While the total of all earmarks in the fiscal 2010 budget only amounted to approximately 0.5% of the total budget, they did have an affect on our overall well-being.  Eliminating future “fluff” expenditures might help individual citizens, who are now paying for them, understand the government is attempting to show some fiscal responsibility.

Not eliminating earmarks from legislation for non related specific projects is irresponsible in this or any time.  Borrowing money from people (tax payers) who have little or none, who have to forego or defer some of their bills in order to pay the government is insane.  Government borrowing money for earmarks to make an elected official look good or be more popular or more re-electable is simply wrong and irresponsible.

For those people who cannot understand the concept as it relates to them directly, let’s bring it down to the personal level.  Your neighbor, friend or relative is caught a bit short on his mortgage payment.  Not wanting to have him lose the house, you loan him some money.  Soon, you find out that the money loaned was not used to pay the mortgage, instead it was used to throw a party.  At that party (BTW, you were not invited) the recipient of your generosity asks each guest, individually and quietly, to help pay the now past due mortgage.

When the money is collected, it turns out that there is a bit more than required for the past due payment.  Without considering the potential for future shortcomings, the beggared uses the excess for a much needed vacation before searching in earnest for income producing employment.  Perhaps there is a lack of will to cut back on “Iwanna expenditures” ( Iwanna go skiing or Iwanna 72” flat screen).  Next month, in spite of a meager attempt with lackluster effort to find work, the cycle begins again.  Debt is accumulating, but bankruptcy is always an option for consideration when everybody helping is out of money for the selfish and unworthy cause.

And then you lose your income source and have to begin selling forty years of comfort accumulations.  You sell the new Lexus to buy a five year old econo-box.  You let the boat go for half its worth to make your mortgage payment for a couple of months.  You become a WalMart greeter just to buy gas for the econo-box.  Meanwhile, Joe the borrower continues the highlife on OPM with no thought in mind of ever repaying the debt.

The mindset of our elected officials and government agencies:  spend what you’ve got, raise taxes to pay for what you don’t have, then borrow against the future tax revenue to pay for Iwannas.  When it comes time to pay the bills, raise taxes higher until there are no businesses to tax or employ people and everybody is receiving a subsistence income from the government.

The only problem with this scenario is that at some point there are no more people to tax.  There is no individual or country left to borrow from and nothing left to sell.

So, even though eliminating earmarks might only amount to 0.5% of the total annual budget, doesn’t it make sense to start there to control expenses.  Moving to other unnecessary expenditures will then be easier.  At some point, we might actually have a balanced budget and perhaps even pay off some of the accumulated debt without having to leave every middle-class citizen destitute and dependent.


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