Friday, October 8, 2010

I’m just getting started….

Recently, I’ve been asked my opinion on political issues, specifically Tea Party proposals related to term limits, pay, insurance and retirement.

While I’d like to say I’m some sort of expert, I think the Tea Party people are focusing on the wrong stuff, or at least their sights are set on the small change of government, not the big stuff.

For people who’ve never been to Washington, D.C., it is difficult to truly understand the range and depth of government and the entrenched bureaucrats who “serve” us.  Once you get there, the immensity of the government hits you square in the face. 

Monstrous buildings filled with career government employees are everywhere.  We’re not talking about hundreds, or thousands, but tens of thousands of people working inside the beltway.  What do they all do?  And, are they all necessary?

We are at war.  The cost of equipping and servicing each service person serving in the Middle East is approximately $1,000,000 each. 

I’m not saying we shouldn’t support our service people.  I’m saying we should stay out of war, or at least do a better job at being better world citizens.   We need to stop telling other countries what to do, or imposing our values on them.

And, why do we need the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy?  Don’t they all do the same stuff.  Couldn’t we save billions by just realigning our defense department into a streamlined organization instead of a set of competing forces?  Military bases and projects have become the pork barrel of the 21st century. 

Imagine if we spent a fraction of the $300 billion we’re spending on war and redundant military spending on a Manhattan style project for renewable energy, or medical research, or conversion of waste to energy, or who knows what. 

Every spending bill should come with some sort of reset, or sunset.  We’ve gotten into the habit of creating spending that goes into perpetuity.  Even social safety net spending needs to be revisited to ensure that the reason for the spending still exists.

Maybe we need to reward politicians like we reward CEOs for balancing our budgets, or at least have some sort of mechanism to get there.  Maybe we need some sort of federal board of directors to set the pay level and benefits of our elected officials. 

We can’t just continue to borrow from our children.  $13 trillion is a lot to pay back.  Every man, woman and child owes over $40,000 as their portion of the federal debt.  Just think, a family unit with a husband, wife and three children owes over $200,000.

I’ll write more when my fingers are in better shape.      

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