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written by Norm:
Norm Blackburn
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Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Norm at
alohanrm@comcast.net
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Years ago a small Dutch boy stuck his finger in a leaking dike and saved his nation. But what happened when he pulled his finger out? Did the country of Holland flood and disappear? No, they learned their lesson and built higher dikes.
 
Today we find an analogy. Four Republicans, three U.S. Senators and one California Senator, pulled their respective fingers out of their party's dikes and let flow the Federal government Stimulus Plan and pass the California budget.
 
Will we learn our lessons and build a better fiscal system, or will we continue to outspend our income?
 
The problem lies with us. Yes, you and me and our neighbors and folks across the country. We bite on the bait dangled by the politicians and wanna-be politicians. They promise a land of plenty with houses and medical care for all, less crime and a more "green" country are just a few of the many promises we hear.
 
So we get hooked. We are like the cheering section at the Super Bowl. "Bring it on, we want it all, right now".
 
What we don't ask and they don't pro-offer is how they (we) plan to pay for all this. In good times the individuals and corporations fuel the government spending through taxes. Taxes come in to cover all the programs and sometimes (not often) we have a surplus.
 
We love it. More freeways, more care for the aged, higher wages and retirement plans for the people who run these programs (government workers). More money to help other nations and more to pay for a war. No problemo.
 
Suddenly the dike started to leak. We were spending more than we took in. Something must be done, some time later because it was only a small leak.
 
The economy gets sluggish and tanks. Banks are in trouble. No one can borrow money because the banks are awash in bad loans. People lose their jobs and stop paying taxes. Companies lose business and cut back or close and stop paying taxes.
 
So the politicians come up with a plan. Raise taxes and borrow money so we can keep spending. Oh, yes, we will cut back on a few programs. The more conservative Republicans want lower taxes and significant cuts in spending. The more liberal Democrats, who control the legislative houses, want to raise taxes on the "rich" and not cut programs. The Republicans can block passage even with their minority numbers. The water keeps rising and then the dike starts seriously leaking. The Republicans put their fingers in the dike.
 
The pressure gets so great the three U.S. Senators and the one California Senator decide to pull their fingers out of the dike and let the money flow out of the hole.
 
The money flows out and guess what? The water keeps rising and the hole in the dike gets larger.
 
So what do we do now?
 
The obvious thing to do is to do what the Dutch did. Build higher dikes.
 
And how exactly do we do that. Well, that what we elected politicians for.
 
Will they set aside their partisanship, become statesmen and women and put together a long term plan that will stabilize the economy and spend only what is essential and patch the hole and build a higher dike?
 
Cross your fingers.
 
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