Today driving in to work I was listening to the morning new shows on the radio. Mostly this consisted of the usual human interest stories, updates from the events around the world, stock updates. Then a teaser came on for a upcoming story and I found myself yelling at my radio. The basis for the story was a poll about things Americans want the U.S. Government to invest in contrasted with the same people polled about whether they wanted their money to be spent on it.
Typically the survey showed a high interest in investing ins something like high speed rail, or rural broadband but not a lot of support in actually paying for it. That wasn’t surprising and didn’t set me off what set me off was the tag line: Do American Taxpayers Share the Blame for Our Current Debt Situation? Well who else is there to blame? In a representative democracy you can’t blame the King for running the country in a ditch. We voted the representatives in to office, we either returned them to office or replaced them with people who were no better. We vote people out of office if they dare to raise our taxes or cut any program we feel is important and then we gripe about all the debt we have incurred.
Everyone who can do math knows you can’t get rid of our massive debt without cutting Medicare and the Defense spending, yet there seems to still be little motivation to handle either of those subjects. Cutting them doesn’t have to mean throwing sick people into the streets or leaving our nation undefended, but we have to find a way to spend less money on them. We can gripe about our tax dollars being spent on this program or that program which we don’t personally get any benefit from, but nothing will get better until we get serious about the issue of our largest budget items.
Until we, as a nation, take responsibilty for real soutions instead of being suckered into the latest sound byte things won’t get any better. Killing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting might make you feel better but it isn’t going to make your taxes go down and it isn’t going to fix the debt problem.