I’ve had a four and a half hour session with Billy Duncan, an Ameriprise Financial Planner whom I’ve known about ten years. My budget is difficult, partly because my covered call income is not highly predictable as is dividend or interest income. Also, I have some personal expenses that I find it hard to cut, such as meals.
Financial literacy includes financial discipline, which is not easy, but is necessary.
My nature is to give in a generous fashion, and if good fortune through my writing, television or investing comes about, I will be able to continue to be generous. But in the long run, both personally and nationally, if we don’t take stock financially in a serious way, a few years from now we won’t be able to do the things that need to be done then.
I certainly want to be there to help my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren when they have a special need in the future. Our nation and people will have needs in the future. We may delay gratification personally and as a nation for our own needs and that of others. We can and we must. Day by day I will try to save money just as those in Washington should do with far more pervasive ramifications.
Delayed gratification is a concept that should be incorporated in self-discipline and government discipline. It’s hard on either level, but the concept is the same. In Washington right now our leaders must turn from everlasting deficits toward, not only a balanced budget, but a smaller one, eliminating duplication and waste in our federal government.
Entitlements must be reformed. Regulations must be stripped to the bare minimum in order for capitalism and the free market to furnish both government and our people the fruit of higher productivity. We can and we must.
Taxes ought to be completely reformed to a flat tax as in twenty-seven other countries. We shouldn’t shoot ourselves in the foot with a tax system that no one understands.
If I’m willing to try cutting my budget, why shouldn’t Uncle Sam? The implications one way or another of my personal budget are not important for our country or the world, but our nation’s financial state is crucial not only to our people, but to the future of our planet.
A United States that is weak militarily and economically spells disaster for our world. President Reagan understood this and was able to effect tremendous change for good. I believe if we achieve a world full of stable, robust, prosperous democracies, we can have a world of permanent peace. We can and we must.
The motivation must be there, personally or nationally on the part of our elected leaders. I can only hope, wish and pray that Democrats and Republicans will use this “fiscal cliff” as an opportunity put in place what informed people know ought to be done and don’t fall into a finger-pointing political game.
Let the hearts and minds of Democrats and Republicans somehow feel the Christmas spirit and do what needs to be done, and if they search their minds and hearts they will know what that will be.