Drop the Wants

We are facing a serious financial crisis in the United States. Frankly, most governments are facing serious financial difficulties and frankly possible collapse.

We are in a severe recession. Government debt is through the roof. Money is being printed out of thin air at such a rapid rate that inflation is unavoidable. Of course this money isn’t being put under Obama’s mattress. It’s being spent. Keynesians argue that we need to spend more money in a down economy. “You need to invest to stimulate the economy.” That reminds me of one of my father’s favorite sayings, “You can’t spend your way to prosperity.” That is true for young couples as well as for governments. Would anyone suggest to a young couple that they get as many credit cards as possible and then load them up with debt? There are famous examples of people who have made such attempts. Some experience temporary success but it almost certainly ends in failure.

I believe now is a time for tightening our belts. There is a chance that it could prolong the recession but a recession is not a bad thing. It’s a correction. It’s a time to catch up. It’s a time to clear out bad investments. A recession is a time to correct investments that were not sound.

I think of a recession this way. If you have ever been hiking in the mountains you know that maintaining your footing can be difficult. As much as you may want to enjoy the scenery, you need to keep your head down and watch where you step. If you don’t, you will trip and fall. Though keeping your head down helps you avoid sprained ankles and falls, it also promotes getting lost. You periodically need to stop and look around. Get your bearings. Make sure you are on the right trail. Get a drink of water and look at your compass.

The economy is the same way. There are bad investments and they must be realized. Ask yourself, what if Sony had not stopped making the betamax? In my twenty years in the software industry I’ve seen literally hundreds of products killed. It’s this level of responsiveness that keeps businesses alive. Government has a very difficult time killing programs. Government suffers from a lack of accountability. And as a result, they are not incented to be efficient, agile or flexible.

When a recession is trying to work, government spending masks the problem. Other government actions such as housing stimulus, or band aids such as cash for clunkers, greatly slow down or even postpone the needed correction. Does anyone outside of Detroit argue that the auto industry needs to make fundamental changes in the way they do business? Recklessly pouring billions of dollars into the industry doesn’t encourage such changes. Does anyone love to fly commercial? Did the government assuming tens of billions of dollars in airline pension debt encourage airlines to make the changes that are necessary for the long term good of the industry? Don’t get me started on Amtrak.

Based on these realities, we need to cut out all our wants and focus solely on our needs. That is what the families of the world have been doing the last few years. Families are mini economies. They invest, produce, sell and spend. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Governments need to take a hint from the families of the world. They need to tighten their belts.

Jordan School District Teachers—Sit Down

A colossal example of government waste was recently uncovered. The Pentagon paid $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers from North Carolina to Texas.

Yes that is extreme but government waste is historic. With the government tripling the deficit in a single year, it’s expected that waste will triple as well.

Yet during this period where Federal, State and Local governments are cash strapped; Jordan School District teachers are picketing to keep their jobs. I personally find this extremely offensive. The rest of the world doesn’t get to picket share holders when a company has layoffs. Why do they feel such a sense of entitlement?

Sit down teachers! A job is not a right. It’s a privilege.

Child Molesters

Utah has a child pornography task force. For the last two years they have been catching perverts left and right. Still they are seeing the problem rising dramatically. “In Utah, arrests for crimes related to or stemming from child pornography have increased 70 percent in the last two years.” They are also getting less federal grants.

“Task force members have a new phrase: ‘Those who view it, do it.’ On average, they believe each molester has harmed at least 13 children.” Source

I’m for spending however much is necessary to catch and prosecute these guys. I don’t care what it costs. This is beyond priority one.

Nothing Wrong with being an Ideologue

This week President Obama made an appearance at a Republican retreat. One of his statements was, “I am not an ideologue.”

I’m not sure who he thinks he is kidding because that’s a flat out lie. He’s a complete ideologue. He’s governed like an ideologue this whole year. The Republican’s didn’t refuse to vote with Obama out of spite. His bills were written without their involvement. He and congressional leaders didn’t attempt to involve the opposition. That’s what you get when you have a super majority.

For the record, there is nothing wrong with being an ideologue. It’s called having ideas and sticking to your guns. I’m not looking for a president that is a puppet of the American polls. I also don’t want a president who is a centrist. Centrists are a joke. I truly believe that centrists don’t believe in anything. I want to know what someone believes and chose to vote for them based on that.

I understand that people want a president who is willing to work with the opposition. And I would agree that when you don’t have a super majority that you need to work with the opposition in order to get things done.

Obama made a statement that I agree with. “It’s only through the process of disagreement and debate that bad ideas get tossed out and good ideas get refined and made better. And that kind of vigorous back-and-forth, that imperfect, but well-founded process, messy as it often is, is at the heart of our democracy. It’s what makes us the greatest nation in the world.”

Mr. President, you’ve had everything you’ve wanted this last year. A super majority, a bully pulpit, you’ve been able to travel the world preaching your message unobstructed. You won the Nobel Peace Prize. The media didn’t challenge you. You got to spend 1.4 trillion dollars on Democrat projects. You’ve had the perfect year.

Now it’s time for you to be judged on your record. Don’t blame anyone else. Stand up and be a man. Don’t lie about who you are. You’re an ideologue. There’s nothing wrong with it.