One Group Missing from Obama’s Shared Sacrifice


It’s been pretty popular to smack the president around about rubbing elbows with the old money on Martha’s Vineyard.  The state run media is all too quick to point out that President Bush took more vacation days at this point in his presidency that President Obama has.  Of course the big difference is 9/11, and President Bush went to Crawford to cut down trees on his ranch.  Obama is kissing up to the old guard in Kennedy country.   But forget all that.  I’m fine with the president taking a vacation.  He’s never not the president, after all, and it is a stress-filled job.  He has a lot of stuff kind of piling up on him.  The economy isn’t completely destroyed, Americans still can’t find work, and he hasn’t kissed the ring of EVERY third-world dicator just yet.  Got a lot left to do.  He needs to rest up. 

It irks a lot of Americans, that’s true, that he is in hoity toity land playing the smartest guy in the room.  But why?  Maybe because a lot of American families have had to cancel or postpone a vacation this year due to economic problems.  The president has, after all, acknowledged on several occasions that many families are “sitting at the dinner table figuring out how they will pay their bills.”  He is obviously in touch with what Americans are suffering through, right?  He has called for “shared sacrifice” in this troubled time. 

But he has left one group out of the sharing.  Government. 

Every time the government spends more money, it gets bigger.  It gets more bloated.  It gets less efficient.  And this president has spent a lot of money.  What has this spending gained us as a nation?  Well, if our spending continues on this current track, it will reach about twenty percent of GLOBAL GDP in less than ten years.  That means that to continue to spend, we will have to sell treasury bonds, ie borrow more money.  And the rest of the world will have to pay for us to do this.  Sounds like a good deal for us.  Not so much for the rest of the nations around the world. 

Has the spending resulted in more jobs?  Only if you want to work in government or the “green” industry.  President Obama is all the time talking about the two million jobs he has “created or saved.”  Of course, the part he leaves out is the net jobs loss of over 5 million jobs. Every month we hear of between 200,000 and 500,000 new people on the unemployment rolls.  Two to five months is a million.   If you create have job creation of two million, but losses of seven million, well, you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that that math just doesn’t work.  We still have unemployment over nine percent, and in some areas over ten percent, like my home state of Georgia.  But hey, at least unemployment in the DC area is low.  And home values aren’t in the tank there.  Maybe we should all move to DC. 

Government has to spend some money to keep necessary services going.  It’s how we define “necessary” that needs some tweaking.  Is it necessary to give grants to universities to study shrimp on treadmills?  How does this create a single job, except for the shrimp?  They already have work to do.  In a cocktail.  Can our economy do without a cowboy poetry festival?  According to Harry Reid, we can’t. 

This idea that somebody has to sacrifice something, but not me, has got to be smashed against the rocks of common sense.  Taxing the rich and leaving the rest of us alone will not, by itself, solve our problems.  Cutting spending alone may not, although who knows, since Democrats will cut military spending and border security, but the cowboys will still have a place to recite their original poems.  Without doing something about the ponzi schemes in Washington, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we can never get out of this mess.  What should we do?  I don’t know, maybe we should allow these behemoth government entities to be managed by someone in the private sector, you know, someone who actually has a clue about solvency in a business.  Raising the eligibility ages is always tossed around, but if you raise the age high enough, you won’t need the entitlements any more.  Maybe the people of the country should be allowed to “opt out” of these schemes, telling the government to keep what you already have taken from me, I’ve got it from here, thank you very much. 

But government cannot relinquish this power.  It makes sense to allow us, the American people, the option to stay in or get out.  But if that happens, government cannot continue to grow and become more hungry for our money. 

My family and I could not afford a vacation this year, to Martha’s Vineyard or Martha’s Country Cooking.  We didn’t go anyway.  We can’t afford to go out on Fridays to a nice dinner, mainly because I’m working at my part time job on Fridays.  We don’t go anyway.  Other families have made this same sacrifice.  Many other families. 

When will it be government’s turn?

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