Monday, November 14, 2011

NaBloPoMo #14 - Fiscal Responsibility

(A bit of a vent...deal with it.)

The current national debt for the U.S. is ohhhh....14 trillion, give or take a dollar. (I think it's closer to 15 actually)  Someone obviously failed to explain to our fearless leaders that to spend money, you should actually HAVE the money first.  Credit is just never a good idea.  I think it has a definate appeal.  But even when it is paid back it's done so with so much interest tacked onto it....was it worth it?

I'm annoyed at the moment, in case you couldn't tell.  Anything that makes me reference government and/or politics is a sure sign that I'm annoyed.  Currently it's this whole PTSA treasurer gig that I do on a daily basis.  PTSA is the same thing as PTA, only with a Student representative (hence, the "S").  I happen to be the lucky parent who got roped into being the treasurer of my little elementary school's branch.  Awesome.

Don't get me wrong.  I love our school, I love our PTSA...they support each other very well, and work together amazingly.  I also happen to enjoy working with money...counting, adding, spreadsheets, etc...And last year, taking care of the money end of things was an easy job.  That was last year.

Right now I'm sitting here reading an email that was forwarded to me, asking/telling/requesting ME to negotiate a lower price on a specific item.  The problem is due to poor planning on SOMEONE ELSE's part, I'm now scrambling to make this work in our budget.  And it's not just a matter of "move this, drop this, switch this" and all of a sudden it will fit.  The money simply is not there to cover the cost.  It's a HUGE cost difference that is going to put us over budget.  No amount of negotiating is going to bring it down to the price we NEED it to be that will make it happen.

Suddenly it's become part of my job to research the program, find ways to lower the cost of the program, and make the program happen....yeah, not really part of my job description.  I write the checks, I balance the checkbook, I let you know how much money you have to work with.  That's it.  Or rather that was it.  Not so much anymore.

What kind-of example are we setting for the kids, when parents can't take responsibility and stay within the budget that was set for them?  Parents who are business owners.  Business owners who are community leaders.  Community leaders who want the tax payers to cover their mismanagement of money by raising our taxes in our village.  Village, State, Nation....and that's how we end up with a national debt that may have a number attached to it, but really is just unfathomable to comprehend.

Come on parents.  If you're given an amount of money, it's simple.  Don't spend more than that set amount.  Don't even PLAN on spending more than that much.  Teach your children that the allowance you give them has responsibility attached to it.  Maybe one day - you know, EONS into the future, our national debt may start to take a turn into the other direction if our children's children have been taught wisely not to spend what they don't have.


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