Just Say No
By Tibor Machan - July 28, 2011

After sustained profligacy comes the dreaded cold turkey. Any kind of habitual indulgence can only be stopped if at some point the "addict" says "no" with no excuses.

I would assume most people have been through this. I know a few personally. They have kept up spending in the face of lacking funds and even the promise of funds. Credit card companies accept clients with hardly any creditworthiness. Indeed, I have been there myself. So how is this to be brought to a halt?

I would suggest that deep cuts in one's spending habits is the best way. Sure, few people can go cold turkey on food or necessary medicine. But what about going to fancy nail salons? What about having premium coffees every morning, noon and afternoon? What about getting top of the line clothing and cars?

The trick profligate politicians use is to raise the specter of Draconian elimination of, say, social security and medicare benefits, but this is a phony ploy. After all, both of these programs are supposedly funded by beneficiaries themselves. They are supposed to be more like insurance than like welfare.

What is certainly not in this class are subsidies to various special interest groups. Or huge public works that only benefit some select but influential citizens. What about selling off some public lands? Why does the government, any government, own and maintain national forests and parks? Who will go without basic necessities if these are seriously cut back?

One could continue forever with the list of available cuts in federal and other government spending that would not impact the indigent or elderly. Never mind that even here the idea that government exists to fund such programs is perverse. Does that count as securing our rights? Certainly not – no one has a right to other people`s money and work, not unless there has been a mutually agreed upon deal between them.

This debt ceiling must be dealt with by administering a total halt and this may well be the time do fess up to that fact. Think of it as financial house cleaning, something every family needs to do now and then. It would be unthinkable to dump all of one's debts on total strangers who happen to live nearby. And it would be even less thinkable to dump it all on members of future generations who aren't even around to protest or consent.

Of course some people will feel the pinch if the debt ceiling isn't raised. But that is the price the has to be paid when people think they can get something from nothing. However drastic the remedy, it is indeed a remedy.

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