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We don't really want to cut spending -- Friedeman
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During the 2008 presidential campaign, Phil Gramm, one of John McCain’s chief economic advisers, made the statement that “we are a nation of whiners.” He, of course, took a lot of flak for that and eventually backed down from his statement.
If I had an aspirations of running for political office, I wouldn’t write the following article.
But since I don’t have any desire to enter the political arena, I can say what many politicians are too scared to even think about suggesting. 
Phil Gramm was right.
But not only are we a nation of whiners, we are a nation of self-absorbed, fiscally irresponsible idiots, voting for the candidate who will give us the most government money.
Conservatives especially are a hypocritical bunch, paying lip-service to fiscal discipline while raking in mountains of federal handouts.
Let’s talk about the crowd at an average tea party rally — and I’m only picking on them, because they’re one of the few groups with a message of fiscal sanity.
A moderately sized tea party rally will likely boast these sorts of people:
A mother, whose kids are on medicare, angrily demonstrating against skyrocketing federal deficits.
A farmer, whose business is heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars, chanting about the dangers of Obama-sponsored socialism.
An elderly couple who are just sure that the health care law spells the end of freedom for society. Yet they have no qualms about taking a Social Security check and vociferously denouncing any politician who says we have to reform that program in order to fix our deficit.
A college student, who pays for college with help from government-funded Pell grants, making a statement that he doesn’t want to be saddled with the effects of an enormous national debt.
All of these people would call themselves “conservative,” complain about government spending, and support making large cuts in the federal budget. However, most, if not all, of them would be outraged if they lost some of their government money that’s being borrowed from China
Am I really the only one who sees the hypocrisy here?
Michelle Bachmann, one of the politicians most critical of the Obama administration, owns part of her family’s farm that has received more than $250,000 in government agricultural subsidies. The government is propping up one of her income sources, but all she can do is vehemently bloviate about our current president.
She can give a mean speech about cutting federal spending, but she doesn’t have any qualms, apparently, about getting her cut of the pie.
Conservatives may be the most hypocritical when it comes to government spending, but don’t make the mistake that we are the only ones accepting government handouts.
The government reported that the latest statistics from December show the number of food stamp recipients has risen to more than 44 million.
Pile on top of that medicare expenditures, welfare checks, farm subsidies, grants and dozens of other government handouts, and it becomes obvious that we’ve worked ourselves into a budgetary mess that everyone is too scared to fix.
A lot of people want to cut federal spending.
But when you start talking about specifics, everyone kind of likes the status quo.
The Pew Research Center paints a grim outlook with its latest research. Only 11 percent of Americans want to cut federal spending on education; 25 percent want to keep it the same; and a staggering 62 percent want to increase it.
When it comes to government-sponsored college financial aid, only 16 percent of Americans want to decrease spending.
And so it goes right on down the line.
Medicare: 12 percent are in favor of decreasing funding for the program; 83 percent want to keep it the same or raise the current level of spending. Social Security: 12 percent — God bless them — want to cut it; 84 percent like it or want more.
In every single category there is a majority — often by a vast margin — that doesn’t want to cut spending.
We like to talk about fixing our nation’s debt problem. But even more than that we like to pad our pockets with money that our government doesn’t have.
It’s hard to legitimately call yourself a conservative when you are a proponent of keeping your pet handout in the federal budget.
Until Republicans and tea partiers repent and start following the principles we hear so often in their rhetoric, we’re doomed to political posturing on the budget, instead of substantive action.
(Elijah Friedeman, author of The Millennial Perspective, is the grandson of Janis Friedeman, Great Bend. His columns can also be heard on his father, Matt Friedeman’s, radio program on American Family Radio.)