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Sad thoughts on the “Fiscal Cliff” deal

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
posted by Poway Roger

Happy New Year to my fellow Rostrafarians!!!

I bring my sad thoughts on this pending “Fiscal Cliff” deal.

To all of us, do we really realize this is the result of our own actions? I’m not talking about those we elected, but what we expect from government and our own personal actions.

First of all, we like consumer debt. What does that mean? We like to buy now and pay later, which might mean sacrifices in the future, but we tend to forget that, or assume we can always wipe the slate clean by bankruptcy in the worst case.

Debt is a terrible disease and many of us are heavily addicted. Our elected officials see that and figure they can do the same. I see this in my church (commonly referred to as the “Mormons”) a lot, even while known for its fiscally conservative principles. Members make their tithe, but can’t afford to pay their debts. Who are we really servicing — Heavenly Father or the banks?

So government likes to promise and spend and not think about how to pay for it, just like many of us. We like all that government provides, but we fail to realize the cost of what we like. We, just as does government, live with the view, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

It is obvious government likes to spend, spend and spend, and its actions prove that. While government has continued to bloat, our actions show that we approve of it — we like to talk big but fail to act on our talk.

Now we come to a ratio of 41 to 1 in tax increases to spending cuts. Congress, the gutless wonders, doesn’t have what it takes to control spending. It doesn’t matter who is in power either. Congress could have addressed token reforms, such as drug testing to those who receive government assistance (if I must be drug tested to have employment, those who receive government aid should too).

But, no, it’s nearly all taxes and very little in reform. Not unlike most of us, putting off the hard decisions.

So my fellow Rostrafarians and travelers, face it, we’re the cause of this mess. Only by correcting our own ship will government know it must do the same.

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7 Responses to “Sad thoughts on the “Fiscal Cliff” deal”

  1. Roger, often we do agree, but in this case, I have to contest your core premise. “We” are no more the cause of this mess than the Germanic Jews were responsible for the election of Hitler.

    WE did what we could to right the ship’s course — to oppose the profligate spending at every turn. The fact that we failed does not make us culpable for the result.

    Personally I’ve never been a big borrower. My home is paid off, I have NEVER carried credit card debt, and usually pay cash for cars (except when the interest rate approaches zero). I’ve been investing my own money in the stock market since I was 15.

    I even went to the trouble of finding a spouse with a similar mindset — 37 years later it’s worked out well for both of us.

    While some people’s unwise money management is unfortunate (sometimes even tragic), it’s not harmful to us frugal types for people to mishandle their OWN personal finances — as long as they then don’t go and steal from others to make up the shortfall. This confiscatory method of paying for fiscal mistakes is the very nature of government.

    Granted, some conservatives DO buy into that “borrow rather than tax” government philosophy — perhaps reflecting their personal poor judgement. Others drop their “small government” mantra when their pet subsidy or government contract is on the line.

    But many of us on this blog don’t subscribe to that viewpoint. I suspect you are also blameless in this mess.

    Collective guilt is usually a convenient fiction — perhaps left over from the Puritan mentality of old. We must remember that we are individuals — not part of the Borg collective.

  2. Poway Roger says:

    Richard, look at how the majority voted in the last election. Yes, there are many reasons, but I think the core believed that getting from the government is a priority for their mindset. Romney didn’t really spell out his plan. I would have loved it if he had listed the deductions he was in favor of eliminating.

    But I stay firm to my post. Congress follows the actions of the majority. If the majority were really fiscally conservatives, so would Congress be.

    Richard, my parents taught me the value of the dollar. They taught me to live below my means. I pay cash for cars too and almost have the house paid off.

  3. Roger, you are saying that because 51% voted for Obama and his gang, then the other 47% who voted for Romney are also guilty of bad judgement.

    Maybe Romney could have been a better candidate, or a better candidate could have been put forward. Hindsight is always 20-20.

    But regardless of what strategy was used, about 49% didn’t vote for Obama. Yet you say we are ALL responsible. I fail to see that you’ve made your case.

    Remember your concluding paragraph: “. . . fellow Rostrafarians and travelers, face it, we’re the cause of this mess. Only by correcting our own ship will government know it must do the same.” Government isn’t guided by our personal fiscal habits — it responds to the majority vote.

    Roger, those of us who voted against Obama are NOT “the cause of this mess” — regardless of our skill and prudence in handling our personal affairs. It’s the 51% who are the culpable ones. Give them the credit they are due.

  4. Poway Roger says:

    Richard, I wrote the piece to try to get people to think. I mean, I ponder over Congress and try to think of why they would do something like this (Or in fact, many other items) which does nothing than to hurt the people. I’d like to hear your reasons why Congress would vote for such a deal which really does nothing for us and you can’t refer to Congress as “gutless” since I have already made that reference.

  5. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    This will be one of the rare times I disagree with Richard….technically. While collective guilt is Keynesian hogwash, culture does beget policy .

    From the Silverites of 150 years ago to the underwater homeowner today, Americans have figured out that government can bail them out of bad debt and they’ve voted for those who willingly do so.

    The frugal subsidize the feckless because there are more feckless than frugal

  6. Roger and Brian — I guess we’ve worked this too much already. My point is simply and valid — we are not ALL responsible for the profligate spending and borrowing by politicians.

    I damn sure know I’m not! And neither is Brian, whom I know well. I’m pretty sure Roger is also absolved of such responsibility.

    The rest of you? Well, I’m a little suspect of you all. ;)

    BTW, “culture” is not universally honored by all in a society. Again, referencing a culture often is collective generalizing vs. individuals choosing their own paths. And individual responsibility is the key to limited government controls — a collectivist generalization!

    Enough. Happy New Year!!

  7. C. Lee Sandvick says:

    to repeat – Poway Roger- “…face it, we’re the cause of this mess. Only by correcting our own ship will government know it must do the same…”

    only he does not let on about how to correct that ship’s course so it stears in the right direction.
    and no – 51% of eligible American citizens did not vote for Obama. They used just enough fraud to get Obama over the top.
    So now what do we do?
    My group has the solution but we need millions of American patriots on board .
    no time to waste – Jan 7 or 8 Congress will meet to either stop or certify the electoral college vote.

    The North American Law Center has served every member of Congress a notice to stop that vote.
    They need just one patriot in both the House and Senate to accomplish that.
    Question – does anyone have any doubt as to Obama’s true agenda?
    If you want a free country, then you have a duty and an obligation to both our founding fathers and future generations to act now to demand that at least 2 Congressmen stop the certification of the electoral college results.
    If we fail this test, before the end of 2013 – global governance will be put into polace and we will see our constitution subordinated to the U.N. Agenda 21
    (that President Bush Sr signed onto in 1992)
    We will probably see martial law, guns confiscated,
    etc etc.
    civil war will be the result, but why does that have to happen when we can use the constitution that is still in existence today? but won’t be for much longer.
    Please read this article and decide what side you are on and stake a stand..
    http://newswithviews.com/JBWilliams/williams229.htm

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