The American People’s Attitude Towards Spending Is A Lot Like A Fat Guy’s Attitude About Dieting. Take It From Me, I Know.
In the last year, I’ve lost over 80 pounds. I still have some weight left to lose and should be finished up later this year, but believe it or not, looking at these poll numbers on spending from Gallup reminds me of the mentality I had before I started losing weight,
So, the American people tossed the Democratic Party out on their behinds in large part because of spending issues, but when you ask them what they want to cut, they don’t seem to want to cut much of anything.
How can this be?
Well, I remember a time when I used to tell myself that my top priority was losing weight. It was EXTREMELY important to me…so I said. However, it was hard to square that sentiment with the fact that day after day, I was eating massive amounts of greasy food, washing it down with coke, and then topping it off with sugary snacks.
So, how did I justify that?
The same way politicians justify what they’re doing. “Yes, this is unsustainable and it can’t continue. But, today isn’t the right time to start dealing with it. It makes more sense to get started tomorrow.”
One problem: For a long, long time, tomorrow never came.
There always seemed to be a good reason NOT to do what I needed to do. I exercised, but not enough and I wasn’t consistent with it. That was easy to rationalize. I was a busy guy and I didn’t have the time. I wanted to eat large meals, instead of small meals, because that was what I preferred. I told myself the smaller meals just wouldn’t work for me. That turned out not to be true.
This is where the American people are on spending. They know there’s a huge problem. They want to deal with it. But, it’s a big problem, it’s inconvenient to deal with, and it’s going to require some changes in the way our country does business. Rather than do that, it’s easier to just put it off and say, “Ah, we’ll do it tomorrow.”
The problem with putting it off until tomorrow is that the longer you wait, the more damage it does and if you’re not lucky, you may be forced to deal with it under horrible circumstances. In the end, it didn’t take a crisis for me to start losing weight, but let’s face it: It could have come to that. I could have had to start dealing with the problem after a heart attack or knee surgery. In our country’s case, we may get into a position where we have to deal with this issue after our government starts printing massive amounts of money and we have runaway inflation or after we go bankrupt and no one wants to loan us money.
What we’ve got in front of us as a country is not going to be easy, but for our nation’s fiscal health, we’ve got to get started. Hopefully, as we start to change the way we do business, the American people will begin to become more enthusiastic about the positive changes we’re going through.