Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If you're almost broke...don't fix it yet

Reality: the American government is almost broke. It is flat out, can’t rub two dimes together, unable to continue with the margin of largesse it enjoyed in the past, almost broke. Not even the USA can “spend” $1 Trillion in less than a fiscal quarter and still enjoy a seemingly limitless discretionary budget.

So where do we go from here?

The good news is that an almost broke country still has a chance to survive…as opposed to a bankrupt country. America can still afford the basics like troops in Afghanistan and fuel for Air Force One. It will survive…eating ramen three times a day.

If this country wants some of the “pricier” things a government can offer, like a hybrid for every home, it needs to wait for the economy to expand so its tax revenues increase. An increase in tax revenues could lead our government officials to rationally consider expanding government programs.

(Please note that for the sake of everyone’s sanity I have set aside the debate over the proper role of government for the moment. You’re welcome.)

For fiscal year 2009, the US government is expecting lower tax revenues. There has been a contraction of economic growth in the US economy. A literally incalculable amount of wealth has been destroyed in America.

At the same time, the US government has decided to secure toxic assets, invest in clean energy, and create multiple new government agencies. Any potential discretionary budget the government could have pretended to have has already been spent.

Why then is the US government trying to fix the problems with American healthcare this fiscal year? This is one of the worst times in all of American history to consider the government accepting the responsibility and expense of healthcare reform. The government is almost broke. We can’t afford it.

Wouldn't it make more sense to make this the year of health care reform dialogue, allow the economy to recover, and then tackle this issue?


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