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Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.



Now that we have fallen only part way down the fiscal cliff, it may be time to examine whether we are going to hit bottom or climb back up to the top. As pretty much known by most sensible Americans, when you get in a deficit position when outgo exceeds income, whether in a family, in a business or in government, there are only two options. They are to simultaneously increase income (or revenue) and to decrease spending (or expenses). That seems simple enough in concept and generally most families, businesses and local governments have this understanding. The only institution that has missed the concept completely is the federal government. Granted there are times when national emergencies such as wars, conflagrations, natural disasters, etc. make it impossible to follow the axioms for fiscal responsibility.

But our deficit spending over the past four years of over one trillion dollars per year is consensually agreed to be not only out of hand, but wildly out of control. With a total federal deficit over $16 trillion and no end in sight to continual increases, it is generally agreed that something must be done. But just what has created the roadblock for any action. Well, while there are those in Congress who strongly support substantial reductions in spending, there is a majority of both Democrats and Republicans who just love their personal "pork" projects, which they believe secures their continual re-election. Just take the legislation to offer relief to those who suffered losses from hurricane "Sandy." The Congress couldn’t resist stuffing it full of "pork" projects that have nothing to do with "Sandy" relief including a funding a program in Alaska and new autos for the Department of Justice. There should be some method to curb stuffing a bill offered, for one purpose, full of "pork" projects that have absolutely nothing to do with the original purpose of the legislation. Deficit spending will never be controlled while Congress continues their undisciplined approach to adding billions of dollars to legislation to fund their pet programs in order to achieve re-election status.

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