Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Live Within Your Means

What do Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin have in common?

According to a new report from the Pew Center on the States all of these states are in deep fiscal trouble as they experience constant unbalanced revenues and spending. All these states are facing higher taxes, accelerated layoffs of government employees, high unemployment, low consumer spending, and are being pressed to provide additional services, such as Medicaid.

States do not have the same luxury as the federal government when it comes to deficit spending. As we've witnessed the past few months, our federal government can spend more money than it takes in - indefinitely. All it has to do is increase the national debt. The federal government has no checks and balances on how much debt it carries. It just passes it on to the next generation, the next election, or the next party in power.

States cannot do this. Hence, they must live within their means. Ah, there is the rub. More and more the population is looking for the government to provide all the necessities of this life. This entitlement mentality has been passed down to the states, which are now perceived as the deep pockets able to bail out negligent companies, irresponsible politicians, less-than-motivated citizens, as well as those looking for a handout instead of a hand up. As the troubled states now know, government cannot provide for all our wants and needs. It takes individual initiative and restraint to provide for one's own needs.

Perhaps if the men of the world would step up this Christmas season and say, "We can't afford it," the message would be sent: Let's live within our means, spend what we have, and heed the wake-up call of individual responsibility.

Just a thought.

1 comment :

The Layman said...

Amazing technology we have I jumped from my Intl. LLL blog to yours with just a click. And we are thinking along the lines of personal responsibility. I’m preparing an congregational newsletter piece about HIS grace, Thanksgiving, but into all of my thoughts came the word…concupiscence and it’s meaning “powerful feelings of physical desire.” Following St. Paul’s lead, St. Augustine goes farther and defines concupiscence as “a misplaced love of God, a disordered desire for earthly things, which, though good, become evil when they are wrongly loved.” There is an interesting story in the Lutheran.Witness that might help tie the story and these two blogs into better understanding our purpose within the traditional Stewardship month.