Ever had to live on a budget? In one way or another, we all have, right?
The concept is simple, isn't it? Figure out what you need to spend, and where you want to spend it, then figure out how much money you can round up toward that total. If the amount of money you can round up is less than what you wanted (or needed) to spend, you have a budget.
Pretty simple, right? Next, you probably will prioritize your spending. Pay the high priority stuff first, and work down the priority list till you can't pay anymore. At the top of your list are food, rent, gas so you can get to work, heat in the winter, stuff like that (things you NEED). Toward the bottom of the list are probably the new car, clothes, etc (things you WANT). Still simple, right? Anyone can understand it, right?
So, riddle me this, then, Batman........Why is it that our elected representatives can't fathom this simple concept ? Have you ever noticed that the stuff you and I would put at the top of the priority list (things we NEED) always gets underfunded, yet the stupid stuff gets your tax dollars? They have money to dump into sinkholes like NASA or AMTRACK. Roads to nowhere. Museums for crap you never saw, or cared about, and never will. All on YOUR dime.
Remember the budget argument in Lafayette/Tippecanoe County a couple years back? Locally, they can spend money on parking studies. Who cares? Or, they buy equipment they will never need with money they can;t afford, just because it is such a good deal, and then argue for months about spending MORE money they can't afford on buildings to house all the useless stuff they shouldn't have bought in the first place! Federally, they spend trillions on the "Bonuses for Billionaires" programs. They didn't have money to give those millionaires big bonuses, they took as much as they could from you and me, and borrowed the rest. Politicians never heard of a budget apparently. Not really. The difference between you, and a politician, is you buy what you need first, then the rest, and when you are out of money, you stop buying completely. A politician buys what they want first. Then, when they are out of money, and can;t borrow anymore either, they just tell you none of the important stuff got paid for, so they need YOU to pay for it. Pony up more taxes, chump.
All that Emergency Management equipment, or a place to house it, in Lafayette, or all those bonuses for billionaires or roads to nowhere, aren't things we need, they are all things some politician wants. But when it comes time to fund the top priorities, its "Sorry, kids, but we're out of money now, we have to fire your teacher".
Politicians can give you any excuse they want, but it can't change the fact that they have forcibly taken trillions of our dollars, and will not adequately fund the most important things to us.
You have to set a budget and spend based on priorities, but they do not, or will not. They refuse to listen. You know why? Because they know that, after they have spent all your money on their pet projects and there is none left for the important stuff, that when you are confronted with schools, or Social Security, or whatever, being underfunded, you will hand over more cash.
I wish I could run my budget that way. Do you think if I buy a new Harley the boss will give me a raise because I can't pay the rent?