People are selfish; let’s get that out of the way first. It’s a tough economic environment we’re dealing with these days. On the one hand unemployment is still sitting around 9.5% throughout the country. On the other, both state and federal governments are being accused of either spending too much money or looking to cut programs people like and don’t want touched.

Yesterday it was announced that the Pentagon was going to be closing one of their facilities in Virginia which was going to result in the loss of somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs. Their point was that they were trying to be more efficient in trying to help their budget by letting this particular project go. Within 24 hours politicians and local residents started to rail against the government saying that it wasn’t well thought out and that it would hurt the area as far as employment goes. In other words, what they believe is that the federal government should cut spending, just not in their area.

I live in New York State. Our government has had financial issues for the last couple of years because our states financial status is tied in with Wall Street. The governor of this state has come up with a lot of recommendations for both raising revenue and cutting expenses. As you can imagine, he has been vilified from both sides of the aisle and from both state and local politicians. What he hasn’t gotten are any other recommendations or proposals for how to handle many of these things. There have been a lot of groups which have come up with commercials against the governor or this or that, but not a single one offering a solution. It’s always easy to be a naysayer, but when someone needs real solutions people would rather keep their mouths shut and blame someone else.

California is another state that’s been in major financial distress. The governor of that state has been fighting with the state legislature for all types of changes with the idea of addressing some of the financial issues. It’s not a matter of who’s right and who’s wrong, but it is a matter that says someone has to do something to try to help the state. Raising tuition 55% at the same time that insurance companies want to raise their insurance rates as much as 90% doesn’t help anybody. California also wants to cut a lot of jobs, but of course nobody wants those jobs to be cut because everybody wants to use government assistance as much as possible.

Unfortunately, you can’t always have it both ways. There are things I wish that the government would address and either eliminate or add to. But I know that everything costs money, which means you either have to get rid of something else, add something else, or just stick with the status quo. Doing nothing is actually doing something, and it allows everybody to be mad. Governments walk a fine line when they allow this type of thing to happen, and I’m of the opinion that when you decided to run for an office so that you could become a leader for the people, you need to take that responsibility and do something that is going to affect positive change even if it going to hurt for the short term.

I’m not saying we don’t have the right to criticize the government, because I criticize it all the time. What I am saying is that constructive criticism is what’s needed, not knee-jerk reactions to things you want to protect at any cost.