While I support the citizen uprising of the tea parties I wonder how many of the participants have thought beyond their dissatisfaction to realize the outcome of a smaller deficit and the real costs of a transition to a frugal government.
How many of them are willing to sacrifice their social security income or at least have it means tested to be relative to their assets and income?
How many are really ready to lose their agricultural subsidies, corporate subsidies, funding for their symphonies, museums, halls of fame, rapid transits, parks, ball fields and other subsidized venues?
How may are ready to give up Medicare subsidies and pay a bigger share of their medical expenses out of their own pocket? How many are willing to have their prescription drug benefit reduced?
How many are willing to restrict foreign adventurism to what current taxpayers are willing to pay for? That means no more Iraqs without a vote to raise taxes to pay for it.
How many are ready to fully accept the consequences of a credit crunch without the liquidity supported from the government? How many of your customers will have trouble paying you as a result?
How may are willing to pay higher local taxes to support the schools when the government funds are relinquished?
How many are ready to make up for the lost federal subsidies and reimbursement for local hospitals and health care? How many are willing to lose their mortgage deductions? How many are ready to pay more taxes to restore fiscal repsonsibility or see a drastic cut in government spending?
Winding down our addiction to credit and big government solutions is painful and messy. Our unwillingness to face this ugliness is why we forestall and perpetuate the problem. We all think that the solution lies in changing other people’s behavior, but not our own.
Furthermore the middle of a serious recession is the worst time to get fiscal discipline. But even in more stable economic times the road to fiscal sanity starts with you.
What are you ready to give up?