TANSTAAFL: A Pre-Independence Day Message

The USA is not broken – yet. But we sure are broke and in debt. President Obama (and others) seem to have only three ideas when it comes to solving the problem.

1. Raise taxes (for the rich, to start).
2. Raise the debt ceiling.
3. Another Stimulus.

So let’s deal with these methods one at a time.

1. Raise taxes: As mentioned by Texas newsman Neal Barton, “Congressman Tim Scott of South Carolina crunched some numbers. He said that if we were to tax these individuals 100% of their income, we still could not cover our deficit this year alone. As a matter of fact, to tax our way out of debt, we would need to increase taxes across the board on every man, on every woman and every business by 60 percent. You simply cannot tax your way out of this debt.”

2. Raise the debt ceiling: Matthew Continetti in the Washington Post reports, “The idea that the way to solve America’s debt problem is by raising the debt ceiling is the most counter-intuitive of them all. The public doesn’t buy it. In the experience of most Americans, the way to get out of debt is to cut up the credit cards and stop spending. They have not read Lord Keynes and doubt whether his prescriptions work in the real world. For them, thrift is not a “paradox” but a virtue. This intellectual divide between the president and the public is the reason his ratings on the economy are so poor. One suspects the gap is unbridgeable.”

3. Another Stimulus: Continetti in the Post again, “Since the 2008 financial crisis, elites have made promises to the public that have not been kept. Most people were never comfortable with the idea that the only way to preserve the financial system was by bailing out its worst members. The claim that the stimulus bill would keep unemployment at 8 percent or below was proven false long ago. The Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program has not resulted in sustained recovery.”

The real problem here is one of mindset. The obvious cause of the problem is not the Government’s shortfall of income. There isn’t one. Our mess is caused by lack of control in spending. Now that is a lack that is crystal clear.

So what can we actually do to fix this? There is a solution, and it also seems painfully obvious. Let’s slow down our ever escalating spending. NOW. Here are some places to start.

1. Stop sending money to countries that hate us or support our enemies. And no money to any country as well off as we are. If a country has a debt to us stop paying them.
2. Stop all spending for ‘studies’ for anything not of critical importance to many people. Stop any and all grant/study money going outside the country. No more committees to study the feasibility of stuff.
3. Put all welfare and unemployment recipients to work earning at least some portion of what they are being paid. The longer on the dole, the more you must earn.
4. Fix it so the government pays no more than fair market value for what it buys. No more $5000 laptops when the exact equivalent at “Best Buy” is $1200.
5. Stop paying on all contracts that are over budget. Eliminate all future contracts to any companies that have gone over budget.
6. Fire all the no-show or no work public employees. Cut all government salaries over $200,000 by 30%. Make politician’s retirement benefits equal to those in the private sector.
7. Fire all the teachers that don’t or can’t teach effectively. Tenure be damned. And all those sitting in the room getting paid when they can’t teach or be fired – they are gone too.
8. No more double dipping – no government employees at any level drawing two separate salaries.
9. Stop paying proportionally more to and for the United Nations than other countries. Start charging the UN rent for the very expensive real estate it sits on.

All this is just a start – the tip of the iceberg. As a matter of fact, I have read statements to the fact that ideas like these are not worth consideration since they are too small to fix our very large problem. That is the same as saying, “I have $25,000 in debtand no way to pay. Let’s go out for steak & lobster tonight, I’ll feel better. And another $200 won’t make any difference at all.” That is just plain stupid. Spend some time studying the concept of budgeting, you can not spend more than you have, period.

So……what is TANSTAAFL? For the uninitiated, the acronym stands for: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Truer words were never spoken. By anyone.

What does it actually mean? There is a cost for everything. Always. If you get away with something for free, somebody pays.

It is time we start acting as a nation the way we all have learned we must live day to day to survive. We, the voters must hold the elected, the Public Servants, fully accountable. No surprises really. Happy Birthday USA – it is time to grow up. And remember, it’s not The Fourth of July we are celebrating, it is Independence Day.

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