Saturday, July 07, 2012

What is the problem with our elected officials?

Why do our elected officials continue to mess up? Here’s my analysis. For some reason the tendency seems to be that they want to get re-elected, rather than to do what’s right for the nation. Now, why is getting re-elected so important to them? Perhaps it’s because the majority of people who seek public office are buffoons who need attention and being in the limelight is the only way that they can feel important. If they fail in their re-election bid, then they once again become nobodies–at least, to their way of thinking.

So, they do what they think they need to do to get re-elected instead of doing what needs to be done to make the country stronger and better. In their minds, the best way to get re-elected is to buy votes. They buy votes by giving stuff to people. Thus, President Obama’s administration brags about how many people they’ve gotten on food stamps. The President emphasizes that the goal of his “Affordable Health Care Act” is to get everyone cheaper medical coverage. Others vote on earmarks and pork that will benefit the people of their states, thus buying votes from them.

These kinds of political handouts and freebies are the basis for the financial disaster we’re in right now. Quickly we’re becoming like Greece and other countries in Europe. As we can see from what’s happening around the world, especially in Europe, if you give enough handouts and buy enough votes, within time production slows (because more people are taking advantage of the handouts rather than trying to work), revenues drop (because with fewer workers, there are fewer taxes collected, yet more resources needed), and the country soon finds itself on the brink of a fiscal cliff (like Greece).

What is the answer? It’s not to raise taxes on the rich or anyone else. Raising taxes has its limits. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism, is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” This becomes self-evident in the largest sample of socialized policies in the world–Europe. Greece passed laws to allow themselves to retire at age fifty, and now is getting loans from Germany whose citizens retire at 65. So the people of Greece as a whole are refusing to change their laws so that the retirement age raises, and expecting other countries of the world to work longer to bail them out. That’s their supposed solution.

But we can’t do that. We need to begin with our candidates for public office. We need to choose wise men and women who don’t put getting re-elected at the top of their agendas. Our goal should be to find candidates who are willing to do what needs to be done to get our country back on the track of fiscal sanity, and to stop trying to buy votes with public handouts and public projects.

Should there be a safety net for the truly needy? Sure. We need to do something to help those who through no fault of their own find themselves on hard times. But it shouldn’t be a permanent solution for those families, but  temporary assistance to them to give them time to improve their lots in life. And those whose sole goal is to try and live off of governmental handouts, bilking the system, should be removed from any kind of program that gives them such. As comedian Dennis Miller says, “I’m all for helping the helpless. I just don’t want to help the clueless.”

The bottom line is, that whether it’s programs that feed children at schools during the summer (most of these children are children of parents on food stamps who should be feeding them with the food stamp money they’re receiving , thus they’re getting a double benefit.), or projects that are putting in high speed trains in communities across the country, we cannot afford them. Electing leaders that understand this and more importantly, can explain with clarity what the real purpose of the government is supposed to be, will go a long way toward solving our financial woes. If the people fail to grasp this concept, or are too dependent upon their handouts to tolerate any reduction in them, then like Europe, we are heading for catastrophe.

No comments: