Archived Story

Why can’t we use a little ingenuity?

Published 12:12am Sunday, November 27, 2011

Last week’s announcement that the congressional “super committee” failed to actually do anything, let alone anything super, before its deadline should come as no surprise.

Congress not only lacks the ability to do much productive, but it also lacks ingenuity, too.

The committee had a seemingly simple goal: Sit down and develop a plan to cut $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years of federal spending.

Now for most of us, the concept of a trillion dollars requires a bit of a Buck Rogers imagination just to consider how much money is involved.

So it’s important to put it in perspective.

Although the “trillion” adjective made the task seem monumental, what the committee was asked to cut was small in the grand scheme.

The super committee was supposed to cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years. During that same time frame some experts suggest the country will spend approximately $44 trillion. If that’s true, the “super” task was finding spending cuts equal to less than 3 percent of the total.

It’s fairly simple to put that in perspective for us. For each $100 we currently earn, imagine if we had to get by with $3 less. It doesn’t seem overly difficult, does it?

Yet Congress cannot get out of its self-indulgent, politically motivated way long enough to make the necessary changes.

That frustrates most Americans, likely including the 99 percent crowd. That’s the loosely based group that has been organizing the occupy protests around the country. The group has been complaining, but they haven’t been offering up much in the way of new ideas.

Couldn’t the 99 percent crowd’s time be better spent helping America rather than just complaining?

We need a reason for the regular Joe to invest in America. We must stop spending as much and start raising more money.

Frustration over this — along with some Thanksgiving travel windshield time — led to a conversation with my wife last week.

“Why don’t they just do something?” she asked.

That led to a little brainstorming.

What would happen if the folks in Washington started thinking like real American business folks?

What could the country do to raise more money without really raising taxes on anyone?

How much would Walmart, for example, pay to have their logos emblazoned on all the Social Security and Medicare paperwork distributed?

That’s probably worth a few billion dollars each year.

Add in all of the federal employees being forced to wear uniforms with a Nike or Reebok logo and we’d start getting into some real dollars.

But that’s only scratching the surface. Think about all of the things that only the government can offer and consider the ways the feds could profit from it.

How many Americans would buy a $10 lottery ticket for a chance to ride in a fighter jet, drive a tank or shoot a missile at a practice target?

How much could a chance to ride to the International Space Station raise?

Birthday party at the White House? No problem, if you’re willing to pay for it.

Critics may say that such nonsense is simply selling America’s soul.

But in reality, we’ve already done that to China, each time they buy U.S. debt.

As our deficit increases, isn’t it about time we make a decision to start working our own way out of it, even if doing so requires some unconventional means?

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

  • Anonymous

    Keven, I think silly things at different times but when it comes to elected leaders I try very hard to keep a firm footage on what is good for all concerned, be it friend or foe. Our elected leaders do not know how to keep that firm footage. They will sell their soul to the devil if it benefits themselves personally. We go to the polls and vote. Simple? On the other hand what are the agendas that we are voting on? Have we understood, exactly, what we are voting for or against? We are just plain simple citizens, daily going our way in trying to keep afloat while raising our family and depending on our elected leaders to do the right thing for us. Ingenuity, a word that can describe different stances. Your article denotes using pure common sense that we should all possess. There is a great difference in the men/women that go to work every day and punch a time clock, who have always been the backbone of America, and the people we elect to watch over us. The people we elect are wealthy to start with, and when they get to Washington and see all that money ‘floating around’ they want their share. They lose sight of the only reason they are there and that is to be our watch dogs and not for their own monetary gain. They were raised in a different world than common folks and they do not know the day to day struggle we all face. How could they, they were raised with that proverbial ‘silver spoon’ and never in their life did they have to live on a budget. Ingenuity= Common sense and our elected leaders do not possess that trait. Give me a poor hard working man/woman and I’ll vote for them anyday. Enjoy Sunday church services and have a good day.

  • andrew rabbit

    See, Kevin, you are right.  Though I don’t agree with social security and having to have identification cards that bond our bodies to the national debt, you have some very sound ideas.  The problem is that what most of us see as failure in the system is actually the system doing exactly what it is designed to do and wants to do.

    The system wants to keep the middle class deep in debt because if it does not do this there would arise hundreds of thousands of challenges to the holders of the status quo.  It is the entertwining of really big business and government that is being protected through debt slavery.  

    And, do not forget that since our money is issued as debt, the only way the economy can grow is if debt continues to grow.  Steadily increasing figures do not necessarily reflect any real growth, only an increase in the supply of debt based money.  Who pays this debt?  Not the congressmen, and not the corporations.  This debt is paid primarly by the middle class.  

