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Too many bills? Just don't pay 'em

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Applying government solutions to real life when you're Politically Incorrect

As we moved into August, frantically trying to soak up as much summer as possible, Congress was just as frantically trying to make political gold out of some pretty moldy hay—raising the debt ceiling. This debate didn’t just occur in the halls of Congress, of course, but exploded throughout social media and the blogosphere, despite the fact that, until recently,  most of us had no idea there was a debt ceiling or any idea what it was all about. That didn’t stop any of us from becoming instant experts, opining at large either for or against raising it

Yet the question was really a very simple one: do we or do we not pay the bills we have incurred? Quite honestly, I didn’t think we had a choice in this.

Of course, if you listen, read, or participate in some of these debates, you’ll find out quickly that they’re really about what government should spend money on, and where that money should come from. Unfortunately, by refusing to address the actual question at hand, we were playing chicken with the American economy. Rather shameful, when you think about it.

If you think government is doing a terrible job, and should be prevented from doing much of what it does, then ipso facto you must believe the private sector would do it better. Where do conservatives get their faith in the private sector, I wondered. So I asked.

And it appears it is simply due to a lack of faith in government itself; a disbelief that government is working for you.

I have a certain amount of sympathy for this paradigm. After all, my family is southern. We fought an entire, stinking war over this issue. Yes, the powers-that-be wanted to continue to reap the advantages of slavery, but many of the rank and file (those who didn’t own slaves) fought and died for the simple belief that you (government) need to keep your nose out of my business.

In addition, I have witnessed, and been the recipient of, my own share of government ineptness. There have been plenty of times when I have interacted with a government employee and thought to myself, “Sheesh! We’re paying you to be this dumb?!”

But here’s where I seem to differ from my more conservative friends. I have seen the same level of ineptness in the private sector and worse, I have seen it compounded by greed.

The government you elect may be far from perfect, but would you really rather see Wall Street running things? The same Wall Street who partied like it was 1999, then threatened to bring everything crashing down around our ears if we didn’t reach into our pockets and bail them out?

Do you honestly think that big business gives a flying crapola about whether your kid gets any help to go to college? That they would somehow care more about our veterans home from wars? Are they going to be trying to figure out why the people in your community are dying after the new plant came in, or are they going to be spending their time trying to determine how they can refuse to pay your medical bills?

I may not have much faith in government, but I have a lot less faith in private business when it comes to the protection of the American public.

Raise the debt ceiling? Should we pay our bills? Do the ends justify the means? I believe we should all be rightfully ashamed of any elected official who believes not paying for what we bought is even an option.

Replace government with private business?  If you want to replace democracy with an oligarchy, well, that’s your right. But I won’t be walking through the looking glass with you.

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Landon Otis

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Politically Incorrect, Debt ceiling, government debt, oligarchy

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