With the debt-ceiling limit looming, our “leaders” in Washington are sounding the alarm. There are advocates of raising the debt limit and raising taxes while others advocate coupling the debt limit increase to spending reductions and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. How did we get here? Considering the answer to that question got me thinking about pigs. Yes, I said pigs. Pigs have been symbols for many things throughout history and pig analogies are woven into the fabric of our language. Consider the piggy bank; a symbol of savings and frugality. On the opposite end of that spectrum is the pork barrel, which has come to signify excess. We have the now infamous “lipstick on a pig” analogy. The “wrestling with a pig gets both of you dirty and the pig likes it” analogy. Pigs are maligned in most analogies but here is one that has been running through my mind since the debt ceiling impasse has been dominating the news; Commitment versus Involvement, In preparing a breakfast of bacon and eggs consider the pig and chicken, the chicken is merely involved while the pig is totally committed. This brings us back to the question of how we got to where we are on the debt-ceiling impasse.
The commitment of the elected representatives in Washington is analogous to the pig and his commitment to breakfast. They are, or should be, totally committed to serving in the best interest of the people they represent as well as the best interest of America. Well, the “pigs” in Washington have bellied up to the trough of public funds and eaten from it like, well, pigs. This is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for years under all administrations. Appropriation bills include pet projects for districts where Congressional “leaders” then go back home and use the appropriations as evidence that they are working for their constituents. One problem, this has never really served the constituency as much as it has served the “leader” seeking reelection. The bottom line here is all these “pork-barrel” spending projects have added up to spending run amuck while the fiscal “piggy bank” is ignored. So, while the feeding frenzy in Washington has been going on unabated, we have been sold a “pig in a poke” (another pig reference meaning you have been ripped off). To borrow a phrase, let me be clear; politicians have used your money to buy your vote by spending your money with reckless abandon creating the deficit and debt predicaments we are in now.
What do we do about this spending problem? The collective American consciousness has been awakened due to the “crisis” we now find ourselves in which is bringing pressure to change old habits in Washington but the carefully crafted approaches being considered by our “leaders” are less about real long term solutions as they are about continuing to bribe us with our own money. Until the “leadership” in Washington ceases the self-serving gluttony of “pigging out” on public funds, we, the little citizen piggy’s are at the mercy of the “Big Bad Wolf” representatives in Washington that are continuing to huff and puff and blow our collective fiscal house down.
This, my friends, is no fairy tale.