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Ideas not Ideology
William C. Henderson
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Posted in Publishaletter.com By :
William C. Henderson
Letter to the Editor Sent to :
Ideas not Ideology
Dear Editor: Our Nation is in a financial crisis. No one really denies that right now. The one thing that 'both' sides in this poly-multifaceted society can agree on is that we need to fix our economy. The one thing we can't agree on is which of the two solutions presented to us by our binary, yes/no, this/that, Democrat/Republican, 24 hour media conglomocorp to decide upon. Do we tax everyone, borrow a lot of money, and then use that to 'stimulate the economy' or do we stop taxing and hope that the wealthy will trickle their wealth down on us. The reason we can't agree on either solution is that they are both based on ideology, not on ideas. One of these ideologies believes that society should come together and pool their resources to help support those less fortunate and make sure no one falls through the cracks. The other believes in self-determination, that a person is responsible for themselves and that to give a person too much outside support erodes this self-determination and actually makes them less likely to make the most of themselves. I actually kind of agree with both ideologies. I believe that I am responsible for myself and that if I am to make the most of my life it is up to me to do it. I believe that this is true of every person alive. But I also believe that there have been many people who have helped me along the way and without their help I would not have made it this far. These are beliefs of mine. But the solutions we need right now will not come from beliefs, they will come from facts. So here is a good fact for everyone to think about in regards to how to fix our national budget. Every department of the Federal Government (and the departments of many state, county, and city governments) is given a quarterly budget. If a department does not use their entire quarterly budget the budget is reduced to what was actually used. For example, if your quarterly budget for this quarter is $100,000 and you actually only spend $70,000, then next quarter your budget will be $70,000 dollars. Each individual department of the government is penalized for being fiscally responsible. This gives each department of the government incentive to consciously and deliberately waste money. Anybody who has ever worked in the private sector knows that this is not how a successful business is run. In the private sector a department is given a quarterly budget and if that department does not spend the entire quarterly budget not only do they receive the same original budget the next quarter, the person responsible for having the department finish ?under budget? is given a bonus. Often this bonus is a percentage of the money saved. Say, for example, a department is given a budget of $100,000 and the department only spends $70,000, saving the company $30,000. The next quarter that department again receives a budget of $100,000 and the manager of that department is given a bonus of 10% of the savings. That is a $3,000 bonus. This gives each department in the private sector an incentive to consciously and deliberately NOT waste money. So, as our politicians are spouting rhetoric to us about cutting government spending, balancing the budget, and reducing the deficit, I politely ask all of them to stop espousing their idealogical solutions and to start promoting a couple ideal solutions. This solution will not fix all of our financial problems, but if every individual Company of every branch of our armed services were encouraged to save money instead of waste it, how much would this help us in fixing our economy. Now take that idea and apply it to every local field office of the FBI, and ATF, and Fish and Wildlife, and Bureau of Land Management, and Social Security, and Medicare, and the DEA, and the VA, and the Treasury, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Congress, and the USGS, and the Peace Corps, and the Census Bureau, and the Border Patrol, and the Smithsonian, and the Office of Thrift Supervision, and NASA, and the US Postal Service, and the FAA, and the TSA, the Department of Energy, and the USDA. This is just a very brief sampling of Federal Agencies. Imagine the culture of each and every department of each and every federal agency changed from fiscal irresponsibility to fiscal responsibility. Then add in all of the state, and local agencies. This basic switch in economic practices would do more to balance the budget than taxing and 'stimulating' or all the tinkling down of wealth could ever possibly do. Any politician who claims to want to fix the budget, end this economic crisis, and get us out of debt to China will start promoting this idea. Any politician who claims to be for fiscal responsibility and does not push for this change in spending culture is merely spouting idealogical rhetoric in hopes that we will vote them into a job that they are not interested in doing to the best of their ability. Please send this to every public official you can and anybody you know who has the ability to help choose our public officials (in other words every American over the age of 18). Let our politicians know that We, The American People, want real solutions, not ideological bickering. And let them know that they are at risk of joining the ranks of the unemployed. Thank You
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