscally conservative doesn’t mean we need to cut domestic spending, while ignoring the monster in the closet that is defense spending. It certainly isn’t the only culprit, but to claim we shouldn’t be cutting spending in that department is to ignore the obvious. There is a part of our military establishment that doesn’t want this to happen, as it probably benefits some of their friends, but I can see no other way.

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The reason we had the compromise of last resort last year is simple. Neither side was willing to budge far from their base positions.

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The Democrats want greater spending and will always come down on that side of debate over fiscal policy. To fund that greater spending, they need higher and higher taxes. Even when they say they are willing to cut spending, those cuts never materialize. In the process, they ignore the fact that they are driving business to close, or leave the country, to escape such high taxation. Wealthy individuals or successful corporations need not apply.

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The Republicans claim they want to lower spending, although most of them aren’t acting in a fashion that would convince me they are really serious. They also want to lower taxes, which I wholeheartedly agree with, but these lower taxes always seem to turn into an end-of-year political fight. If they are really serious about lowering taxes, why don’t they fight to fundamentally change the tax code and make lower taxes the norm, instead of the exception?

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This is just in Congress. Must I go on to mention how President Barack Obama continues to divide our country by sponsoring class warfare? His war on the wealthy is second only to his war on companies who supply us with the energy that drives our country and our economy.

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The fiscal condition of our country is not good. For the members of our government to think we can continue our current path is irresponsible and foolish, yet I suspect this can is about to get a few more dents. If the people we elect are acting irresponsible and refuse to do the right thing for our country, what does that tell us about ourselves? After all, we are the people casting the votes. We are the people who keep sending politicians to Washington who only perpetuate the existing irresponsibility. If we expect the members of our government to act in a responsible manner, then we are the people who must make that happen by our votes. To do anything less is the most irresponsible action of all.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

  • Great article Larry. I would add two things to it. First off speaking from the perspective of a retired vet I will tell you there is plenty of room to find savings in the military. There are programs the military doesn’t want that are being funded because they are some senator’s or congress person’s pet project. There is also plenty of waste to go around. However the problem I have is that they default to cutting defense in which they are constitutionally mandated to fund, before they cut or eliminate unconstitutional programs that the government is not constitutionally mandated to fund. Additionally whenever defense spending gets cut it is always the soldier, seaman, or airman who pays for those cuts. The military tends to default to manpower cuts or cuts the benefit of their personnel to make up for the shortfalls. Not a sound way to treat our all voluntary force.

    Secondly I don’t believe the solution will be found in Washington DC. It will be found in the states. We need to start pushing our states to ignore federal programs that were enacted without the constitutional authority to do so. The states still wield a great deal of power and must start pushing back. If the states choose not to participate in these programs or can show how equivalent private sector programs can actually have better returns/results there will be no need for these “sacred cows.” That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.

    • Thanks, John. I know first hand about how members of Congress can and will fight to save a military project in their home district. Fort Smith, AR is home to the 188th Air National Guard and even though it has been recommended that the base be shut down, it hasn’t happened. This is due, in large part, to the efforts of the Arkansas congressional delegation. I understand their reasoning, as the base is important to the Fort Smith area, but I wonder if their efforts aren’t a bit misguided.

      I agree with your comment about the states pushing back against the federal government. It is far past the time when the states should be exercising their true power and authority.

  • Driftforge

    The cost of government is the greater of expense and revenue. Debt is the killer. I’d much rather increased taxes than deficits. Of course less cost is better, but hiding the cost in debt or in inflation is just wrong.

    Government should simply not have the right to issue debt. At all. Ever.

  • It is irresponsible, but we like it that way. We are an irresponsible, unserious people and we have a government that reflects those destructive values.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Our nation, as a whole, has strayed far away from the values that served our mothers, fathers, and previous generations, very well. Our work ethic is sadly lacking and we are more interested in recreation than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have time off as well as the next fellow, but responsibilities have to be taken care of first. For the most part, we the people aren’t getting it done and neither is Congress.

