"I realize this will not be one of my sexiest columns, but we all need to get on board with this issue as it is crucial to our survival.
Every successful business knows when they find themselves in an economic downfall, whether of their own doing or events out of their control, they slash expenses to weather the storm. It’s really that simple, folks.
During the 2008 slump our company examined each expense, where every dime was spent, looking under every rock to find where we might be wasting money. We went so far as to reduce the size of Styrofoam coffee cups. You might be wondering how that would help a big company. Well, we have always kept fresh free coffee available at our offices 24/7 for truckers.
By going to a smaller cup, we saved money not only on cups, but wasted less coffee, sugar, cream, etc. Think how many times you’ve seen a large cup of half-drunk coffee gone cold. May sound trivial, but it was just one of the hundreds of expenses reduced allowing us to stay profitable during what was one of the tougher economic cycles in my business career. Many of the expenses reduced have remained in place today.
This leads me to government spending. The axiom, “This country doesn’t have a tax problem, it has a spending problem,” has never in our history been truer. Politicians promise the moon, then once ensconced in their comfy government offices, and being paid on our dime, they give away other people’s money obsessively with absolutely no notion of sound economic policy.
Ronald Reagan likened government to a baby – “An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” They do this, not because of any great compassion for constituents, but to keep themselves on the government dole. It’s unpopular to say no to government spending – the monster must be fed.
Democrats have taken spending money that isn’t theirs to an art form, but Republicans aren’t blameless either. Both parties play political games, blaming each other for excessive spending, counting vote totals before deciding which way to vote on a bill, or absurdly redefining the word recession, as Biden’s Bunch is doing now.
The government will admit to the U.S. being $31 trillion in debt. That’s what is reported, missing the point of the ridiculously astronomic number in the first place. In fact, according to the Truth in Accounting website, that number should be $143 trillion, as government numbers don’t include unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises. To put this in perspective, your share of that debt as a taxpayer, is $919,000.
In 2021, the US collected $4.05 trillion in revenue in taxes, duties and admissions to parks. But we spent an absurd $6.82 trillion — a difference of $2.77 trillion. Read that again. This is the ludicrous spending policies that go on year after year. Politicians are spending money we don’t have, while not funding Social Security or Medicare, a recipe for disaster. We spent $352 billion just in interest payments, most to China.
Check out the website at usdebtclock.org. It will astonish you the way the numbers climb in front of your eyes. If you’re like me, it should make your blood boil. And your anger should be directed at the people we elect that supposedly has been watching over our interests. Why do we keep electing people that never actually worked in their lives?
Did you know the U.S. has 800 military bases in about 160 countries? Incredibly, there are 174 bases in Germany, 113 in Japan and 83 in South Korea. Our defense spending was $755 billion in 2021. So far, we have sent about $54 billion to Ukraine to fight Russia this year. How’s that spending working out for us as we inch towards nuclear Armageddon? What’s wrong with informing Mr. Zelensky we can’t afford to help fight his war, as we know Russia can’t afford it either.
Having just returned from a European river cruise I’ve had some time to observe and reflect on different nations, as well as how it relates to our own country. Those countries have been in existence much, much longer than ours, have been fighting each other for centuries, yet most have survived. They will go on with or without our support.
Having said that, I realize protectionism policies by one country historically have failed and probably led to the Great Depression. I’m not advocating for strict protectionism now, but we need to become more judicious in our overseas spending and liberal giveaway policies for a while, at least until we get debt under control. And we need to put a temporary moratorium on foreign entities, mainly China, from buying our properties and industries.
Label me an isolationism if you like, but debt reduction should be our most important priority, or China will own our grandchildren."
Read the full article on: Daily Journal