Do You Expect the Government to be Frugal? Really?

There’s a decidedly strong backlash against government spending.

There’s always a backlash against government spending. It’s only right: we’ve all done our due diligence cutting our own spending, trying to invest properly, and finding new sources of revenue.

We’ve managed to create and live on a budget.

But here’s the thing.  This is nothing new. The movement to force government into the frugality has been going on for a long time. But, each time government services are cut, there’s a huge backlash against that, too. Reagan faced it. In the 1990s, when national parks began to close, budget-cutting was demonized.

What about earmarks? We all hate earmarks, but gladly vote for politicians who hold big check photo-ops into our neighborhood, right?

Here’s the question then: what are we prepared to do to make our government more frugal?

Essentially, our government–which means us, by the way–has to adopt the three-fold path to financial sanity: save, spend, and invest smartly. This will have repercussions.

Are you ready to:

Give up
Cuts are the most obvious way to create governments who live within their means. But, what would Americans give up to make sure the government was frugal? Would we be willing to take a cut in our potential Social Security benefits in the future? Would we allow parks to close for two or three weekends a year? Would we drive less to cause less strain on our infrastructure?

Americans don’t necessarily need to give more money–we could offer time and sweat equity. Would you be willing to volunteer some time cleaning or maintaining your favorite park, or attraction?
Would you be willing to help out a friend or neighbor in need?

New Investments
With the billions of dollars pouring into the coffers of the American government, it’s not revenue that’s the problem; it return on investment.  Having said that, would we be willing to find new ways to raise money for the government? It doesn’t necessarily have to be new taxes (but it could). Can the government raise more money by selling land, or leasing natural resources?

We also need to find new methods to make this investment go further. Would you be willing to make sacrifices to make government more efficient?

So, here’s the question, are you willing to have a frugal government?