Wednesday, June 09, 2010

When it rains, it pours...

Whenever somebody asked him if it was going to rain, my Dads standard answer was, "It'll be a long dry spell if it doesn't". As always, he was right. I don't recall a time when it didn't rain eventually.

I'm hoping the same forces apply now when I wonder if it's going to stop raining. I suppose it will be a long wet spell if it doesn't.

But I also realize that there is a possibility, however remote, that someday it might stop raining and never start again, and by the same token, there is also the possibility, however remote, that it might start raining and never stop. The latter possibility seems a little less remote after the last couple of weeks. And when it comes right down to it, I don't suppose there's anything we could do about it, anyway.

I've spent a lot of my adult life fixing broken things that could be fixed with a hammer. If it couldn't be fixed with a hammer, I usually had to find someone that could fix it using something else. Of course, sometimes things got in such a shape that they couldn't be fixed at all.

I'm starting to wonder if that might be the case with the leaking oil well down in the Gulf of Mexico. Everybody's upset about it, and rightfully so. And everybody wants the leak stopped. I want it stopped, and you want it stopped. President Obama wants it stopped, and I'm sure British Petroleum wants it stopped just as much as everybody else. I don't know if they had a plan in place just in case something like this happened, and that plan didn't work, or if they never really had a plan at all. At any rate, I'm also sure some of the smartest people in the world are trying to figure out a way to get it stopped.

Of course, there's always the possibility that it will never be completely stopped.

I feel kind of the same way about our federal government debt. Right now we owe about $14 trillion. The people that keep track of such things, the Congressional Budget Office, says that by 2015 we'll owe around $20 trillion. If you figure in all of our unfunded liabilities, the amount goes up to $60 trillion, with the 2015 estimated amount approaching $100 trillion.

I don't know if we can get that debt under control or not. I do know that about 60% of the United States population is taking more from the government than they are kicking in. I guess that means the other 40% might have to start kicking in a little bit more. I'm just not sure that is a workable plan.

While I'm not sure what type of plan BP might have had before the well started leaking, I do know that we did have a sort of plan before our federal government got in such a mess. It was called the Constitution. It limited what the government could do, and in turn limited what it needed to spend. We didn't get in this condition until we quit following that plan.

It may be too late return government to its proper duties and size. I certainly hope not, and I know a lot of people out there that are going to keep working to try to do just that.

And I don't know if they can stop that oil well from leaking, but I sure hope they keep trying.

And I sure hope it stops raining so much one of these days.


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