A Politician of Independent Means
The elected empty suits in both houses of congress have tasked themselves with a very difficult task. They created a special committee to accomplish what the whole body can not do as a whole. They have to do the right thing and do it while the whole country is watching. How can a group of politicians do the right thing that must be done but is dangerous politically? The answer might be that they can’t.
They have to identify trillions in spending cuts. Or they have to find ways to increase revenue. Spending cuts are what they’re supposed to look for. The agreement that was made when they all agreed on raising the debt ceiling was to find cuts so that we would minimize the amount of money our country had to borrow. Some drastic spending cuts allegedly take place if they can’t find other spending cuts, but some how I bet those cuts never occur. Look who we have making the decisions. Not real people but politicians, they’re not trained or experienced at looking at facts and making a decision based on the facts and then taking appropriate action based on those facts.
We allow them to get reelected, therefore all the decisions they make and all of the actions they take are through the filter of their next election. That also opens the door to their potential decision to accept cash contributions, which are legal, from other politicians and lobbyists. Campaign contributions to assist in their next election are bribes to color their decisions and actions. I’m sure none of them look at the contributions as bribes, but that’s what they are. Contributions for doing what someone else wants you to do are always serious competitors of the independent spirit.
The task this group has to do is a difficult task. They have to find ways to close the gap between what the country brings in and what the country pays out. If this was your family you wouldn’t have a problem making the right decisions, but when you do it on this scale under these conditions a politician can’t make it happen.
A single mother of independent means with a limited income could feed, clothe, shelter, and entertain her children on her limited income. She is motivated to do that based on her intelligence and her independence. She’ll maximize the resources available to accomplish the obligation she has for delivering and raising her children.
Parents of independent means with four children and a limited income could accomplish the same thing if that was their goal. They could feed, clothe, shelter, and entertain their family with the resources available. We all do it every day even with the painful burden our local, state and federal empty suits inflict on us due to their lack of independent means.
My real world examples look at their income and list in order of their priorities what they must pay for. Then they look at what they want to pay for and they make some tough decisions. They want to eat steak and lobster on a regular basis, but sometimes it beans and hot dogs. They want to take a vacation to some place warm in the winter, but sometimes they must endure the cold all year long. My real world examples don’t have a debt ceiling they can rely on or other people’s money they can spend with little accountability.
The members of the committee were given a difficult task, find ways to live with the money available. Find money that doesn’t have to be spent and then don’t spend it. Families all over the country do it every payday. Their job could be much easier if they were all of an independent means.
I’m sure they could have provided to them a list of potential expenditures. From that list identify items that we could live without spending. They couldn’t possibly make that list public because we would all start screaming and challenging them on their inability to find waste fraud and abuse on that list. From that list they could find trillions that we could live without spending, and possibly some of the items they chose not to spend would be difficult to bear.
For them to live up to their challenge, find ways to live within our means difficult choices have to be made. Start eating beans and hot dogs instead of steak and lobster, pass up on that warm weather vacation, and cut back the cable bill by limiting yourself to basic cable instead of the premium package.
They have far more options than we do as real people, because of some of the really stupid spending a government allows itself to make. The problem politician’s face in making those decisions that we don’t have to face are the persons of interest who will stand up and fight for every dollar they choose not to spend. The mother of independent means knows how to stand up to those evil forces and hold her ground. The parents of independent means also know how to make decisions and stand firm.
Our politicians are no longer expected to be of independent means and they all allow for someone else to help them make their decisions. Making the right decisions for the right reason might not be in their own best interest. If that’s the case we may have to review how we let them tax us and spend our money.
Maybe we should insist on term limits. When I buy an elected official on Election Day with my vote I want the official to stay bought by me and the other voters. When they get into office they can’t allow themselves to be bought by other people’s interests and concerns, when they do we don’t need that elected official any more. Votes should count more than other people’s interests.
Votes matter. Politicians don’t matter.