Who Comes Up With These Terms?
I’ve always been amazed at our government’s way of figuring out new terms to call stuff. While most of us grew up with the term “bombs”, someone was working hard behind the scenes and came up with “weapons of mass destruction”. Instead of always calling something a “tax”, someone came up with “surcharge”. Same thing, right?
Lately we’ve been dealing with a couple of new terms that concerned financial issues. Back in December we were being bombarded with “fiscal cliff”. When that went away we were immediately hearing the term “sequester”. This one seems to not only have stuck but has actually been implemented as of last Friday, with no idea when, or if, it’ll go away.
In a nutshell, this last one means that massive cuts in governmental spending went through based on a deal that Congress set up with the president months earlier The idea was that if they gave themselves a couple of months to talk that they’d come up with a deal that would avert this whole thing. Has anyone ever heard the term “track record”? Has this Congress, or any congress since October 2001 when almost everyone voted to go to war with Afghanistan, come together peacefully to pass anything for the benefit of this country?
In my overall opinion, this stuff has to stop, but it won’t. The two major sides are at war with competing theories, and neither is absolutely wrong. Republicans say they want and we need cuts. Democrats are saying we need revenue because just cutting spending won’t work.
As a point of comparison I’d like to mention my main industry, health care. Since the late 90’s, the main thing hospitals have been looking to do is find a way to cut expenses. Even now, the first words out of every new CEO or CFO’s word is cutting expenses, mainly because of what just went through, an automatic 2% cut in Medicare reimbursements, which may not sound like a lot but it is.
Cutting expenses isn’t always easy. You can decide to eliminate certain jobs and reduce hours of certain employees, but I wonder how many of you, if you had to be admitted into the hospital, would appreciate having to wait 30 minutes just to get registered, or maybe only see a nurse twice a day because instead of having 7 patients to take care of now she has to take care of 20 patients during her shift, along with keeping up with all state and federal regulations that include tons of paperwork.
What some of these folks forget is that revenue generation is just as important, and many times they already have the revenue available to them, they’re just not looking for it. They don’t look for it because the only thing they can see and understand is “cut”. Doesn’t this sound a lot like our government? Have you heard anyone other than President Obama on either side say anything about revenue?
Here’s the truth. Raising taxes on the rich isn’t going to solve our issues but it’s a step that must be considered. If that’s the only solution anyone can come up with then we’re going to fail. In the past I’ve offered some suggestions on how to fix the economy. Even if one might not like all those ideas, at least I came up with something that wasn’t “raise our taxes”.
Maybe what’s needed is a consumer council of sorts, a 9-person panel of CEOs, mid level managers and a couple of business analysts of some sort who can look at the statistics, look to see what’s available in this country and what needs to be addressed, and then comes up with a package of recommendations to raise revenue. Sure, that might cost some money, and to implement something might cost money, but something business has always understood is that sometimes you have to spend a little bit of money to get big results on the end. If this country had to spend money towards revenue generation, who could really complain and be taken seriously?
That’s my thought at least. What do you believe? Are you tired of these terms that mean something else, that impact us without actually improving our lives any?