0

Darrell Huckaby: Sequestration and other budget quandaries

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby

So how's the sequestration going so far, y'all?

Have you ever seen so many grown men act so stubborn and foolish as the Congress of the United States and our exalted federal administration? It's enough to test the patience of Job and would make America sick at America's collective stomach if the nation were actually paying attention.

It is quite obvious that the nation has paid attention to very little in the world of politics for a very long time.

I don't care who you supported in the election or which party butters your breakfast bagel. Anybody with half a brain knows that we cannot continue to spend money that we don't have. Remember Tennessee Ernie Ford's classic song? "I load sixteen tons and what do I get? Another day older and deeper in debt."

Every time the Earth rotates, this country gets deeper and deeper in debt. We owe our soul, not to the company store but to the Chinese. A few more dollars. All we need is a few more dollars. Please. Lift the debt ceiling one more time and that will fix everything.

My daddy taught me a long, long time ago that you cannot borrow yourself out of debt. When a family's income is cut, the family has to make choices about how to spend the money that is left. If you don't believe me, ask any Georgia public school teacher. Most are bringing home less than they did five years ago.

When we get furloughed and take a 2 percent hit on our take-home pay, we don't cut 2 percent across the board. We can't call the mortgage company and tell them we are sending them 98 percent of what we owe them every month. Nor will the utilities accept 98 percent nor the lienholders on our car notes, etc., etc., etc.

I would have said "yada, yada, yada" but I cut my cable package back to 150 channels instead of 225 and don't get "Seinfeld" but once a day instead of three.

See what I mean? There are all kinds of ways families can cut back. Eat out less. Redbox instead of the theaters. More board games and less circuses and honky tonks -- metaphorically speaking, of course.

If my feeble brain is smart enough to figure that out, why aren't the collective minds of the United States Congress?

I worked for six years in the Bibb cotton mills in Porterdale. I was an over-hauler under Mr. Ardele Paine Jr. and worked on Morris Fincher's crew most of that time. Morris Fincher was very much a man. We worked in all three mills and the line walk, doing whatever needed doing and hauling whatever needed hauling.

Once in a great while the "big bosses" would come from Macon to the mill to inspect things. On those days, I would be assigned to the Osprey Mill. My job would be to push around the giant buggies of "waste" that accumulated In the mill. Waste was material and cotton fiber that was fouled up in production. Theoretically, we weren't supposed to have any and there wasn't any protocol for getting rid of it -- so we just pushed it around, all over the mill, trying to stay ahead of the inspectors. Truth be known, it wasn't a bad way to make a buck-forty an hour. It was better than dismantling twister frames or doing any job at all in the weave shop or card room.

I wonder how many minimum wage workers our government has trying to hide all the waste in government spending from the big bosses? I'm not talking about Obama or Congress. They created the waste and signed it into law. I'm talking about the taxpayers, for "we, the people" are supposed to be the real bosses of government.

Come to think of it, the federal government has become so arrogant that it doesn't even pretend to hide the waste. They just flaunt it. The president flies all over the globe -- playing golf with other washed up millionaires -- while Rome burns, his nose smugly in the air. His family spends millions of taxpayers' dollars on vacation after vacation and the government continues to increase entitlements that encourage people to live off the public dole. Just this week, as our collective clocks continued to click down toward zero hour for automatic budget cuts, we gave $250 million to Egypt for "defense."

I wonder how long it might be before the weapons we bought Egypt will be turned on Israel. Ironically, these armaments came while the administration is trying to take guns away from law-abiding citizens in this country.

These are strange times we are living in. This nation has survived a lot. Maybe we can survive a 2 percent budget cut, too.

Thank you. May God bless America.

Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at dhuck008@gmail.com. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.