If things don’t change, this election won’t matter

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

Perhaps by the time you read this column — as it likely will come out after knowing who the next president of the United States will be — our country will have a stay of execution because we’ve elected Mitt Romney.

But I say stay of execution because, quite frankly, if we don’t change our government’s spending ways at almost every level, it won’t matter who we ask for the pardon from as we can’t stop the eventuality of the grim reaper claiming his victim. And the body will be that of the United States.

I swear I could do a better job of picking a representative federal government with 456 darts and a bunch of phone books from across the country. Because chances are, the darts would at least hit a majority of names where the folks would have the ability to add and read. All one needs to do is add up the federal government’s budget and discover the deficit to understand we’re already bankrupt. And all anyone needs to do is read a couple of pages of the Constitution to fully realize our imperial federal government has way overstepped its governing authority.

And yes, it’s really that simple to understand. But more important, it’s that easy to fix. All it takes is leadership with the strength and ability to tell the American people how it is. This is a trait missing across the board in our elected and unelected officials at certainly the federal level, let alone all too many of our states.

And “how it is” includes that in terms of our spending, we’re on an unsustainable course toward bankruptcy. The reason so many of us know this is simple math. That and the fact we don’t possess the ability to print money or borrow it unendingly while our balance sheet gets worse and worse. Anyone who owns a business, s home or has to live on a budget simply knows it is impossible to continue to live by spending 50 percent to 60 percent more than we take. We also know that no bank in its right mind would lend to us with that kind of budget.

As my many recent discussions on Facebook have helped me come to realize, it’s not the job of the federal government to make decisions on every aspect of our lives. As the 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” So before the next person tells me that I want to control what happens with women’s bodies, I’m against helping the poor of victims of Superstorm Sandy and I want Grandma and Granddad to die in the streets by cutting off their Medicare and Social Security, understand this: I simply would like to see the federal government out of the decision making on all of these areas. So yes, I firmly believe our states and local governments should take care of these decisions.

So what’s the solution, you ask? Another Facebook accusation I always seem to receive. Simple. Starve and kill the beast known as the federal government; both in tax funding, but even more important, from power over us, the smallest minority, the individual citizen. 

Why can’t we get our governors to simply look the Feds in the eyes and say, “Sorry, we’ll keep that tax money here?” Better yet, why can’t our local commissioners do the same thing to the states and the feds? How about our towns and boroughs do the same thing to our counties? Why can’t we, exercising our constitutional rights do the same to all of the above? I realize there are laws passed that say we can’t. But my goodness, the upswell has to start somewhere! Why not with the people, who the Constitution was written for begin this civil (in the civil sense of the word) revolt against the spendthrifts who pursue a ruinous path at almost every level of government. Because if these folks were cut off for even a few months, they’d go broke and have to make the kinds of cuts and hard decisions necessary to get things balanced and back on track. You know, the kinds of things you and I do to keep our businesses and households up and running.

As for power, let’s stage more recalls to get folks we elect out of office or scare them back in line with their campaign rhetoric, instead of electing them time after time to break promises. At the federal and state level, many of us get this chance every two years. Why can’t this country have a 100 percent turnover rate in Congress for one election? You can’t convince me the new folks wouldn’t do better than the next elected version of that body, which will be just about the same as the last. We should be doing the same things at our state and local levels as well. Personally, I think one term, no pay and part time are the answers at every level of government. But how can they get their agenda put into place with such a short time to serve, you might ask? Exactly.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not fear the reaper. I’d rather go out a dragonslayer.