Government budgeting is a joke! Now that the latest government shutdown is taking place and everyone is up in arms, it seems like an appropriate time to share a few thoughts about how ridiculous government budgeting has become.
For starters, no matter which side of the political divide you’re on, you probably agree that Washington has gotten out of control ridiculous. If not, then you probably haven’t been paying attention. Without trying to take sides, I’m going to point out a few comparisons between a business budget, a household budget and the government budget. When I’m done, please feel free to agree or disagree. You can always make an argument for or against these points, but I hope you find them interesting and thought provoking.
There are No Rules in the Government Budget
The first thing about the government’s budgeting that is ridiculous is that there are no rules. What I mean is that, normally, if you own or work for a business your budget is tied to your income and to your bottom line. The goal of a budget is to make sure you are profitable at the end of the day. The rule is that over the long term, you will eventually get out of debt and run your company in the black. The same can be said for a household budget. While you may get behind some times, the general rule is that you spend less than you earn, or at least close. For the government, they don’t see things like that at all!
First of all, the government spends somewhere in the range of two dollars for every dollar it earns. No budget can ever work under these circumstances. Just imagine if you did that at home, or your business took that approach. In the past, the government was run with much smaller deficits, but the short term outlook by members over the past several decades have completely disregarded any of the historical rules that drive traditional budgeting.
No one addresses the solution!
It’s clear that government spending is out of control. If my household spending was out of control, I’d find out how I could reduce it and take any necessary steps to improve it. The government, on the other hand, when they have a chance to pass a budget that can reduce their expenses and deficit, completely ignores the situation and instead passes a law that allows the government to take on more debt. Think about how ridiculous this methodology is! If I continually spent double my income every year and took the government approach, I would end up getting a new loan each year to cover my overspending. Instead of addressing the problem (low income, high expenses) they instead raise the amount of money they can borrow. Can you say “house of cards”!
Entitlement Syndrome is Now Widespread
Even if the government could get their act together, I’m not sure it would matter. That’s because the average voter, or the average American, has gotten so used to fat government that they now feel entitled. That’s right, I said it. But think about it, every time you look out your window and see a road in disrepair, a streetlight that doesn’t work, or a park that is in dissarray, what is your first thought? That someone should fix it. That someone is big government. Also, think about what goes through most voters minds when they are voting. If they are given the option of the government paying for more of their needs or less, where will they vote? And of course there are also the big abusers of the government programs. The people using welfare to buy drugs. Many of the nearly 20% of Americans claiming disability (compared to less than 4% 4 years ago). Or those unwilling to look for a job because they can get what they need for free. While some of these are a bit on the extreme side, I hope that most would agree that entitlements are a big part of the problem with government budgeting.
That’s all I have for now. I apologize this wasn’t written with a great outline and with better organization, but I’ve been falling behind in posting on this budgeting blog and wanted to put something out there that may generate some thought.
Leave us your comments – good or bad – about what you think about government budgeting.