Monday, February 21, 2011

Back to Basics

On a Sunday drive my wife and I were listening to the news of the uproar in Wisconsin.  I was disgusted with the union demonstrations and the democrat Senator’s childish antics so I switched off the radio.  My wife said “They need to get back to basics.”  Brilliant. 

If you have ever been on a losing football team, one that really got the stuffing knocked out of them for an entire season – you know exactly what she meant.  When you returned to practice the following season the coach told you and your team mates that you were going “back to the basics.”  You can’t fix a debacle with some fancy new plays or some new offensive set or even by picking up some new impact player.  You sure as hell don’t fix it with business as usual.  No – you have to go back to basics.  You strip the game down to blocking and tackling and work your way up from scratch. 

That is exactly what Federal, State, and local governments have to do.  For the Federal government the “basics” are contained in the Constitution.  That brilliant document lays out the foundation for this great Nation.  The application is simple – you only fund those things that are contained in the Constitution.  If we hadn’t strayed from that elegant purpose in the first place we wouldn’t be where we are now. 

That’s the problem with the Republican method to deal with the budget.  Don’t start at the top and work down – start with zero and build a budget that conforms to the Constitution and to the revenue.  

Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787     Pocket Constitution (Text from the U.S. Bicentennial Commission Edition)     Politically Incorrect Guide To The Constitution


  1. Here in my household we use the "hat" method for budgeting. We put all the bills in a hat, and pull out one at a time and pay it. When we are out of money, which is usually after the first bill, but sometimes before, we stop pulling them oout of the hat. Unlike Congress, we also stop writing checks when the balance is zero.

  2. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.