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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Cost controls can save the budget

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Though the concept is certainly not original, our federal government needs only to look at the private sector to find the answer to our fiscal crisis.

Two dozen major national retailers last week reported financial data and guess how they turned around their lagging business?

Cost control!

Kohl's, by way of example, "controlled inventory and expenses" to post a major turn-around. Saks used "disciplined spending" and inventory control to post similar gains.

Now this should come as no surprise because it mirrors your household budget. If you have trouble paying bills - and you use common sense - then you monitor your spending.

Yet our federal government is a different monster. Under this Congress and this administration, spending is at a runaway pace with no end in sight.

The Obama administration is proud as punch that their budget has identified dozens of programs scheduled for elimination or reduction. The problem is that these "cuts" will total a meager $23 billion which is unfortunately a drop in the bucket when it comes to the numbers that we face. Compare that savings to the $383 billion we paid last year on interest alone on our national debt.

Former President George W. Bush was a major disappointment in the spending category. His GOP cronies have dirt on their hands as well. But Obama is Bush on steroids. We can't afford this level of spending. That much is certain.

If you spend money you don't have, the only assurance is that the day will come when someone has to pay that bill.

We speak much about the Greatest Generation. But that generation has given way to a generation of cowards - unwilling to face reality yet more than willing to pass our problems on to future generations.

History will not treat these times kindly.

We spend the bulk of our tax dollars on helping others. Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and our Agriculture Department's food stamp program siphon more money than any other items in our national budget.

When will someone face the reality that our spending is out of control? Quit looking at new sources of revenue and instead focus on reducing spending.

Our problem is not a political one, it's an economic issue. The numbers don't make sense today and they will make less sense tomorrow.

Look to the private sector. To balance the books - or even get remotely close - you first cut spending. What would happen to a private sector business that faced tough economic times by increasing their prices while ignoring their spending?

The answer is obvious. Yet we somehow can't seem to see the obvious.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen