- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

We find ourselves saddled with a federal budget and a massive deficit, which, as of this writing, haven’t been approved yet, even though we are already into our third month of the operating year. This is the first time since 1974 we have failed to approve a budget and I am at a loss as to why. A budget is a vital part to running any enterprise and is actually not that hard to prepare, at least in terms of its mechanics. Admittedly, the federal budget is bigger in complexity than a lot of, say, local nonprofit groups, but the principle is the same.

The hard part is estimating your planned income with expenses and getting them to match. Sacrifices have to be made one way or another. Nonetheless, the budget dictates your game plan for the operating year. It’s true Americans have had to deal with many emergencies over the last 10 years, but our government has done a pitiful job of preparing and adhering to an effective budget. Deficit spending has been the order of the day for far too long, greatly contributing to the economic meltdown of this country and causing us to become beholden to foreign powers such as China.

Like any institution, our Congress and the office of the president have a fiduciary responsibility to the American people to manage financial resources wisely but they have violated this charge far too many times. This is precisely why it is necessary to have a balanced-budget amendment and line-item veto, as our Congress doesn’t know how to say “no.” Sadly, this goes for both sides of the aisle. If the government intends to squeeze the taxpayers and business community, it seems only natural that it should lead by example and squeeze itself.

TIM BRYCE

Palm Harbor, Fla.

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