Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's broke. Time to fix it. Article #7

It's broke . . .

There is a real lack of accountability when it comes to government spending.

If you ask the average person (by that I mean those with a job, and not self-employed) what they make, they will most likely give you the net amount. If you ask them what their gross is, they wouldn't have a clue.

I too, am an average person by that criteria. But, to be honest, without actually looking it up, I couldn't tell you what I made in gross OR net. That kind of info never seems to stick in my Etch A Sketch brain.

The difference between the gross and the net on your paystub is shown as a list of deductions: (where applicable) 401(k), medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, AND (always applicable) a multitude of taxes: local, state, and federal.

Once upon a time, we working stiffs would get a paper paycheck, along with a paystub attached that gave you all those deductions. Then one day the paychecks went direct-deposit to your bank and the paystubs became a thing you could only see if you logged into an account online and brought them up.

So, what does this have to do with the lack of accountability when it comes to government spending? Plenty.

Most folks have no idea how much they are sending to the government each pay period. Out of sight, out of mind. Because of this, the HOW money is spent by our government becomes less impactful. Don't think so? Remember back in 2009, when President Obama's stimulus spending was kicking into gear? When asked, some people thought it was "Obama's money". They had little-to-no idea that the money being shuffled around was coming from their paychecks, or of someone close to them.

Because of this lack of connectivity, people have very little understanding of WHY the government shouldn't be spending money on whatever sounds good. Your grandma was right: money DOESN'T grow on trees!

Like I say in the bio of my blog, I am socially liberal, but fiscally conservative. What does that mean? I'm okay with the government providing social services to better society, but they had better be financially sound (a.k.a. "in the black") when they do it. And we are NOT financially sound. How much is the deficit? Remember when the multi-trillion dollar deficit was trumpeted on the news? Do you have any idea what it is now? Take a look. And WHY isn't it cried about anymore?

Because it is gone! No more debt! It was completely wiped away with "Obama's money".

(Okay, I kid, I kid!!)

So, what's the solution? You are not going to like this (but the self-employed people already know what I'm going to say): Eliminate automatic deductions of payroll taxes. Make people write the checks.

Do it for one year. Each payday make people have to pull out their checkbooks and write a check to EACH of their governments (federal, state, AND local). And, since it is normally taken off the top, make them write the checks FIRST! BEFORE they put gas in their car, or food on their table, or pay for the roof over their heads. Write it first.

Only then will people feel the impact of what they send to their governments, and only then will they force their representatives to be a little more responsible with "YOUR NAME's money".

. . . time to fix it!

© Emittravel 2015

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