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.
“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.” Napoleon Hill said it, and fathers repeat it. You aren't owed a job, a home, healthcare, or the salary you think you're worth. Life is difficult, but be thankful you live where you're free to pursue your dreams and enjoy the successes you earn.
“Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by those that hustled.” Lincoln's advice makes no room for excuses. Get busy today starting your own business or taking any job you can get. Stop waiting for the "right" job. Start working for what you can get, and then prove you're worth more.
“Where there's a will there's a way.” Whether you can or can't has less to do with the obstacles in your way. It has a lot more to do with your attitude, your actions, and how resourceful you are in bouncing back from setbacks to find a way around, over, or through the obstacles in your way. Easy doesn't do it in any economy.
“There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Milton Friedman said it first. You think the rich are the only ones paying more taxes. Be real. When forced to pay more, they just pass those "taxes" on to you in the form of higher costs.
“You made your bed, so you must lie in it.” Personal responsibility is all about experiencing the natural consequences for your own choices. Victor Frankel observed that we need a Statue of Responsibility on the West coast to match our Statue of Liberty on the East coast. When you protect people from natural consequences, you do them no favors. Let people earn and learn from their successes and their failures. Entitlements promote dependency not maturity.
“Laws are never as effective as habits.” Good advice Adlai Stevenson. The volumes of regulations generated to protect us from ourselves just limit our freedoms and increase the costs involved in implementing, controlling and enforcing the laws they create. Stop making new laws and regulations to deal with the "irresponsible few" that end up punishing the "responsible many."
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Lincoln said it, but more Americans need to live it. You can choose your attitude in any situation. Instead of waiting for a good day to come your way, make it a good day every day by making the best of the hand you're dealt.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt said it and lived it. God doesn’t create junk! Find your gifts and work to be the best you can be! Stop worrying about what others say. The best revenge is being successful anyway. What you do to hold yourself back is far more critical to your success than the opinions of others.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy's admonition ought to be every American's responsibility. We have too many people thinking nothing about what they can do for America while expecting government to do everything for them whether they've earned it or not. People wanting to contribute their best is what made America great. May it again be so.