Well, here it is, the middle of the year, and nothing’s changed. The Democrats and Republicans have accomplished basically nothing to address the incredible financial problems we face as a nation, which get worse every day.
I’m making no political statements, nor am I expressing any criticism at one party or the other. I’m expressing criticism on both sides of the aisle, for not living up to what they promised.
If you like Republicans, or Democrats, that’s up to you. I happen to love my country, my freedom and my right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. I would like any party or individual within a party, if they actually did anything meaningful. But, sadly, they’re still playing politics as usual..
Sure, they’ve passed bills. Like the Patriot Act, the Medicare Act and a “tax cut.” This came out much different than advertised or criticized by both parties, and is a topic of discussion for another time.
But what about the really tough issues? What about the cost of the War on Terror? What about the cost of Homeland Security? What about health care costs? What about funding for Social Security and Medicare?
No one is willing to step up to the plate and address any of this? All rhetoric about making meaningful changes seems to have gotten buried in the political sands.
Everyone is petrified at the thought of going on TV or worse, having the opposition candidate showing sound bites of a speech saying that there is no choice but to start cutting the programs I just mentioned a minute ago.
Can you imagine the fate of an honest candidate saying that we have to cut back on future Medicare benefits, or that we’ll have once again to raise the age at which people can get Social Security, or whatever?
He or she would be attacked like they had just announced a special day to honor Stalin. With this sure death of even suggesting action, let alone taking action, we’re sure to keep getting what we’ve always gotten. More wild, out of control spending. More deficits in the hundreds of billions. More price increases.
There’s a saying that says that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always got. Or, another way to say that is, “The definition of insanity is to do the same things you’ve always done … and expect to get different results!”
So here we are, with a fiscal mess of humongous proportions, with no one willing to step to the plate for fear of the political death that would surely follow.
Are you willing to make changes, or to give up things now to help you and your family in the future? Are you expecting people to accept changes and cuts in the programs they benefit from, but bristle at the thought of programs you benefit from being hacked into pieces? This is a question we all have to face.
Since so many get money and other benefits from benevolent Uncle Sam, it’s really hard to see how anything meaningful can be done to help unless we all are willing to support change at the ballot box. If we aren’t, then we can expect the same thing we have now, only more-so.
What do we all have to do whether we support political change or not?
You have to be the one who takes care of yourself, by planning, by being prepared and by being observant and watchful.
You and I cannot control what the geniuses in Washington and the state Capital do. But, we can plan, and make sure we’ve take advantage of every available opportunity that we can find. No one but you is going to take care of you and your family.
If they keep the status quo, it’s guaranteed that taxes will get more complicated and higher. It’s guaranteed that your personal and business expenses will go up. The only weapon you have is planning. It’s the only answer.
Unless a miracle occurs, and politicians get together and do what they know they have to.
Troy A. Neff is the managing director of advanced retirement solutions in Perrysburg. He also is the host of “The Troy Neff Show” on WCWA 1230 AM weekday mornings from 6 to 9 a.m. Send e-mails to Troy@TroyNeff.com.