The end of winter is a hopeful time of year. I like seeing the bulbs in my garden breaking through the cold brown earth, promising bright daffodils and crocuses. It also means taxes are due soon, and that is no fun for most people.
But I look forward to the possibility of a nice fat refund, and I enjoy when I can say I’ve stuck to my budget and met my goals, like paying off a credit card or saving for a vacation or something like that. (I really dig Mint.com for personal finance tracking.)
Doing my own budgeting, there are definitely some things I’ve had to cut out in order to pay down my debt, so when I look at the country’s debt, and the struggle for Congress to agree on how our national budget is spent, I sympathize.
Personally, I would rather see federal money spent first on basics:
- Ensure Americans are healthy and educated,
- Facilitate transportation of people and goods across state lines,
- Defend our borders,
- and Provide adequate crisis response.
Federal government agencies are also responsible for protecting our national parks, planning our energy strategies, regulating our prescription drugs and research, and deciding what level of emissions/litter we decide to call pollution. Importantly, the federal government also defends and protects the constitution, using all three branches of government.
We have a lot to accomplish, but we just need to set our priorities straight. And I think it’s important to remember that our government isn’t some crazy militant dictator that’s been sitting in a palace for decades. We have a pretty good system.
- We could have had a lot more money to budget with if the Bush tax cuts hadn’t been extended. What’s up with that?
- Arts programs may have to take a back seat, but, if they do, will citizens who got their tax cuts step in?