How not to boost the growth of the economy

Foreign nations must be laughing at us. I can hear them now: “Those crazy Americans, they have almost bankrupted their country trying to convert the governments of the world to what they call democracy when they can’t even govern their own country.”

And they are right. Our elected officials should hang their heads in collective shame for the way they are treating our nation.

When a country puts itself in a position where they could default in the payment of its debts, a country that could be laying off tens of thousands of workers at a time of high unemployment, it is asking for ridicule from its citizens much less the rest of the world.

I don’t care; I am criticizing the White House, the Democrats and the Republicans. They are all to blame. Their egos, their party loyalty, their interest in their personal wellbeing have put our nation at risk. We are, at this date of writing, getting ready to plunge into a cut in government spending, the method of which, I have never seen before.

Don’t get me wrong. I am for fiscal responsibility. I am for cutting waste. I am for tightening our belts — but, not by an across the board, no respect for the needs of an individual agency cut. Cuts must be selective. Many programs in the federal government could be eliminated completely. Some have their budgets severely cut, some modified and some actually increased. But an across the-board cut doesn’t make sense.

The problem? Our elected officials, from the White House to the most junior member of the U.S. House of Representatives are more concerned about how they look to their reelection financial supporters and core voters than they are about how our county is prospering. And, for the life of me I don’t know how to correct the dilemma.

At one time I thought “get rid of every elected official in Washington and replace them with a new group.” Unfortunately, when we have done this in the past on a small scale we always end up with a group of fresh faces that end up just like the ones we removed.

Here is where we are heading if party loyalty and self-interest prevail and the end of the month comes and we go into March without resolving the Sequester:

• Thousands of federal employees will be forced to take a one-day-a-week unpaid vacation to save the government on payroll.

• We will wait longer at the airport to board a flight inasmuch as there will be fewer security officers to check us out.

• Courts will experience delays in starting new trials as we will have to cut back on court employees.

• Our military will be flying less missions, have less training programs and delay the acquisition of new equipment.

• Local school boards will be cutting back on supplies, teachers and administrative support — affecting the education of our children.

• Some national parks will be closing down facilities as well as the time the parks are open.

• Road and bridge repairs, vitally needed, will be cut back.

• Community hospitals will cut back on service to those without medical insurance.

• Research at our universities will be cut back.

There is an interesting correlation between all those that will be temporarily unemployed and the needed growth in our economy. Please remember that 70 percent of spending is made by the individual and 20 percent by corporations and the government. All these people temporarily unemployed they will stop spending. And those that are still employed, fearing for their jobs, will stop spending.

And when spending stops state and federal tax collections drop. The manufacturers that make the good we buy, the sales men and women that are employed in the stores around the nation will start losing their jobs as we have entered into a downward cycle that will put our economy in a tailspin.

And, all this thanks to our elected officials that can’t look after the needs of the nation but rather pay attention to their own personal lives. Shame on them!

We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement.Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to letters@communitynewspapers.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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