CAROL PERRY: It’s everyone’s duty to be fiscally responsible |

CAROL PERRY: It’s everyone’s duty to be fiscally responsible

Carol Perry
For the Nevada Appeal

Before President Obama whisked off for some R and R in Hawaii, he held a press conference to congratulate himself on the accomplishments of the lame duck session. I must agree that much was accomplished, but was it quantity over quality?

I heard him say one of his biggest disappointments was that the DREAM Act did not pass. Those poor young kids brought to the USA by parents who disregarded our laws on legal immigration should be able to serve in our military and go to college. After all, it was not the kid’s fault. I guess I was supposed to melt right then and say “Right on.” But as usual, the party pooper that I am was screaming “How are we gonna pay for it?”

I notice my thought processes anymore seem to be on the autoprogramming mode of asking that pesky fiscally responsible question every time I hear any politician or civilian for that matter suggesting anything that will add to the state, local or national debt. I am not much fun at parties these days.

QE Two, the Fed’s plan to print money (I stand corrected, Mr. Bernanke prefers the term “digitize money”) is not exactly working as planned. Bond yields continue to rise. Commodity prices exploded this year and we keep on suggesting that by spending money on this and that (like education and infrastructure) we can bring back jobs lost in the recession.

This just makes no sense at all. If small business is the biggest generator of new jobs, how does creating more government jobs return us to prosperity? It doesn’t. I seem to recall a recent election where recession-weary Americans who are asked to continue to tighten their own belts sent a message to Congress to do the same. What actually almost happened was a 1924-page Omnibus spending bill costing more than $1.1 trillion. The bill had more than 6,000 earmarks.

It was like nothing had changed at all when I started reading the bill on the Heritage Foundation website. While fully funding all earmarks, the Senate could not manage to find room to fund our troops, both domestic and abroad.

What is going on in our nation’s capital these days? We are at a point where if we continue to spend like we have in the past, the cost of servicing the interest payments alone will be most of the U.S. annual budget in a few years.

The problems created by years of increased size of government programs cannot be reversed overnight without pain. I think the U.S. taxpayer realizes that better than our members of Congress at this point. Congress must freeze all discretional spending at current levels and bills being submitted should not be spending bills but recission bills.

If citizens still wish to receive Social Security and Medicare and provide adequate defense (and that doesn’t mean we need a base in every country) they need to make their voices heard loud and clear. Nothing works better to encourage your representatives in Congress than not being re-elected, so if you have never written a letter before, now is the time to start. Apathy has gotten us in the mess we are in. We must accept that things must change in order to ensure our future and the future of our families. Will it be fun? Pleasant? No, but if we do not insist on action now, it will be downright painful.

• Carol Perry, a retired financial advisor, has been a Northern Nevada resident since 1983. You can reach her at