Monday, March 11, 2013

Deficits and Surpluses

It is difficult enduring the childish squabbling and crush-the-opponent-at-all-costs strategies emanating from Washington, D.C. and so many devastated cities. While politicians collect their pensions and salaries, and a few favorites (like General Motors!) store billions in cash overseas, most of the nation awaits leadership that is honest and wise, with the good of all Americans in mind, not just select constituencies that ensure victorious elections. Some decisions border on the tragicomedic: Colorado lowering tuition for the undocumented while qualified US citizens pay more for an education. Millions go on food stamps (with government urging) and Homeland personnel get a cool grand for uniforms while our President cancels White House tours and plays more golf. Obama has dinner with a few Republican insiders, but legitimate budget plans in the House are rejected sight unseen.

Something is broken.

Most Democrats know the gravy train must end soon. Republicans cannot seem to find a tune that will be hummed by hard working African-American and Hispanic citizens whose values are closer to theirs that the current Administration.

The problem is not the politicians.

Yes, the Mayor of New York is out of control with lifestyle regulation. Parts of Detroit are Haiti with cold weather. Everyone is so afraid of libelous labels that immigration "reform" will only encourage more defiance of the law.

We have deficits of discipline. We have surpluses of state control. The former leads to the latter.

It is difficult to hold politicians accountable for balancing a budget when we expect way too much of government agencies. Mayor Bloomberg's crusades against fat and sugar are meddlesome, but we have become a super-sized nation and without discipline medical costs will force the kind of rationing we abhor.

We are scandalized by elected officials and their sexual peccadillos while we have a divorce rate of almost 50 % and voraciously consume "adult" entertainment. Our leaders need to keep clothing on and hands off the public till. And we need fidelity to our spouses and children.

We penalize economic success with excessive regulation and taxation and insist on more laws for gun ownership. Meanwhile, we pass legislation allowing Hollywood to produce more violent movies. Federal agencies are buying ammunition in wartime quantities. Such contradictions will not bear close scrutiny by thoughtful people.

We are living on our impulses, not insights as we satisfy whims instead of seeking wisdom.

We must begin a grassroots movement of personal and public integrity, with truth and transparency in deed as well as speech. We need to self-regulate and produce more than we consume, thus arming ourselves with moral authority that will cause politicians to think twice before passing more unfunded mandates. We can reaffirm the best of our founder's virtues without repeating their mistakes. Freedom requires virtue and virtue rests on unchanging principles, not "evolving" notions of truth.

Let's discharge our deficits of discipline and enjoy surpluses of sanity. Failure to reform from within our hearts and homes will end in totalitarian demands for our hearts and homes.

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