In case you haven't ever heard this one before: There seems to be a disconnect between Washington and taxpayers!
I keep hearing that Pres. Obama along with other politicians across the country seem to believe the only way to cover our all costs is to raise taxes. I must admit that, I too was caught up in the rhetoric and thought it would be good to come to a compromise on this issue; We could cut costs and raise taxes a little - which should solve the problem without too much pain!
Recently, though, after hearing Pres. Obama rip on republicans for refusing to compromise on raising taxes and then tell how he felt that the only way to balance the budget was to raise taxes on the greedy and the wealthy, and that he would only be taking away tax breaks on those evil corporate jet owners, I felt to repent of my feeling of compromise.
I thought to myself: "Do any of these guys in DC have any clue of what it means to 'budget' in tough times? Have any of these guys ever really even been through tough times? Do any of these guys really know what it is like to be burdened with, not a choice of what to eat, but rather whether they could afford to even eat that day. Most of these guys have probably never had a hand-me-down, nor have they ever had to decide between Wendy's or McDonald's dollar menu for a date because that was all they could afford. Most have never been without health insurance because it was a luxury they couldn't afford, and most have never had to shop at second-hand stores for school clothes or any clothes. In fact, I would be willing to bet that most of these guys have never had to really budget when times where really tough (some may have never had to budget at all!). The few who lived through the Great Depression were likely kids at the time and never had to face those budgeting decisions themselves, but rather it was their parents who did.
Why, then, do we put these people in these positions and expect them to be able to make the tough decisions that need to be made in this tough economy? Perhaps we should put people in charge who are experienced at balancing budgets when times were really tough. Perhaps we should set an income limit on congress so that we can get people in there who really know how to savor every dollar they get. perhaps that income level should be less than $100,000, or even $75,000 or $50,000 or less! These are the people that are more likely to know how to budget.
Perhaps the disconnect between Washington and taxpayers is the idea of what is really needed and what is really nice. If I was used to living on an income of $100,000 a year, and that income dropped to $80,000 per year, I am sure I could tighten my belt and find a few places to cut expenses without a huge sacrifice. But, let's say the economy went really sour and that income dropped to $50,000. What would I ever do?What options do I have? I could try to find another job - higher paying, of course. But the economy is very poor and there are no jobs to be had. You could also demand that your boss pay you more or you'll leave. I'm sure he'd show you the door in this economy! Or you could try to tighten the belt even more. For example, you have a boat and ATV payment, two car payments, a house, a timeshare and four credit card payments. you already cut back your clothing allowance and have begun looking for bargains rather than paying full price for the clothes when they first hit the rack. You only eat out 3 nights a week instead of four or five and you cut your lunch budget from $25/day to $20. You felt you had made real sacrifices when you took the hit from $100,000 to $80,000. However, $50,000? that is just not possible! perhaps we could compromise with the boss! you'll stay working if he pays you $65,000 and you will give up the boat, the ATV, and the time share. That is the only way to pay for our expenses!
Yes, the boss would likely laugh in your face as he showed you the door. You could, however, realize that the economy is tough for all, and everyone is going to have to sacrifice until the economy recovers. You might never be able to eat out, and you might even have to shop the discount rack at Kohl's now. you might have to sell the Mercedes and the BMW and get some used car that will get you to work and back. You also might have to give up the boat, the time share and the ATV, as you work to really pay off the credit cards. you may even have to downsize the house payment. But, trust me. It is possible to live on $50,000 per year.
If our economy is really hurting, shouldn't Washington learn to live with what they have? Is it right for them to go and demand more money from their boss (the taxpayers) so that they can maintain their standard of living in boats, ATV's, timeshares, big homes, eating out, and shopping the "just in" clothing racks?
That doesn't fly in the real world, and it shouldn't fly in Washington.
Perhaps the next time President Obama talks about cutting tax breaks for those evil corporate jets, he might offer as a leader to get rid of his two corporate airliners and fleet of helicopters which could likely save several trillion over the next decade when figuring in fuel and manpower. I might respect his offer a little more if he is willing to share in the sacrifice.