The original idea behind an elected official, in many cases unfortunately, has been left behind. Some people may be OK with that, but the financial standing that the country is in now is pushing the limits on what the American people don’t want.
Those elected to represent us are supposed to have our needs at heart, and spend our tax money frugally and with responsibility to in-turn give us back the services we desire — free public education for our youth, job opportunities, roads and other transportation means that are well kept, protection from those who might harm us, and a myriad of other things.
While some of those desires may seem simple in words, to have them accomplished takes a great deal of complicated rules, regulations, financial assistance. That is understandable.
If your mother tells you to mop the floor, that typically can’t be done without first moving the table and chairs and other household items out of the way and sweeping first. There are not many simple tasks.
But at this point, the situation has gotten out of control.
I have strong feelings and opinions one way and the other about certain ideas and the way things should be handled when dealing with various topics, but that doesn’t mean I’m above compromising to get at least some of what I want rather than none of it.
This is what our elected federal officials need to do to get the country back in good financial standing.
At home, we have to make sure we have enough money to pay our bills, and still have some left over for food, clothing and other necessities before we get to go out and have a good time and entertain ourselves. That’s a fact of life.
That is also a fact of business. Businesses must have enough money to operate and pay their expenses and employees before they turn a profit.
Why should the government operate any differently? It shouldn’t.
I’m not saying the government needs to continue to spend needlessly on programs and services that are outdated, aren’t being used or are completely wasteful.
And it might take two or three years, but one department at a time, one program at a time, a truly bipartisan group (yes, I know, I’m not sure that would exist and actually get something done either) needs to sit down and go through everything with a fine-tooth comb and decide what is needed and what is not needed.
Then once that group makes recommendations, both sides of the aisle need to agree to compromise. I give a little, you give a little.
We need to learn to spend within our means instead of continuing to get loans from other countries to balance our budget.
If a local government must have a fund balance (savings account) of a certain percentage of a year’s operating fund, then so should the state and so should the federal government.
Only then will we ever truly have a government that gets something done with bureaucratic red-tape and waste getting in the way. Only then will we begin seeing a dent made in the deficit and the bills we owe other countries from all the borrowing we’ve done.
All I’m asking is for something simple. Our elected officials act like grown-ups and do what we teach our own children to do as youngsters … get along, share and compromise.
Shocking concept. Yes, I know.
Wendy Byerly Wood is the associate editor of The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1923.