Your Turn, NH -- Ron Penczak: As an American, I'm fed up
As an American I’m fed up with our government, including the President, Congress and Senate in their ineptness and aversion to do what’s right for the American people. It doesn’t matter if they are Republican or Democrat. Our politicians continue to demonstrate that they are self-centered egotists and self-promoters who care little for the welfare of their constituents.
I’m fed up that we, the taxpayers, are burdened with a $17 trillion debt because our politicians are unwilling or unable to develop a budget that doesn’t exceed our revenue. They continue to spend money without thought to the nation’s debt. I don’t understand how the United States can be considered the world’s or one of the world’s wealthiest nations when we owe $17 trillion. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.”
I’m fed up that our government provides more financial, health, and social care to foreign nations than to those in need, our own citizens. There is no reason for this nation to have any homeless and hungry citizens. There is no reason why all Americans cannot be provided with affordable health care. Let the United States reduce the dollars given away worldwide and spend that money on Americans. Isn’t it time to let the other wealthy nations of the world contribute their fair share?
I’m fed up with the Internal Revenue Service in, 2010, paying out $4.2B in tax refunds to individuals not authorized to work in the U.S. I wonder what that number is for the previous years. Illegal immigrants continue to benefit from tax loopholes. This needs to end.
I’m fed up with us being world peace keepers. We are involved in wars where we are not welcome or respected. Isn’t it time for us to move out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and to reduce our commitment to troops in Europe, the Far East and the Middle East? Billions of dollars would be saved.
I’m fed up that our government agencies and organizations aren’t managed efficiently and waste tax dollars. Yet, year after year, few efficiency changes are incorporated to resolve this problem. When are they going to be forced to develop reasonable budgets and to operate within the dollars allocated?
Aside from reducing foreign aid and bringing troops home, there are additional cost-cutting changes that could be made. Here are a few. Beginning with the President, have all elected government personnel take 20 percent pay cuts. Cut their office staffs and reduce their budgets by 20 percent. Have the President reduce the number of family vacations, thereby reducing costs for travel, secret service and staff members.
Our government is overstaffed and too large.
Welfare fraud and the illegal immigration issues need to be resolved. People on welfare should be forced to take drug tests, ensure dollars spent are only for necessities, and to search for work, even if it is to pick up trash in the cities or parks. Illegal immigrants, if they aren’t deported, should be forced to adhere to all the rules that legal immigrants follow.
Since our elected officials have proven they can’t develop a budget that will lead our nation out of debt, nor manage the numerous federal agencies, this task should be taken out of their hands.
We have proven we can’t vote them out of office, but we can encourage them to put this process in the hands of qualified management personnel. By this I mean have our congressional leaders identify corporate managers who have turned around floundering major organizations to become profit-making firms.
Have this team of successful turn-around managers develop a get-well plan to turn our fine nation around and make it one that is for the American people by reducing debt, generating jobs and ensuring each federal agency develops lean budgets and stays within those budgetary limits.
Alas, I’m afraid the egos of our elected officials will not allow this to happen.
Ron Penczak, a retired member of Raytheon management in Burlington, Mass., lives in Salem.