The governments must adopt balanced budgets as a part of electoral and governing process. All democratic governments must make constitutional amendments to adopt balanced budgets and also eliminate the debt that is being carried on their books.
The United States despite its vast resources and great wealth has had very few presidents that delivered balanced budgets or surplus revenues since its formation. Just about every president since George Washington has added to the budgets deficit of the nation, and the current president has not helped much to deflate the budgets. As we elect a new president and the government adopts a new budget, the deficits are growing in trillions (only the super intelligent or super computers can keep track of zeros in trillions) and there is no end to borrowing and increasing the debt ceiling and the trillions keep multiplying on a regular basis. The cost of servicing the borrowed money is the largest line item on the liabilities chart of the national budget.
Our homes, our cars, any possessions we acquire on debt and can’t make payments on time get repossessed by the lending institutions. As individuals and businesses when we can’t repay the debt and interest, and especially when we can’t pay the tax man we get taken to task. Just about every average citizen has once or more fallen into the debt trap. Many face bankruptcy and debt and tax burden beyond their capabilities to just make ends meet, and pay for the consequences of living beyond their means. What we can’t afford to pay for can’t be ours.
But we individuals elect governments and allow the governments to spend without discretion. We allow the governments to rake-up as much debt as possible and add to the future burden for us and for generations to come. Why should there be any difference in the ability to spend for an elected government that we don’t have as individuals? We elect the government, but we allow them to blow the budgets year after year, that too at every level of government that represent us; the common man.
There is certainly complexity to running a government that has both macro and micro economic factors that gets into the mix that a family, individual or a business doesn’t have to worry about. But the governments typically pander with promises that cost money outside of what resources it has to the voters to get elected again and again. As we all know the leaders constantly pandering to vote banks by making promises beyond what the budgets can afford, and each successive elected government widens the deficits. We can certainly learn from history that politics of pandering make commitments that create budget shortfalls. Countries such as the USA also pander to other nations in the name of protecting the national interests. This protection of nation interests create huge and unplanned expenditures resulting in military or aid spending, and these costs decimate any kind of planned spending.
Also in human nature is looking for unlimited social benefits and the government to provide them. Along with schools, roads, medicine, power and resource management and protecting the nation and its global interests, we certainly want the best of everything in life, and typically don’t want to pay for it. The states, cities, counties and local governments also would like to have the best of everything, all including pandering to the vote banks in their electorate. With every election cycle the pandering to the electorate busts the budgets. To satisfy the vote banks the governments borrow more and bust the promise of keeping the costs in check. We don’t mind large cities going bankrupt, and some politicians might even fancy the thought of bankruptcy as appealing as it eliminates the liabilities, so the government can start again and start creating another massive hole in someone’s pocket. While it might be a prudent for an individual or a business to reevaluate the balance sheets for survival, governments doing the same decimates the lives of its citizens and workers, including their retirements.
We have a history of mismanagement, electoral pandering, vote bank politics, ignorance and above everything wasting and mismanagement with public coffers. We also witness the drama of public officials displaying little regard for managing public funds. We, the people constantly watch this drama play out every time we look at our local, state and central governments trying to borrow more and more. At the end of the day it is us, the people who will ultimately pay for the whole charade.
Just imagine; if the cost of interest is no longer a line item on the budgets. That money can go towards taking care of us now, and saving for the future. Just imagine the cost of money as interest verses interest earnings on savings.
Its time now and has been for a while to balance the budgets. It is time to save for us now and for the future. It is time to mandate balanced budgets and right to govern for future prosperity. It is time to mandate for constitutional amendment for a balanced budget.