      • lou222

        Larry, my husband said at work, when he tries to bring up the state our country is in, he gets shot down and all the guys want to talk about is “the game” on TV or what they are doing that weekend. They seem to have zero interest about things going to hell, but I guess that is expected. I know people exactly like that, as well. It is almost like they want to avoid talking about it because if they do, then they might have to do something about it. I also know alot of people that gripe about it, but then will not get involved with local government to try and change it. Now, I ask you, which of those people are the worse group? I really don’t know. Just because you ignore something will not make it go away. AND, just because you voice your opinion on something, if you don’t react accordingly to deal with it, it stays the same.

        • Actions do speak louder than words, Lou. So, where does that leave me if I stand here in the corner, voicing my opinion, yet do not act upon that opinion?

          • lou222

            I would say you are doing your part by getting the words out there to inform others, wouldn’t you? You bring the most important issues up and also put what you think of it as well. We have started getting involved with the local political level here in central illinois. Guess we all have to start somewhere. If everyone took a bit of time to even do a little something, I imagine it would go a long way to changing things for the better. Mainly I think the ones that act as if there is nothing wrong are the ones that will bring this country to her knees.

            • It’s hard to understand how anyone could look at America, see the direction she is headed, and where she has came from, and not see clearly that we have a problem. Sadly, there are many people who do exactly that.

              • lou222

                Larry, those are the ones that live day to day. Then there are those of us that would like to have a future and are trying to prepare for it. Add in those with children and grand-children and we have alot at stake, don’t we?

  • Well, you’ve got to admit the goals of public schooling have paid off. According to Gatto, the goals of compulsory schooling was to create childish, dependent people. When we were planning to move across the state, my husband asked around about advice on selling a house. What he found is that he was about the only person in his workplace that actually managed his money. Now, we don’t have any fancy accounts, we just budget our money and have a rainy day fund, but that alone made us unique in our circle.

    Translate that to the larger scale of government, we bloggers watching this stuff are in an extreme minority. One person once said no one is guarding the castle. The United Nations program, Agenda 21 is rolling into our cities and towns and the local officials are mostly clueless.

    Look at what happened in TX, when both houses unanimously voted to boot the TSA: A US attorney drafted a letter threatening an air blockade of the entire state if this was passed. Then, the matter was dropped. What mechanisms are happening there that an entire state body would be scared into backing down? Another clue: Lt. Dewhurst, currently running for Senate, was involved in some arm-twisting. I would argue that the banksters have sleeper cells in our state governments. Better go back to my own blog now…

    • If that was their goal, then they have succeeded magnificently. We have an entire generation that believes the best/only way to make it in this world is to live off someone else. Is it any wonder our manufacturing production has fallen?

      • bill

        “…we bloggers watching this stuff are in an extreme minority.”

        this is the most important take-away from r. m.’s comment as it
        both explains the how and why of our country’s predicament and
        sustains the polemic of your topic. we need to accept her
        observation as a baseline for our thinking and ongoing initiatives.

        mr. carey offers an excellent suggestion; that the states begin to
        reaffirm their rights within the republic. the last i checked we
        were still a ‘collection’ of these…b

        • Yes, we are still a collection of states. It remains to be seen if there is enough responsibility and determination among this collection to prod us to do the right thing.

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  • The irresponsibility extends to state and local governments as well. I think republican Mother is right, we are seeing the fail of our education system.

    • And when we have someone responsible enough to do the right thing in a state government, they are sometimes punished for that attempt. See Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

  • Both sides talk a good game Larry, but that is all they do. When it comes down to action both sides are lacking because they are afraid of offending their respective bases and in the end all they are about if their own reelction. I fear nothing will be done until it is too late because it will take a collapse for these people to realize the party is over and it is time to get to work.

    • You may be right, Steve. If anything meaningful is to be accomplished, the people have to realize the dangers our country is facing by continuing the same path. For the most part, we aren’t there yet.

    • lou222

      Steve, I think the party has been over for awhile, they just think things will continue as usual. They usually DO! Things are different now and it just can’t go on the way it has been. The adults need to step in and take over, IF we can find any adults left. This is a sorry mess of things, but no one wants to stick their neck out. Well, I shoud not say “no one”, there are a few willing to put up a fight, but I doubt they will be enough.

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