The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

It’s Time to Sacrifice

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Times are tough.

I’ve felt the sting of the economic downturn myself and understand the concept of differentiating between my wants and my needs.  In so doing I have had to cut back significantly on my monthly spending.  It hasn’t been easy.  In fact it’s been pretty damn hard and humbling.  But we’ve done it to the best of our ability and are managing to keep afloat even if that means our noses are just above the waterline.

With that in mind it is with great interest that I follow the current furor over the nation’s budget and the proposals to come out of congress and the White House.

The President ordered the cabinet to cut $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget.

Those numbers are so incredibly large they become surreal to most of us average folks making it tough to really wrap one’s head around it.  So I decided to do some math and get some comparative figures based on my own budget.

You know, to help bring it down to earth.  The one you and I live on at least.

My monthly expenses, prior to my own personal economic downturn, came to about $5000 a month.  That includes my mortgage, car payment, utilities, groceries, household expenses, medical needs, child related expenses,  credit payments, meals out and entertainment, etc.

If I was to follow the lead of the president, taking the same action he took in the face of reduced revenue and the prospects of financial failure and a bankrupt government, I would have to get out the budget cutting axe and bite the bullet!  100,000,000 dollars is a big number.  That has to hurt.

Cutting my spending by exactly the same ratio as the president’s proposal is 1/35,000 of my total budget: 100,000,000 / 3,500,000,000,000 = 1/35,000.

The ultimate burden of sacrifice I would have to ask my family to commit to and share would be…

18 cents.

Kind of puts the whole fiasco in Washington into perspective doesn’t it?

Unfortunately I don’t have a printing press in the basement rolling out sheets of $20’s to supplement my spending habits nor can I vote myself a new debt ceiling to waylay the approaching and open hands of my creditors.

In the personal economies of my world and yours, sacrifice is real.  It can cut deep and be painful. Still, we do what is necessary to provide the needs of our families, we work to improve our situation and over time we hope it gets better.  In the meantime we survive, sometimes with a little help from our friends, families, or religious communities.

What our government is doing through its inability to understand the word sacrifice, by not saying no to its wants, by not being fiscally responsible, by printing money that has no foundational backing, spending recklessly over generations of time, over-taxing its citizens, and not seriously considering balancing its books, is making our personal efforts to improve our own personal economies next to impossible.

For me this isn’t about political parties, ideologies, or the power struggles that pervade the beltway of our nation’s capital.  It’s about liberty.  The freedom to go out and create for myself and my family the means by which we can enjoy the wonderful things and opportunities in our world.

Vote for Liberty in 2012.  Change, as we are learning, is simply too ambiguous and too risky.

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