Thursday, September 22, 2005

Solutions For Too Much Spending

Mike Pence recently demonstrated a very wise viewpoint on the subject of fiscal conservatism. In the face of not just one, but two record hurricanes, our government has decided to spend money like it's going out of style. Like Pence, I feel terrible for the hurricane victims, I think that much should be done to help them. I am very happy that the American people have been pouring out money and offering lodgings for these people. I am pleased that the university in this town accepted many students from Louisiana and gave them another chance at their education. All the charity that has been going on and will continue to go on impresses me immensely. The government plans to spend a lot on rebuilding and since that is part of the government's job (infrastructure) I am okay with that. But this is just an incredible amount of money that we do not have. And we are in debt already!

Congress has come up with some ideas on how to reallocate money for the hurricane. Of course, it's not enough. Furthermore, the recent trend of spending suggests that Congress is not extremely cautious or remotely responsible with our tax dollars. My guess would be that a few members of Congress will stand up for fiscal responsibility, while everyone else will vote through the spending increases and let the debt fall upon those of us who will be leaders of this nation before long. Eventually, all debt comes back to strangle its incurrer, even if it takes until the next generation to do that.

I met a young student at a debate tournament one time. He and I were batting ideas back and forth because he was a liberal and I a conservative. At one point, this student wanted to discuss Social Security, he said that he thought it was ridiculous to do anything to change social security. I could not believe how shortsighted a statement that was. Even if you do not want to privatize social security, you must at least realize that the way our government uses the money will cause an enormous tax hike eventually. Either way, I bring up this example for a reason. This student acted like our government often acts about debt. He was young, thus he can be forgiven. Most young people are not faced with actual debt and we do not understand bills until we are well out of the house and beyond college. Members of Congress, however, are old enough to understand debt. They should realize that it will not just go away. It will increase until it causes massive economic problems. But our Congress insists upon acting like debt is nothing. It's as if most of them have forgotten the fiscal responsibility that each one of them must excercise in their own home.

Pence's argument brings these points home. He compares government fiscal issues to the fiscal issues that any family would have to face. It is only different because it is on a grander scale. Thus, Pence's words ring true:
“Congress must ensure that a catastrophe of nature does not become a catastrophe of debt for our children and grandchildren.”

I encourage you to go to this website, find your Congressperson, and let him or her know that we do not want this debt to get any worse. Finding creative solutions from which to draw this funding is a far better idea than "a catastrophe of debt."

In the meantime, I'm still plugging away for Pence in 2008! His committment to fiscal responsibility is outstanding. I pray that he fights a winning battle.


MaxiSmeg said...

Inter-generational redistribution is not nice.

How do you feel that the current administration has handled the economy?

Esther said...

Maxismeg: This is a big can of worms:

As a disclaimer, I would like to say that my knowledge of economics is somewhat limited.

I think that the current administration has tried to do what people like about the economy. That is, cut taxes, creat jobs, continue to redistribute more and more of our tax dollars and generally bow to every whim of greed or worry that people throw at it. So we have out of control spending, a rising deficit and no fiscal responsibility. All in all, I think the current administration has been very shortsighted economically.

Most people do only see short term economics, but this time around it is not causing people to like the administration better. Historically speaking, it never has. People have actually liked administrations that are more careful about economic responsibility better in the long run: i.e. Clinton's administration (of course, that was because Congress had so much gridlock on spending issues).

I do like George W. Bush. I believe that he is a moral and Christian man. He has a lot of responsibility on his head and that must be very difficult. I mean, you can see how much he has aged since he was first voted into office in 2000. His hair went from brown to grey before the first four years were up and his face looks so much older. It's a really tough job, and nobody can expect him to be perfect. He is only one man. The amount of responsibility placed upon American presidents in these modern times is unbelievable. I am amazed that anyone can cope like that. I'd be a ball of stress all the time. Many presidents have died not long after leaving office because it's such a tough job that it just wears them out. So I do not mean to be overly critical. But I do think some long term planning in relation to the economy would have been a better way to go. I also think that more defense spending and less welfare stuff would be a good idea. We are spending more dollars on defense than ever before, but we are spending less of a percentage of the government's income on defense than we have in any previous wartime. I think it shows that we are not as serious about doing something against terrorism as we should be (and that's another can of worms).

And keep in mind, I am pretty weak in the area of economics. So if I have totally missed the question, you can tell me.

Daniela said...

when it comes to economics there is no right or wrong theory or school. Each economist chooses the one he/she likes best. I am writing all these with respect to the shortsightedness you accused the Bush government of (btw I know very little about the american economy because it's not one of my interests). I guess by what you are writing Bush's economists are probably not Ricardians...But that does not mean their actions are wrong...
I understand it's a bit complicated.