Why Fiscal Responsibility Is the Issue
“Poor is a state of mind; broke is a temporary condition.”
With the elections next month, this month’s issue on banking & finance is timely. Financial concerns are at the core of everything today and for most, our financial philosophy determines our voting strategy. But perhaps your current financial condition is clouding your judgment.
Since I’m not “politically correct,” I figured ‘what the heck!’ Let’s have a discussion regarding our financial position as a country and what that might mean when you go to the voting booth next month.
It’s Not a Party Problem
Republican – Democrat – Independent – Tea Party – Libertarian… the affiliation of a candidate really doesn’t matter. Each party offers some good positions and some bad ones, so parties themselves will not resolve the issues.
The most fundamental “change we can believe in” is a change in our attitude toward finances. Unfortunately in times of economic uncertainty and fear, there is a prevailing mindset that inevitably leads to socialistic behaviors and leaders.
So What Do We Do?
My suggestion is to elect individuals who understand how to run a business. Though government is big business, it doesn’t operate like one. Therefore, failure is certain until our elected representatives learn how to operate it like a normal business, or we elect businesspeople.
In business, we know you cannot please everyone; you must under-promise and over-deliver. Our government is promising us into bankruptcy, by politicians who see that as the best way of obtaining votes. Government talks and promises while business acts. There is a BIG difference.
We need people who understand the fiscal responsibilities of a business and have the courage to stand for “change” that aligns with that responsibility. Simply put:
- Cut Costs & Spending
- Increase Revenue
- Balance the Budget
Promises That Can’t Be Delivered
Someone once described the Baby Boomers as “an elephant moving through a python.” That elephant is going to rupture the python to meet the economic demands of this generation based on the current promises of government programs.
To truly understand the magnitude of promised spending, try to comprehend that our debt to service just the Baby Boomers during their retirement is estimated at over $72 trillion! Compare that with the entire global market, which is only $67 trillion.
Before You Choose
Here is a rule of thumb for the November elections: if a candidate possesses just one of these characteristics, then don’t vote for them:
- Any candidate promising programs of spending or the continuation of current programs of spending;
- Candidates who blame others to support their position;
- Any incumbent who took the government pay raise.
I know what you’re thinking; who do I vote for then? That’s my point. Most elected officials have fallen prey to the age-old saying, “Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Nobody is standing for fiscal responsibility because it is politically incorrect. Get real; we will all have to suffer in order to save the country.
Here is what a business would do if faced with this financial problem:
- All areas would be cut including pay and benefits; cuts create efficiency because they require streamlining of processes.
- Increase revenue by doubling the sales and marketing efforts.
- Balance the budget – only 17 times in the past one hundred years has our government balanced its budget.
We need elected officials who are willing to address the fiscal truth and not serve personal agendas or the agendas of their big money supporters. Investigate the people supporting and endorsing each candidate. Consider whether the candidate has been “bought.” In politics, as in life, you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep.
Is fiscal responsibility painful? Absolutely, just like it is at home or in your business. Cutting costs and saying no is never easy, but it’s necessary to survive. It’s called discipline. Discipline hurts at the time but in the long-run makes things better and easier. However, “bad habits are like a good bed – easy to get into and hard to get out of.”
We have developed some bad habits over the years, but history offers a shining example of the truth and what we need to do next. Fiscal responsibility by our government starts with those whom we elect in November.
In closing (remembering that I am not politically correct)…
“Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.” – Unknown