Friday, May 07, 2010

Know gain, know pain....

My old buddy Stinky Wilmont's first car was a hand-me-down his older brother Leonard had given to him. It was an Oldsmobile, as I remember, as big as a boat, with an engine so big he could pull a hay wagon if he wanted to. But usually he just put the hay in the back seat or the trunk.

One Saturday evening we were cruising town in Stinky's Olds and stopped in for a fill-up. This was back in the day when gas stations put the gas in for you. The attendant pumped for a while, and then walked up to Stinky's window and stated "You're going to have to turn this car off, sir. It's gaining on me." I always figured the attendant was just being a smart-aleck, but that old car did take a lot of gas.

There is an unemployment fund in Indiana that employers pay into every week, and if an employee loses their job, they get to draw some money out of that fund until they find another job. A while back, the people taking money out of the fund started taking more out than the people putting in were putting in. The fund was going broke, so Indiana started borrowing some of the money the federal government has borrowed in order to keep the fund funded.

I suppose that might work, except that the people taking money out the federal government are taking out more than the people putting in are putting in. Kind of like that unemployment deal.

Not that it's anything new. The federal debt, just like the federal government, has been gaining on us for years. In 1957, the federal debt stood at a paltry $219 billion. It's gained every year since, sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot. Right now it's approaching $14 trillion. And it's going to gain another $1.4 trillion this year. Maybe a little more.

$10 billion of the that additional debt will come from Social Security paying out more than it takes in this year. It will gain on us a lot more when an additional 80 million people start drawing money out of it in the next ten years, and there isn't another 80 million people to keep putting money in.

The government seems to be gaining on us in a lot of areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that 430,800 people worked in factories in Indiana in January 2010. At the same time, 442,800 people worked for the government. That makes government the second largest employer in Indiana. It's just behind retailers, and gaining fast. And not just in Indiana.

According to Assembly magazine, as recently as 1990, 21 states still had more manufacturing jobs than government jobs. Today, not one state can make that claim.

It didn't take my buddy Stinky too long to figure out that he couldn't afford that big Olds, and luckily he was able to get rid of it before it broke him, in favor of a more economical model that got him where he wanted to go for a lot less money.

I hope as nation we should be so lucky.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


It seems you are very concerned with govt. waste. In Wayne Co. there has been a lot of waste going on the county assessors office. Lisa Beach took almost half of 2009 off work with pay when her mother was ill. Most of that time her mother was in Reid Hospital and forest Park Nursing Home. unlike other county employees who would have been required to take FMLA, Ms Beach just took the item off with pay apparently with her supervisor's (Mike Statzer) approval. Her job in the court house as a deputy assessor wa sonly minutes away from the hospital and nursing home, yet Ms. Beach thought she ahd to be with her mother almost all of the time. That is fine, but would she have felt the need to be so close if she had to make the decision to on FMLA or not? Actions such as that, be they from a republican or a democrat are ones that make the message of the libertarian party more appealing. Wonder if voters and opponents of Mike Statzer would be interested in this and some of the other wastes going on in the county assessors office?

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People such as Lisa Beach in the Wayne Co. assessor's office who take extended time off with pay are not helping county budget problems. Her time off work last year from early in Feb. to mid June was not right. Yes her mother was seriolsy ill. But other relatives were around to check on and help care for their mother. Yet Ms. Beach wanted to be at the hospital and nursing home nearly around the clock. One can't help but wonder would she have been so generous with ehr time and the county's money if she would have had to take FMLA like almost every other county employee would have had to do in a similar situation?

8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home