It’s alarming to me that one in fifteen families in the United States now live below the poverty line. Unemployment is the highest it has ever been in our GREAT RECESSION, a figure that rivals that of the Great Depression. Local, State, and National politicians say we must cut the budget yet none of them appear to even attempt to live within a reasonable budget. Spenders continue to spend tax revenue at an alarming rate. Big banks, Wall Street and massive government entities all seem to make a game out of miss and malfeasance. What the heck happened to fiscal sanity? Who knows the answer? I don’t have many answers but I do have some suggestions about what can be done to cut budgets, and maybe save a little money.
Why can’t our leaders take a little initiative and tighten their own belts? How about setting a good example and biting the bullet from their end? What I’m about to suggest may not help much in the financial realm but I do believe it would make a lot of Americans and even Europeans feel better about our failed leadership. Here we go!
Local, State, and National leaders can take a salary cut. How about half of what they make now? Why does a local county engineer need to make over One hundred thousand dollars? Why do Congressmen and Senators and the President need to make what they make? And they have huge budgets to hire staff that to me seems unnecessary. If they had to do their work themselves maybe that would cut down on the number of ridiculous regulations they pass on the Hill. Take the Federal retirement system, please. Shouldn’t they have to exist on what they have paid in to Social Security like the rest of us? Why do most local, State, and National leaders get tax payer paid for vehicles to drive? What’s wrong with their vehicles? As Barney Fife used to say on Mayberry, “We need to nip all this extravagance and privilege in the bud.”
Another thing that grates my craw (an old Southern saying that means it ticks me off) is huge, lavish dinners for officials of all types at tax payer expense. Why don’t they set a good example? Why do have to have an expensive chef and staff to cook elaborate meals of foods that I can’t even begin to pronounce at a cost of $200-to-$1000 a plate. And don’t me started on the fancy table wear, wines, liquor, and wait staff. Why can’t they agree to show us poor folks that they can eat what we eat and still take care of business? How about a basic Chili supper with baked potato and salad? Tap water to drink would be good instead of expensive bottled water. That’s what I drink at home. Come to think of it, they really don’t need booze if they are trying to conduct the business of Country and the world. How about grilling out hotdogs and hamburgers with a few chips on the side? Better yet, why not let them have a covered dish dinner? That might be fun at an international meeting to have each head of State bring a couple of covered dishes. I bet that’s what the rest of us do when we go to a community dinner say with our co-workers or Sunday school class.
Oh, don’t get me started on the money wasted on lodging and food alone at the United Nations. Why do these people have to be put up in Five Star Hotels and fed elaborate meals? Most of them are to fat already and need to cut back at the table, but I digress. If they are going to have those useless meetings where they badger their host country, why not take over a couple of Motel Six hotels on the outskirts of town and let them stay in a cheap room and cheap conference room to do their business. Oh, they could bring a brown bag lunch. They could send an aide out to Wal-Mart from some sandwich bread, fat free turkey and cheese slices, condiments and soft drinks and viola!
Stay with me here. Why do all these politicians have to be pampered and treated like royalty and be paid huge sums of money and expenses, to get together and try to discover how their terrible financial decisions have brought us to a world wide recession and horrendous debt crisis? Do we actually trust that they can “do the right thing” this time? Isn’t the past prolog? (I’ve always liked that phrase, sounds cool). I believe what I’m saying is, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you are always going to get what you’ve always had.”
Even if my suggestions don’t work, I think there would be a very large benefit to those One in Fifteen Families living below the poverty line and those who are out of work. The psychological benefit would be huge. It would be to me. It would show me that these Fat Bureaucrats and Fat Cat Politico’s can empathize with the common folks. It would show me that they care enough to try to, at the very least, make those of us suffering from the Great Recession feel a little better. Oh, and if those in charge truly would try to cut back and live on less, like the rest of us are forced to do, it might have a medicinal effect on us poor folks. It would make me feel better for certain.
So come on Fat Cats, who will be first to announce they are getting off the Hamster Wheel of Excess? Who will be the first to make an attempt to set a good example for the rest of us? Who will lead the parade to “Cutting back” and who will get in the sinking boat with the rest of us and row toward the shore of sanity? Come on over to my house and I’ll fill you in on the details. I’ll leave the light on for you!