Lou Lippincott: What Ron Paul and Mega Millions Teach Us About the Federal Budget

mega-millions-photo-Michael-ConroyI started off my day with a $1 purchase of a Mega Millions multi-state lottery ticket and reading news of the House passing a 2013 budget.

Living in one of the states where tickets are sold, the jackpot buzz is all around. People are understandably amazed by the $640 million top prize that is being offered. For most, it is more money than imaginable — and maybe that is part of the problem with our federal budget in America: a lack of imagination by voters.

To understand why we can no longer afford to spend at such high rates, one must first understand how much the federal budget really is — and the Mega Millions jackpot serves as a timely example. The House approved budget for fiscal year 2013 is approximately $3.6 trillion. Most people reading the budget total in the news will feel less shell-shocked than reading of the lottery jackpot growing to $640 million. Setting aside the personal connection people feel to a lottery jackpot — the dreams and hopeful plans of a pampered future — understanding the tangible difference between $640 million and $3.6 trillion is a point lost on most people.

If you won the multi-state Mega Millions’ $640 million jackpot each and every drawing, held twice a week (falsely assuming the jackpot could be $640 million every time for argument sake), it would still take you over 54 years of constant winning to pay for the proposed 2013 U.S. federal budget which will likely fail in the U.S. Senate for being too lean, according to the Associated Press.

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman running for president, has long championed the need to immediately reduce spending within the federal budget. Although Paul’s proposed cuts are aggressive, they are necessary to fiscally save this country from overspending. While the other candidates use the campaign catch phase of "cutting spending" akin to nothing more than a line from a movie, Paul lays out a detailed plan of what he would cut and by how much — including what few things he would increase, like Medicare and Social Security spending.

As voters head to the ballot boxes in 2012, hopefully they cast their votes in admittance that we can no longer ignore our massively wasteful budget — since the cost of not doing so could certainly end with economic ruin. As a nation we must begin to understand that "trillion" is a real number with real economic consequences, and not just a name synonymous with "a lot of money."

Lou Lippincott

Source: Yahoo! Contributor Network


Waldemar Glodek

Autor: Waldemar Glodek