Father knows best (and so does Mother)

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If our leaders are going to behave like children, we should treat them that way.

Last week, Chip Wood detailed his disgust with the ongoing budget “crisis” in his column Lies Our Leaders Tell Us. In his unassailable examination, Chip pointed out the basic mendacity with which the Democrats approached every aspect of fiscally managing the Federal coffers. I happen to agree with Chip. I’m also meaner than he is, so I’ll go one step further: Grow up, Washington.

The budget/debt debate which nearly paralyzed our government filled the airwaves with the usual blather. It was partisan rhetoric instead of productive dialogue. It was defamatory invective in place of constructive number-crunching. More than that — and Chip is too nice to say this — it was incredibly, offensively and spectacularly juvenile.

Yes, I said “juvenile.” The solution to the nation’s fiscal issues is so simple it’s actually trite: Don’t spend more than you have. Don’t have enough to make monthly payments on an S-Class Mercedes? Drive the Honda. Not enough in the account to afford a bigger flat screen? Move the couch closer to the television. Can’t afford a night at the Ritz? The light is on at Motel 6, not to mention at your house. Try that logic on a teenage girl with an unsecured Visa™ card… or the Department of Education.

The entire debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling centered on our elected officials’ refusal to manage the Federal budget in a sensible manner. The real tragedy has nothing to do with the Democrats’ profligate spending, nor is it related to the Republicans’ only marginally less profligate spending. The real tragedy is the basic simplicity of the solution: We taxpayers must break ourselves of the habit of being treated like children by the government and instead treat the government like children.

Someone has to be the adult around here. It’s time for John and Joan Taxpayer to become Dad and Mom — and start treating the President, his Cabinet and Congress like wayward teenagers. This country is one big house. Time to work the nation’s budget the same way one should work a household budget — albeit with bigger numbers.

Liberals are fond of demanding budget shortfalls be remedied with tax increases. Granted, liberals demand tax increases because they hold sway over their ignorant voting blocs with fear and class envy. But tax increases are entirely unnecessary if we take the mantle of national parents. When your son wants to go hang out with his friends, the responsible parent says: “You’re not going to the beach until you’ve taken out the trash.” When President Obama wants to immerse the military in another armed escapade, the responsible taxpayer says: “You’re not bombing Yemen until you’ve finished repaving I-20.” When your daughter whines: “Mom, I need money to buy the latest hip, cool thing (which will probably show off more of her than you’d like),” the responsible parent says: “You should have thought of that before you spent your allowance on something else.” When Obama says: “We need to raise taxes in order to fund a high-speed rail line from New York to L.A.,” the responsible taxpayer says: “You should have thought about that before you bailed out General Motors.”

For those of you who are rolling your eyes and thinking “the liberals will never go for this,” I have a compound response:

  1. The liberals stopped reading the moment they figured out I wasn’t going to blame this manufactured fiscal crisis on (insert current most-hated conservative here).
  2. Who gives a damn? Do you really want to include the people who not only elected Obama, but fully intend to re-elect him? To revisit the “parental” simile: When planning your household finances, do you ask your kids to cut into the XBox LIVE budget?

The current wire-pullers in Washington are well aware how simple the budget solutions are. They use phrases like “quantitative easing” and “American Taliban” because the strength of the liberal stranglehold on their soft-headed supporters depends on their soft-headed supporters remaining terrified. If they suddenly acknowledged the simplicity of our fiscal situation, many more taxpayers might realize we can send the entire government to its room without Obamacare: “Just because all the other governments are saddling their citizens with sprawling bureaucracies doesn’t mean you get to, as well.”

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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