Ronald Reagan once said about runaway government expenditures, “We could say they spend like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors, because the sailors are spending their own money.”

Our government just can’t spend enough. They insist on borrowing from the future more and more. But one day there will have to be a day of reckoning.

Who’s going to pay for all this stuff? Oh yeah, our children and grandchildren.

To me, runaway government spending, in general, is like a father going into his three-year old’s room, breaking open her piggy bank, stealing all the money, and leaving a note. Not an IOU. But a UO-me.

A few years ago I noted that when the debt ceiling exceeded the $14 trillion dollar limit to more than $16 trillion. Rounding off the numbers, assuming there are 300 million Americans, that means each of us—man, woman, child, newborn baby—owes $46,000 now. Soon we will each owe $53,000. Ouch. Those numbers have just gotten worse.

I agree with the Good Book when it says that a wise man leaves an inheritance for his children—not a massive debt.

I also agree with a prominent politician who said this a few years ago:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Who said that? Senator Barack Obama in March 2006.

The way our government spends future money reminds me of a classic scene from a W. C. Fields movie, where he walks into a saloon and asks, “Was I in here by chance last night and did I have a $20 bill?”

“Oh yes,” replies the bartender, “You spent the whole thing.”

“Oh, what a load off my mind,” says W. C. Fields. “I thought I had lost it!”

I close with the words of Ronald Reagan, who also said, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”


It’s April 15th, a day many Americans dread — Tax Day. Ronald Reagan often joked, “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15.”

Here’s a great idea that would draw more attention to how much of your hard-earned money the federal government takes and wastes — move tax filing day to the first week of November just before Americans vote!

In recognition of the day, I want to share these tax facts with you:

  • According to the Tax Policy Center, the top 20% of income earners pay 84% of all income taxes collected.
  • The top 1% of earners, about 3 million people, pay nearly 46% of all income taxes collected.
  • Last year, the federal government received record tax revenues of just over $3 trillion dollars. But it still ran a deficit of nearly $500 billion.

The federal tax code is nearly 75,000 pages long. In the past ten years, it increased by nearly 15,000 pages. Obamacare alone added more than 3,000 pages to the tax code.



PPPS-This is from Jerry Newcombe again: I have an NIV Bible in front of me in pages with 2-columns, from Zondervan, 1984. It’s 725 pages long, including a few charts in the back. (707 pages, through the last chapter of the Bible itself.) 700 pages for the Word of God vs. 75,000 pages for the federal tax code. Amazing.

Categories: 2015 Columns

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