Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sequester = Politician Self-Interest

We are only a few days away until the automatic government budget cuts and Congress and the President can't come to agreement on specific budget cuts and/or increasing revenue. Ramifications will be across-the-board cuts, effecting defense, education, national parks, air traffic controllers and all services provided by our Federal government.

Why can't the congress agree? To me it all comes down to self-interest, not willing to step up to hard choices and not agreeing on common values. Roy Disney is quoted as saying "When values are clear, decisions are easy." What does Washington value? “How I am going to get reelected” -not what is best for the country?

If a family is in debt, they have to agree on how they are going to reduce that debt. It typically is achieved by a combination of reducing spending and increasing income. If the family agrees to common values, decisions on what to cut and where to increase income become easy. The family looks inward on where to cut and makes sacrifices to balance their budget. The cuts are difficult but the family makes the difficult decisions and works to balance the budget.

On the other hand, our Federal Government can't make difficult decisions so everyone gets cut. It saves the politician's political career because they did not vote to cut anyone's project. Yet they can look good by restoring federal funding. As a country, we need to decide what we value.

The sequester tells me what the politicians do not value the fiscal commitments of the United States. They do not value how hard the tax payers work to earn money to pay their taxes. The sequester could put our economic recovery on hold which impacts everyone. The politicians do not value cooperation and working for the common good.

Politicians were elected to work for the common good. Now is the time to get to work, make the hard decisions, put aside partisan politics, and agree to a budget before the sequester goes into effect. Please do what you were elected to do - damn it!