Responsible Spending Perhaps?

I try not to get too political on my blog, but sometime I can’t help it. I love my country and do not want to see it destroyed by irresponsible leadership.

Did you know that originally you had to own property to vote in the U.S.? Do you know why that was? It was because taxes were based on your property and it was important that property owners had a say in how much they could be taxed on their property!

Today, voting and the voter registration process has morphed into nothing more than an attempt to grab more power. We don’t let 16-year-old kids fight wars, drink alcohol, buy guns, or get married because their rational brain is not fully functioning yet and they can easily be led. How many really think letting a 16-year-old vote is a great idea? If you do, I’d have to really question your motivation!

Is your vote for sale?

With the 2020 election looming in the future, irresponsible politicians are up to their same old games, promising things that the Federal Government cannot afford to provide in an effort to buy votes. Free healthcare, free college, government funded savings accounts, and guaranteed minimum income payments. Each politician seeking to be elected or re-elected stridently trying to out-promise the others in an effort to buy your vote. Truly … an example of pandering of epic proportions!

Do you really believe we can tax our working citizens enough to pay for all this?

Let’s Fact Check the Fact Checkers!

On February 1, 2019, an economics professor at Duquesne University tweeted a statement that said the following:

responsible spending

Some fact checkers immediately labeled this as a false claim. However, the number of billionaires, their estimated net worth, and the costs of running the government for the time period the professor used for his calculation support this claim.

Davies used figures from 2016, pointing at Forbes estimates of 540 U.S. billionaires worth $2.4 trillion, and he used the CBO’s report of federal outlays for FY 2016 of $3.9 trillion which would give an average of $2.6 trillion for eight months.

The reason this tweet was labeled false is that the number of billionaires and their net worth change constantly.

Many people will become richer or poorer within weeks, or even days of any publication due to changes in stock prices and exchange rates. For example, on July 27, 2017, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, was indeed the richest man in the world … for a few hours.

Forbes has identified additional billionaires since 2016, and their combined estimated net worth could fund the government longer than eight months. So, the tweet is labeled as FALSE.

Are you kidding me? So, now there are enough billionaires to fund the government for 9 months, 12 months, or 18 months? The point Antony Davies was making is accurate and valid to this day. The claim, by fact-checkers, that his statement is false is misleading at best.

So, say you tax all the billionaires at a rate of 100% and fund the federal government for, let’s be generous and say three years. What then?

Who do we tax next?

As Margaret Thatcher so clearly stated, “The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”

We would need to tax the millionaires, then the middle class, then the poor. At this rate, in 10 years we’d all be broke! Can you say Venezuela?

Some claim paying taxes is our patriotic duty

Perhaps it is. I have no problem with paying fair taxes to support the expenses of the federal government.

However, before they raise taxes even one iota, they need to ensure that they are acting as responsible stewards of taxpayer money!

Do any of you see any signs of that? No? Then why should we let them take more of our money?

Perhaps if the federal government demonstrated and practiced responsible spending habits, some of the federal deficit and current budget issues could be avoided. Perhaps they could start by cutting wasteful spending. Here are a few of my suggestions worth looking into:

  • Despite trillion-dollar deficits, last year’s 10,160 earmarks included $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, California; $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; and $75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Albany, Georgia.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
  • Members of Congress have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars supplying their offices with popcorn machines, plasma televisions, DVD equipment, ionic air fresheners, camcorders, and signature machines — plus $24,730 leasing a Lexus, $1,434 on a digital camera, and $84,000 on personalized calendars.
  • Fraud related to Hurricane Katrina spending is estimated to top $2 billion. In addition, debit cards provided to hurricane victims were used to pay for Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation.
  • The state of Washington sent $1 food stamp checks to 250,000 households in order to raise state caseload figures and trigger $43 million in additional federal funds.
  • The National Institutes of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use.
  • Congressional investigators were able to receive $55,000 in federal student loan funding for a fictional college they created to test the Department of Education.
  • The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.
  • More than $13 billion in Iraq aid has been classified as wasted or stolen. Another $7.8 billion cannot be accounted for.
  • The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes.

These are just a few of the many examples of past government financial inefficiencies and waste. Before you try to take more of my money, be sure you are spending the money you already take wisely!

2 thoughts on “Responsible Spending Perhaps?”

  1. I’m with you all the way Darren. 100%

    I would like to note that we attended the Buffalo Bill Cody Historical Center & Museum this Summer. It was fantastic! I would say they spent at least $190k on the building and museums if not more. I’m not sure the federal government should be funding it but needless to say, it was very cool.

    Thanks for the list of needless spending. I always love/hate reading those lists. I recall one time I read that a million dollar program was providing a field for butterflies. That one was so ridiculous I could barely believe it.

    Thanks!
    Reid

    1. I really have no problem spending federal money on projects like that if we are in the black. To me, expenditures like that fall under discretionary expenses … meaning all mandatory expenses have already been covered.

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