Unlike my sweet friend, Mrs P, I will not be discussing my favourite things today. This is "tick-off Tuesday", indicated in the singular because if this is a raging failure, will be my inaugural and last post on this subject. I'm not sure yet what my purpose is yet in this concept, I'm just ticked off and I wanted to tell you about it - and ask for your opinions.
I'm sure most of you know that I am a simple kind of person. I'm certainly no theologian or economist, but I have opinions and I see in black and white.
As our election day is quickly approaching and I am trying to educate myself in national and local officials, I find myself becoming more and more irritated. I feel hamstrung as a voter and citizen by our two major political parties. While I am a registered voter of one political party, I am planning to vote for a Libertarian and an Independent in this upcoming election. The sad thing is, these guys don't have a chance.
We have become a nation of excess: excess of government, excess of debt, and a total lack of common sense.
I don't have the answers, I wish I did. I only know that I feel we're in too far. I don't see a way for us to go back to the founding principles of this great republic. I know I'm walking a tight-line here, because my in-laws very deserving ministry is the recipient of state funding. I'm just sick of our government funding every pet project that it's legislators promise their constituents. I feel that our country was founded on a simple principle: to protect it's citizens - we are promised physical protection and the protections of freedom. What started simply has turned into an out-of-control behemoth. We are beholden to foreign debtors in order to fund the most ridiculous of pork projects.
Please understand that I feel we all are to blame. I strongly feel that greed dominates our nation's capital and affects everyone who govern there, blue or red, Democrat or Republican. I do not feel our government is benevolent. I think that power and greed are too powerful a force to be reckoned with. I very practically believe in the simple principle and promise of Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". This side of heaven, we will not experience a utopian society.
I am not an extremist wacko, I just expect our local, state, and national government to operate under the same principles that I need to in my home. The principle I operate by when making fiscal decisions is the simple phrase, "can I afford this" - followed by the very practical question: "how will I pay for this"?
I hesitate to share this example from my own personal experience because, on the whole, we are beyond satisfied with our school district. We enjoy superb education, great teachers, small class sizes, and more opportunities than our kids can take advantage of. On the whole our school district is fiscally responsible. The need arose for a new elementary school and a renovation of an existing elementary school. The need arose for turf playing fields for sports teams. We as a school district (and our family, personally) are enjoying the benefits of a new school and quality playing fields.
I think what someone neglected to understand, though, is how to pay for all of these things that we needed. The school district is now faced with a shortfall and the school board has decided to raise taxes. Not only have they decided to raise taxes, they have voted to raise taxes above the lawfully-established rate hike. I was mildly irritated when I heard this, as it will be a realistically feasible sum: about $100 per year per household. The more I speculated on this, though, the angrier I became. Here is how I see this: I am the school district's employer.
I'll explain further in a concrete example. I needed a new dishwasher. Mine was bought when we first replaced some things in our kitchen and we ordered the cheapest dishwasher we could find. It sanitized my dishes, but many times, my dishes were dirty after the cycle had been run. If I were the government or a local school district, I would recognize that I need a new dishwasher. I would ask myself, "can I afford this"? Then I would proceed to, "how would I pay for this?". If I were our government, here is what I would do. I would demand from Rob's employer to increase his salary. I would explain that, even though his current employer enacted a salary freeze, I need this dishwasher and what we need is a salary increase greater than the 5% a year he was promised when hired [to buy a new dishwasher]. Do you think this would work in the real world? Of course not, so why are our local, state, and national governments operating by the same ridiculous principles?
I believe that shortly after the American Revolution, we started veering from our founding principles. The war needed to be paid for. Our country started careening towards socialism after the Great Depression, and hasn't stopped since.
I observed this sign at Knoebel's Amusement Park and believe these words to be prophetic:
spoken by Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1742-1813), professor of Universal History at the University of Edinburgh.
A democracy cannot exist
as a permanent form of government
It can only exist
until the voters discover that they can vote
themselves largess from the public treasury.
From that time on
the majority always votes for the
candidates promising the most benefits
from the public treasury
with the results
that a democracy always collapses
over loose fiscal policy
always followed by a dictatorship (1801)
I think that quote dovetails nicely with the quote from Gerald Ford:
A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
We are a nation of greedy, fallen citizens. Until we vote for more fiscal responsibility and expect our government to operate by the same principles we follow in our homes, we will keep speeding down the same path. I am ticked off by the greed and excess of our citizens and government. I am scared to ponder what will happen if we don't right ourselves.