Can you believe that it’s 2013? It seems like just yesterday it was 1999 and we were worried about the year 2000 (remember Y2K?) and how all the computers were going to crash and send us into cyber oblivion. Sometimes I think that we might be better off if that had happened but I guess that we are now so dependent on technology to run our society that we have to accept it as a necessary evil.
Well, speaking of worry, I guess we averted plunging off the fiscal cliff by once again kicking the proverbial political “can” down the road for two more months. Let me get this straight. Last year Congress passed this really ugly piece of legislation that instituted all sorts of cuts in the federal budget so that they would be forced to tackle the hard issues of the deficit. The thinking was that the cuts would be so severe that surely a compromise would have to be reached.
So our federal leaders (Congress and the president) played a political game that actually went past the magical deadline and then agreed to raise taxes but put off the decision on any cuts for another two months. Now, in two months they will fight again about the debt ceiling (like they did last year) and we are supposed to have faith that they will miraculously come to some kind of agreement on cuts to the national budget. And they wonder why congressional approval ratings are the lowest in history.
I say just put the printing presses in high gear and start pumping out more and more money. They’re going to do it anyway so what does it matter what the citizens think. If I ran my household budget the same way our federal government runs its budget then I would be bankrupt in no time flat – which basically is what they are doing except that they can just print more fictional money. I wonder if my creditors would accept monopoly money from me to pay my bills.
You know, I don’t think that even the best fiction writer could make this stuff up. The only problem is that this is not a piece of fiction but its real life and it appears that there are a lot of people in Washington that don’t realize that. What’s going to happen in two months? Do you really think that the progressives are going to want to make any significant cuts to any budget items?
Right now, some people are railing on the fact that Congress hasn’t approved a $60 billion relief package for damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Do they realize that the so-called relief package is a late Christmas present to a lot of other “causes” such as $71 million to NASCAR, $180 million for Alaskan fisheries and $8 million for the Department of Homeland Security to buy new cars? I guess some folks aren’t too worried about the federal deficit or they wouldn’t be so quick to press Congress to pass this latest barrel of pork.
I really hadn’t meant for this column to go this direction but I’m just about as fed up as I can get on everything that is happening in Washington. When are our leaders going to quit spending and start cutting? I guess the answer to that is never. And if that is the answer, then my next question is how long can we survive this unrestrained spending spree? When you get the answer to that one please share it with me because I truly don’t know. All I do know is that there will be a day of fiscal reckoning and it’s coming a whole lot faster than anyone thinks.
A new year usually brings with it a new enthusiasm and a new chance to make better decisions. Maybe our leaders just don’t realize that the calendar page has turned and we are now in a new year. Or most likely they just don’t care and that’s what is truly sad about all this. I just have to wonder what our founding fathers would think if they could see the mess we are now in.
As I said, a new year brings new opportunities and people often make resolutions. I normally don’t formalize those resolutions but I do think about how I would like to do things differently. I was asked by a reporter for another newspaper what my resolutions were for 2013 and I told him that I would just like to be better.
I’d like to be better as a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, Christian, you name it – in all aspects of my life I want to be better this year than I was last year. I think when everything is said and done that is all any of us can truly strive for. I hope that this next year is prosperous and meaningful for each of you and that God blesses you in a mighty way.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.