Since a clear majority of Americans seem to finally comprehend the perilous economic situation confronting our country, a number of people have asked me, why is it that no one seems to have the guts to actually talk about real solutions?
My response was simple: “because any politician who tells the American people the cold, hard truth will never get elected.” Contrary to the claims that we want “honest” leaders, the exact opposite is true. We say we want someone who will tell us the truth about unpleasant reality – but we invariably vote for those who instead tell us what we want to hear.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the issue of “entitlements” – everyone rants and ravess about expanding deficits, but no one wants to give up THEIR pet subsidy. And it isn’t just the government union employees and welfare recipients who don’t want to face the music. When it comes to not wanting to give up feeding at the government trough, Liberals and Conservatives, and yes, those so-called Moderates, are all equally guilty.
Take Social Security – regardless of political affiliation, the AARP crowd will jump out of their seats in near hysteria should anyone dare to even discuss trying to deal with what any high school economics student can see is a fiscally unsustainable, and ultimately doomed system. I recall the interview of one greedy old geezer who admitted that he simply didn’t care if his children and grandchildren would wind up broke, just as long as he got his check (including his beloved COLAs – “cost of living adjustments”).
Then there are those “farm subsidies” – any politician who even suggests reducing what are nothing more than welfare payments to farmers, will find him or herself on the losing end. Throw that black single mother off the welfare rolls, but by God, don’t you dare touch MY government check!
Even suburban “soccer moms” – who range from die-hard Democrats to hard-core Republicans – suddenly come together when it comes to any attempt to curtail out-of-control spending on Public Education. Never mind that funding has been proven to have nothing to do with the quality of education, or that public schools typically overspend and underperform their private school counterparts. No sir, no amount of money is too much for MY child’s school district.
And nothing will bring about a truce between Liberals and Conservatives faster than when the taxpayers are asked to fund a $300 Million sports stadium – seems that fans suddenly have no problem with government subsidies when the money is going to be used to subsidize their favorite team.
It is estimated that an unsustainable 83% of the Federal Budget goes to “entitlements” – so unless and until every American faces the uncomfortable reality that we ALL are going to have to bite the bullet and make the hard choices to cut government spending, even on those programs that benefit us personally, we will continue to spiral downward toward financial disaster.