Terry Paulson

When you get a call telling you that you have been selected for a free gift, do you get excited? When you find that a dying man from Nigeria has reached out to you by email to let you know he has selected you to receive a share of his vast fortune, do you start celebrating your good fortune? No, the common sense you learned early in life pays off. You hang up the phone and delete the email.

But when politicians make incredulous promises and institute questionable programs, far too many park their common sense on the sidelines. Here are some common truths many Americans grew up with that politicians ought to live by:

"Money doesn't grow on trees!" That is unless you have a Federal Reserve Chairman who will keep printing more money to fund your out-of-control spending. The Fed's "Quantitative Easing" is just a fancy phrase for having a money tree that increases our debt and decreases the value of the dollars you have worked hard to earn and save.

"Don't spend what you don't have!" Stop telling us you're "cutting spending" when you're just "increasing spending" less than you'd planned. Stop raising the debt limit when you have no plan to pay for the debt you've already created. If you can't use credit responsibly, it's time to take the credit card away!

"Talk is cheap! Your actions speak louder than your words." Honesty should be the best policy. When we're told that we wouldn't lose our doctor or our plans, that we'd pay less for healthcare, that Benghazi was a demonstration gone bad, that Tea Party groups were not being targeted by the IRS, and that Iran is worth trusting this time, you can understand why trust of this president is at an all time low. It takes just moments to lose trust; it takes far more time to win trust back once lost.

“We're not made of money.” Some people think government has a slush fund to meet their needs. Government money comes from taxes Americans pay. Politicians seem to care for everyone more than the citizens paying the bills.

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” Benjamin Franklin said it first. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Reagan--There's nothing on earth closer to eternal life than a government program. Nothing inspires genius better than a tight budget. It's time to say "no" to something, to close programs, and let some government workers go to have the money to pay for what's Constitutionally important.

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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