Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Of course the budget and debt ceiling talks are going on now. One side says we must not increase the debt ceiling without equal cuts in spending. The other side seems to favor an ever increasing government with unlimited money to spend. Which side is right? Is either side right? Who or what are we to believe?

The ads are all over TV and newspapers. Both sides seem to have plenty of money to further their agenda through advertisement. The professional medical lobby is crying about potential cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. Teachers unions are screaming for more money. Who should we believe?

Just recently President Obama said on TV that unless a budget ceiling increase is approved by August 3, veterans benefits and social security checks may not go out. This has been reported as total nonsense. The checks will go out. So, who are we to believe?

Both sides appear to me to be petulant children. It is reminiscent of kids playing marbles and one saying either you play my way or I will take my marbles and go home.

Those of you who know me know that I am not smart enough to have the answers but I do have some thoughts. Personally, if I were a sitting Member of Congress, and had any thoughts of re-election, I would pay attention to the last election. I think the people spoke loudly and clearly with their vote. There is a fiscal conservative awakening across this country. The Tea Party is having an effect. They will have an effect on the next election as well. Polls show that most people think we are headed in the wrong direction with the free spending and increased taxation that is going on.

None of us knows what the truth is regarding the budget or the spending. None of us really knows what, if anything, we are borrowing or from whom. None of us has the capacity to comprehend the amount of money that travels to Washington DC every day of the year, nor the amount of money that flows back out to who knows what project or group. We probably will never know. To most of us, they are just numbers. Call me a skeptic, but I think that is the way those in power want it.

What are we to do? Do we have a role? Do you really think your letters have any effect on how a Congressperson votes? If you are a conservative Republican and your representative is a liberal Democrat, do you really think they would pay any attention to your letter? Your representative will vote his party line, period. There is only one thing that affects how a representative votes beyond his party affiliation and that is fear of losing re-election.

That is the hammer that the voters have. It is the only hammer. Today we have a Congress full of children who pursue their own self interests without regard to their responsibility to the people who elected them. The moment their address changes, their allegiance also changes. They need to be returned to sender.

Our problem is simple. Most of the American people don’t care enough to even vote, let alone be discriminating in their vote. I think most people don’t even know why they think the way they do politically. We seem to be a flock of ignorant sheep who are led by any shepherd who is attractive and glib. We all need to get smarter.

As I said earlier, I’m not smart enough to figure this all out, but I have to believe if we got together and truly learned the plans and positions of our potential representatives, we could change this mess. We have to hold these people’s feet to the fire. We need to get rid of those whose self interest takes precedence over the needs of the electorate. They work for us. We pay their salary. They need to be treated as employees and not as celebrities.

As a side note, can you just imagine what would happen if veterans benefits and social security checks are not sent out? I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Ron Scarbro July 13, 2011

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