Is An Accounting Coming?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but being curious by nature, have several questions. My friends in the Republican party are against waste, fraud and abuse in government. They have been in total control of state government in Bismarck since 1994. It would be very educational to have an itemized list of the waste, fraud and abuse they have eliminated since 1993. It is a matter of public record what the state budget was in 1993 and what it is today. Google it for yourselves. Then draw your own conclusions.

On the national scene, the present stance of our Republican friends is to cut back on government spending. That, in and of itself, sounds very enticing. If one believes The Economist, for every five dollars the federal government spends, it only collects four dollars in taxes. Our friends in control of the federal House of Representatives have pledged to not touch social security or Medicare. According to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, 92% of the federal debt it driven by social security, federal health care programs and interest payments on the federal debt. If a deal on the federal budget isn’t made early this year, most credible experts are of the opinion it will cause interest rates to severely increase and cause a significant drop in the stock and bond markets which would effect virtually everyone’s retirement plan.

Has our North Dakota media ever asked our congressional delegation which federal programs that effect North Dakota are fraught with waste, fraud and abuse? Which ones are they willing to put on the chopping block? Are they being asked how they are going to balance our federal budget? Are they going to be asked if deficits don’t matter? There is an old joke that the first law of politics is to ignore the first law of economics. With China and Russia looking over our shoulder, that joke is no longer funny.

At least two members of our congressional delegation are scions of wealthy families who have post graduate degrees in either business or law. They know very well how to handle family money. Their families are running excellent businesses with impressive results. It would be nice if our media would pin them down specifically on when they’ll start handling public money as well as their own. Are these not relevant questions? How can we as citizens expect good government if we don’t  ask these types of questions? Are we to continue accepting talking points generated by political consultants? Isn’t a consultant someone who borrows our watch to tell us what time it is?

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Jim Maxson

Mr. Maxson is a retired Minot attorney, former ND State Senator representing Minot's 3rd District from 1986-1994, and former ND Democratic National Committeeman from 2000-2008. He speaks two languages, English and Metaphor, and is cursed by a long memory.

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