    I am so sickened by what is happening in our country with taxes and spending and with political entitlement attitudes filtering down to the local level that I am just giving up.  I am going to go someplace where there is still economic freedom and plenty of opportunity.  If it is possible to do so without renouncing my Mississippi citizenship I am going to renounce my federal citizenship in protest of the federal occupation of our state that has brought us to our knees.  

  • Anonymous

    Term limits.

  • Anonymous

    In taking up space, doing nothing and offering no solutions while blaming others for their problems, the  99% crowd merely mimics Congress.
     

  • Anonymous

    Exactly!

  • Anonymous

    I SEE YOU REALLY HAVE LOST IT NOW; YOU ARE TRYING TO INVOLVE YOUR WIFE IN YOUR WAY OF THINKING, BUT YOU WILL LOOSE TRYING. SHE HAS HER OWN WAY OF THINKING. NOW; LET ME BRING YOU UP TO SPEED, BEAR WITH ME NOW, WHAT COMMENT DID YOU MAKE WHEN THE PEE PARTY WAS ACTING A FOOL IN THE STREETS ? THEY DID A LOT OF NASTY THING WHILE THEY WERE OUT THERE. YOU DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE YOU WERE PART OF THEM. LET’S CALL A SPADE, A SPADE. WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT CONGRESS HOLDING UP PROGRESS, LET’S SAY THE REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS IS HOLDING UP PROGRESS. THE ROLL THEY ARE PLAYING, IS TO SAY *NO* TO EVERYTHING, THINKING THIS WILL DEFEAT THE PRESIDENT. THAT SUPER COMMITTEE WAS SET UP BY THE PRESIDENT TO SEE IF ANY OF THOSE FOOLS WOULD BREAK RANK. YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I KNOW, CUTTING 1.2 TRILLION OVER 10 YEARS IS CHUMP CHANGE. ( THE PRESIDENT IS PLAYING CHESS WITH THOSE NUTS ) . NOW; A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE 99%, EACH AND EVERYONE OF THEM IS OUT THERE FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE THE DEMOCRAT WAY; YOU KNOW, LIKE WE DID IN THE 60′S. THEY ARE TIRE OF THE 1% SUCKING US DRY, INCLUDING WALL STREET. YOU SHOULD BE SUPPORTED OF THEM, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT IN THE 1%. WHEN YOU SEE COLLEGE STUDENTS FIGHTING FOR WHATS RIGHT, THAT’ SAYS A LOT. LAST BUT NOT LEAST; IT DOESN’T TAKE BUT A LITTLE INGENUITY TO SEE ALL OF THAT.       

  • Anonymous

    They don’t even know what their problems are….

  • Anonymous

    Congress needs only look in the mirror. It gets paid but does nothing. The “occupy party” holds up the mirror. It has nothing else to do.
    We all damn well know our problems.    
      

     
             

  • Anonymous

    Complete moronic ignorant rant with no basis other than to spew non-factual BS that is repeatedly regurgitated by the Democratic Party.

  • Anonymous

    I was referring to the occupiers not knowing…..but I agree fully with you that Congress would be earning zero if they got paid for production.  Seems the point has got to be made to Congress by voting them all out, Democrat, Republican, or Independent.  Those folks with their handsome salaries, medical care, and pension benefits are not serving the people that elected them, too much party line dances going on.  With all that spare time doing nothing on their hands, they will be going out and molesting pages before long!

  • Anonymous

    “THE PEE PARTY WAS ACTING A FOOL IN THE STREETS ? THEY DID A LOT OF NASTY
    THING WHILE THEY WERE OUT THERE.”

    Please provide any, ANY evidence of this.  ANY.  They were notorious for leaving their meeting places cleaner than when they arrived.  There were ZERO crimes committed and ZERO arrests.  Thousands and thousands in “occupy”, though.

    “NOW; A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE 99%, EACH AND EVERYONE OF THEM IS OUT THERE FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE THE DEMOCRAT WAY; ”

    They sure are.  Through lies, lawlessness, intimidation and an overwhelming sense of entitlement to what others have earned.

  • Anonymous

    Hard to try to apply reason to unspeakable ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    Someone said recently that our current batch of Congressmen put loyalty to party ahead of service to country, a statement with which I whole heartedly
    agree. Regardless of party affiliation, ideology substitutes for ideas.    

  • Anonymous

    Crak,

    He is probably referring to the original tea party – the one in 1773. 

  • Anonymous

    4 or 6 years, not 8 or 12.