Is it any wonder Americans are such poor money managers when you look at the behavior of our government? Or should I perhaps say that the other way around?

Only a few short years ago, the State of Florida was enjoying a large budget surplus, because tax revenues went through the roof thanks in part to all the rebuilding necessary after our four-hurricane year. Naturally (but stupidly), everyone clammored to spend the "excess." There were plenty of claimants for the money, but few indeed were the voices of reason, and they did not prevail. It should have been obvious to anyone with any sense at all that boom times don't last, and the years of plenty are when you put away your surplus to help you through the lean years.

Now the rebuilding is complete, and people are being more careful with their money, so Florida is hurting for sales tax revenue. Suddenly we are cutting programs, laying off public prosecutors, and—that whicih inspired this post—threatening to demolish the wonderful Road Ranger system that I wrote so enthusiastically about after I was stranded on the side of the highway, at night, in a non-functional car. If we had invested that surplus when we had it, we could be using it now to go along normally, and avoid the expense of restarted when economic conditions improve. Basic economics, Finance 101, just plain common sense.

Or not so common. God Himself had to teach Joseph this strategy, and then Pharaoh thought the idea so impressive he put Joseph in charge of the whole kingdom. But you'd think we'd have learned something from that story.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Edit
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