Weatherford Democrat

October 22, 2012

COLUMN: Robbing Peter and Paul

Larry M. Jones

— Before he recently passed away, every Sunday morning for several years a good friend of mine, Tony Goodwin, would email me a short critique of my weekly column. His comments were generally complimentary, but occasionally they were shots across my bow. Although an apparent oxymoron, Tony was a brilliant man, an Aggie and a retired Army lieutenant colonel who never failed to speak his mind. I respected that.

Some time ago, Tony told me in succinct terms to stick to what I knew best in writing my columns — stories about my Grandpa Jones, my brother David, growing up on the pore farm and Parker County history. Having weathered a couple of cheap shots in the past, for the most part, I have followed Tony’s advice. I have tried to steer clear of religion, politics, women and other people’s children. All good things must come to an end.

With the general election bearing down upon us, I’d like to share a few observations. First, I admit that I am not happy with the course our nation has followed for roughly two decades. Although the problem began to gain momentum much longer ago, the goal of government domination of our lives has gone exponential in recent years. There is not a single facet of our daily existence that is not touched, if not totally dictated, by government regulation. Government has grown so big it has literally become our nation rather than merely an entity to assist with our common needs. We seem to have come to the conclusion that the answer to every problem America faces must be solved by the government. Yet, the government creates nothing.

How do we solve the current mess we have created? Forty percent of our federal budget is deficit spending — we’re writing hot checks! I’ve seen it published that discretionary spending in the federal budget comprised 37 percent of the total, which includes defense, education, transportation, veteran’s benefits and numerous others. If all this was cut, our federal budget still would not balance.

Whoever wins the upcoming election faces a monumental task with regard to the looming economic meltdown. Obviously, many of those currently running the government feel that balancing the budget is not necessary. I cannot imagine this idiotic mindset. Unless we wish to become another Greece or Spain, we simply must become fiscally accountable.

Getting our economy in order can obviously be accomplished be a few simple actions. We must merely reduce spending, increase revenues and balance the budget. A great place to start would be to force our political leaders to abide by all laws they impose on the American people. They should be put on Social Security, and be required to purchase their own healthcare plans

Continuing to embark on the path of socialism and even greater government in our lives is a guaranteed journey to disaster. Every item in the federal budget must be examined, including my own retirement, an earned benefit, not an entitlement.

The complexity of the current problem is overwhelming, but the choice for resolve is clear. Are we better off with an even larger government, or would we be better served with the private sector capitalist model which made America the greatest nation of all time? You can make your opinion heard on Nov. 6.

Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy Commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to