The daunting task of making a federal or state budget

Shortly after President Trump announced his new budget last week, I logged onto to Twitter to see people’s reactions and what I saw did not surprise me in the least! Several people where extremely upset by the cuts to the EPA. Others were tweeting that Trump is just trying to protect his rich friends at the expense of the poor. Many were upset with cuts to the “Meals on Wheels” program. I did see a few tweets supporting Trump, but a majority were very harsh against his new budget. Some were even a bit over the top like picturing Trump as the anti Christ! In my state of Minnesota, there are currently heated discussions among lawmakers concerning the next budget and what to do about a surplus. Yes, there are some things in life that are guarantees, death, taxes and lawmakers fighting over budgets. It is the heart and soul of many political battles.

One of the biggest challenges lawmakers have in setting a budget is prioritizing things especially in regards to entitlement programs. Some programs are extremely unsustainable and it takes a lot a courage for a politician to take a stand for cutting something that might benefit a poor person. At the same time, the lawmaker might give a tax break to the wealthiest people and people start screaming about how unfair that is. The truth is that tax break may help generate jobs and investments so a bunch of poor people can actually have a good job. Many voters do not understand how that works.

I saw many people tweeting how angry they are about increasing our military spending and cutting several EPA programs. At this current time, do we not need a strong and powerful military? This is a dangerous time in our world and we being threatened from all parts of the globe. Yet some folks are extremely upset when more money goes to our military. I don’t know about you, but I want our military to be big and powerful at this time. We don’t need more funds for NPR, we need them for our military. Our silly governor of Minnesota wants surplus money to be used for preschool education ahead of tax breaks for businesses. What kind of logic is that? Some politicians have awfully strange budget ideas to say the least!

By law, states are required to balance their budgets. Wouldn’t it nice if the folks at the Federal level were required to do the same thing? Some politicians in Washington have no idea what a budget is about. They think money grows on trees. The last President should be included in this group. Our debt is growing out of control and someday in the future, we will pay deeply for our lack of fiscal discipline. Both parties are to blame for it too.

Politicians who can sit down and make sound fiscal decisions are to be highly valued who deserve to get re-elected. Those who continue to spend our money and get no results deserve to get thrown out of office. As citizens, we need to pay close attention to how these elected officials spend our money. Unfortunately, many get away with poor fiscal decisions and those officials need to be held accountable. Making a budget at any level should not really be that difficult, but in this day and age of many special interests and increasing entitlements, it is becoming a no-win task.



Wanted: An accountant or economist for public office

The big political news during the past few weeks has been the budget battle going on in Washington as well as  several state budget battles throughout the country. Politicians from both parties are going at it tooth and nail to determine what is the best way to cut billions of dollars from an ever-increasing deficit.  But are many of these politicians even qualified handle such a task? Judging from what I see in not only Washington, but around here at the local level, I think many of those whom we elect to office probably have a difficult time with their own personal budget.

A few weeks ago, I read about a plan from a rather ambitious politician which called out for the creation of several new bold plans and initiatives.  Further investigation into this budget proposal revealed much increased spending which did not even come close to the projected revenues that would have been taken in.  Now think about it. Does this idiot think money grows on trees and he will have enough for his budget? And we elect people like that to public office!!

There are many very bright and very educated politicians who really puzzle me by the way they think when it comes to trimming a budget or dealing with spending.  A typical politician is usually someone with a law degree but how many really have any type of background in accounting, business or economics? It makes you wonder! If I had something wrong with my car, I would not have a chef fix my car! I would rather have an auto mechanic who is fully trained to do the work.

So much of running for public office should be understanding how to create revenue and having good money management skills.  We seem to lack people in office with any common sense in that area. We need more people who have actually run a business or have a good understanding of accounting or economics. Our deficit is getting out of control and most politicians just want to kick the can down the road for someone else to deal with.  It is a major problem with this country.

Hopefully, we will elect more people in the future with a better understanding of money and ways to grow the economy. We need more accountants and economists and less lawyers and dare I say, community organizers!!