One thing in life I’ve always been told is that we are responsible for our own action. Another thing was to be a good steward with regards to money and finance. What this means is several things. First of all, money is just a tool, It’s not to be sought after or worshiped. It’s only purpose is to serve as a transaction medium for the purchases that we make. Too many people today have such a desire to get as much money as they can that they put that desire ahead of their integrity, relationships and anything else. This can be especially problematic when it comes to politicians who instead of serving the people, do the bidding of those who pay them the most money.
Being fiscally responsible means more than only spending what you take in. It means creating a budget and sticking to it. For some time now our government has not had a sound fiscal budget and never sticks to it. That is the reason we are so far in debt and it’s growing at the rate of $2.35 billion per day. This has to stop and reverse course if this nation is ever going to thrive again. We can’t continue to pass this debt on to future generations because we can’t control our spending.
The 70-30 Plan
As an individual there is a simple way to create a budget. The first thing is to make it so you can live (maintain your lifestyle) on a maximum of 70% of your income. The other 30% is divided 3 ways. 10% to retirement, 10% to rainy day fund, and 10% to paying off old debt. If there is no old debt, that can be used for other things like tithing, education for your kids, vacations, etc. As a Christian, even if you have old debt, tithing should be a priority and if you can’t afford to tithe money at least tithe some of your time. If your lifestyle budget is larger than 70% cuts have to be made. You might have to drop cable service or go from eating steaks to eating chicken or take advantage of public transportation over driving. There are ways to cut budgets if you really look. It may be hard at times and make things uncomfortable but if you can’t live within your means you will eventually fail.
Our government needs to work in a similar way. We know how much money we take in and we need to make what goes out be no higher than 70% and do it without raising taxes. Take the other 30% and divide it this way. 10% for retirement programs for federal workers, 10% for rainy day fund, and 10% to pay off the federal deficit. Whatever can’t be paid for in the first 70%, cuts need to be made. There are many programs which are unnecessary or spend wastefully. There also needs to be accountability within every facet of government. We must cut the fat!
So, what do we cut? First of all, we need to remember that the larger the government is, the more money it will cost to run it. Many federal government programs that we have now should be run by each state and some need to be removed altogether. Making government smaller will make what we pay in taxes go further. We also need to make changes that will make government more efficient. Businesses often bring in efficiency experts so they can cut the fat and run more smoothly and governments should not be an exception.
Many people think that the first thing that Republicans want to cut is entitlement benefits. This is a scare tactic used by Democrats in order to get votes. The truth is that Republicans want to limit government involvement in peoples live so they can flourish and be self sufficient and not rely on entitlements. Entitlement programs were only suppose to be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice. The socialist path we are on now cannot be sustained. Margaret Thatcher said it best, “The The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” We need to wean people off these programs while allowing businesses to grow and create jobs at the same time. We need to break this cycle of government dependency so the American Dream is still a reachable reality.