Terry Paulson

Much has been made of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's line—"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." On May 19th, Californians voted to make the state's financial crisis even bigger by refusing to send more good money into California's broken government sink hole! Government doesn't need a short-term fix; it needs to go on a crash diet!

Far too many politicians have over-spent, over-promised, over-hired, over-paid, over-taxed and under managed the affairs of our state for far too long. The same politicians who created this mess demonize the politicians who stand for fiscal restraint and have had the courage to say "NO." Fiscal restraint didn't create this deficit; it’s the politicians from both parties who expanded government beyond what we can afford that created this nightmare!

The people forced to pay the bill are looking for more politicians with the courage to say, “Enough!" Politicians love demonstrating compassion through their pet programs while showing no concern for the California tax-payers' paying the bill! Governor Schwarzenegger says he's heard the message. Well, it's time for our “Governator" to be transformed back into the "Terminator" Californians thought they'd elected!

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We need drastic cuts at the state level to transfer needed funds locally where services are better provided. Instead of cutting teachers, eliminate more Department of Education administrators. In all areas, don’t cut services; cut administrative levels. Save government programs for the poorest of the poor and let communities, families and neighbors help each other instead of funding bloated government entitlements we can't afford.

It's time for Americans to once again take responsibility for their own lives and for helping their families and neighbors. Government failed in handling Hurricane Katrina, but neighbors, churches and Americans didn’t fail. They continue to help to this day.

In America, we've always let people earn success and to experience failures. Experience is what you get, when you don't get what you wanted. Poor decisions shouldn't be rewarded or bailed out! If Americans were given the choice on whether to buy GM, it would be a resounding no sale!

Average Americans are tired of bailing out companies "too big to fail" while watching their companies fail and friends lose jobs and homes. The last people who invested in GM ended up with nothing! Buying a smaller GM with overpaid workers producing smaller, less safe, "green" cars customers don't want to buy is a lousy investment!

Failure teaches companies the importance of investing in products and services customers want, paying workers a fair but competitive wage, and the need to continue reinventing themselves before competitors and creditors force change under less than favorable conditions.

As a citizen, failure teaches you to read the contracts you sign, to pay off your credit card balance every month, and to save your money until you can afford a major purchase. When you’re paying for your own education, you learn to pick your school wisely and finish faster. When you've been burned financially, you learn to spend less, save more and live within your means. Finally, failure teaches you to appreciate the simple pleasures that money can't buy!

When governments pay the price of your failure, all you learn is to elect politicians who will make others pay for your mistakes and fund your standard of living. You learn to demand more instead of being grateful for what you have. You learn to be a dependent taker rather than a producer or contributor!

Whether you've experienced it yet or not, the money is running out in Sacramento and Washington! With the way Obama's Washington is spending your taxes and printing money, this recession isn't going away quickly and stagflation may soon be on the way. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is now warning that the large U.S. budget deficits threaten our financial stability and any healthy economic growth.

Wisely, more Americans are saving more and becoming more self-reliant by improving their health habits, simplifying their lives, and making do with what they already have.

But self-reliance doesn’t mean an absence of compassion. In tough times, Americans have always been willing to give charity to those in their own communities who have fallen through the cracks. They give more to charity than any other country, funding local health clinics, temporary housing and food pantries.

Do it again, but send a strong message to Sacramento and Washington—NO MORE ENTITLEMENTS! In Michigan and California, the Democrats’ vision of a socialistic utopia is crumbling before our very eyes. Tell President Obama that adding “free” healthcare to this unsustainable house of cards is not the answer! America has always been based on equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

Victor Frankl once said, “We have a Statue of Liberty on the East coast. We need a Statue of Responsibility on the West coast!” In the recent election, California voters took a stand for return to sanity and fiscal responsibility. We don’t need government funds to build this statue! All it would take would be each responsible American adding one brick at a time in a renewed commitment to reclaim an America worth saving!


Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

 
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