Dennis Johnson: Vigilance, responsibility needed to overcome greed, waste

Over the last months, supporters of both political parties have blamed the others for the massive debt as the politicians continue to wastefully spend tax dollars. I look at it differently.

The uninformed, unwilling to learn, greedy and "what's in it for me" voters are equally part of the problem. These voters refuse to gather factual information on their own; they take the easy way and let others tell them what to do.

More often than not, the irresponsible voter relies on 3- or 4-second soundbites, comments from a cable comedy show, baseless rumors and partially overheard comments as the foundation for their votes. Combine those elements with pandering, self-serving elected "officials" catering to the lazy voter and we learn what created the irresponsible spending over the past 45-plus years at all levels.

These voters are most likely those who live off someone else's efforts and risk of loss while squandering their public education, make babies they can't afford, seniors with the "Gimme, Gimme" attitude and the elected/appointed feeders at the public trough. To them, it's "me," not what's best for the long-term success of the city, state or country. They have no skin in the game.

These voters will be more irate at a sports referee who blows a call on a rules violation than they are at a legislature, Congress or president who ignores the rule of law, or worse, the Constitution.

The greedy voters complain about corporate greed, but laugh while receiving checks for taxes not paid or seeing their IRA, 401k, or union pension fund making money.

It's irrelevant how a private business runs its business, as it's money earned by their investments and risk of financial failure.

I care about actions of those put in the position of guarding the "public treasury," only to squander it on pet projects. They use monies taken from taxpayers and waste them on programs and projects as a monument to themselves, not to responsibly conduct the people's business. It's a business model that a private business owner could not follow and survive. Only responsible budgeting and cautious spending can help any government thrive in the long haul. Killing the goose doesn't mean more golden eggs.

Almost all private businesses know when to stop spending money! Nor does any business let an "outsider" spend its money or use its checkbooks.

Reckless spending by elected officials comes at a cost to the people who pay the bills - the actual taxpayers, and taxpayers not yet born.

It's bad enough that you waste my money, but leave my children and grandchildren alone.

Fiscal restraint is not something to be feared at any time. Try it.

• Dennis Johnson is a longtime Carson City resident who volunteers with civic and community groups.


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