I recently heard New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez explain how she had, after taking office, eliminated one chef, one jet and several other aircraft from the governor’s beck and call. She figured that if the budget had to be trimmed/decimated, the job started at the top.
Susana Martinez is a woman after my own heart.
Like the rest of us, when times get tough we shed the non-necessities and in the process, set a good example for our children and/or constituents–and possibly even our communities. When times are good and continued prosperity seems certain, many of us load up on luxuries and sometimes-thoughtless purchases. And when the economy contracts, those non-necesities and surerfluous purchases are usually the first to go.
The actions of the leader (in this case the Mom) determine the actions of the pack. Do we really need a second golf membership (NO!), that timeshare (meh!), monthly hair appointments (please no)? We look for areas that are non-necessity, and start cutting expenditures from that point.
The first cuts should be the ones that hurt the butcher the most. If I cut monthly hair appointments, then for sure the guys in our household can cut a golf membership, cancel or sell the timeshare and maybe even shed a few excess golf clubs for good measure.
Which leads us now to the White House and me drumming fingers wondering why our President needs 54 Christmas trees to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue while the First Family and an entire village head to Hawaii for an extended Holiday.
Talk about missed opportunities. What if, instead, the taxpayer funds spent on this luxurious vacation had instead been donated to Hurrican Sandy victims? Or excess Christmas trees donated to the needy>
I always thought Romney might have scored big points had he offered to serve the Presidency for a dollar a year pay for his and his family’s own vacations. It might have also helped voters calculate the advantage of having a rich guy in office.
Such sacrifices might be symbolic, but they help lessen the pain and loss being felt by so many voters.
What if, for example, there were just one tree–and what if the First Family stayed home for the holidays like most of their constituents? What if, instead, President Obama ordered his Czars to find budetary blubber and eliminate it? What if our Leadership understood that the speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack?
What if a country were led by example, instead of by dictate and executive order? What if our Congressional representatives first put themselves and their families on proposed and inferior retirement and health plans before they forced them on their constituents? What if our elected representatives at all levels had the character to take the first cuts and sacrifices?
And what if we, the ones who pay their way, could trust that they put our interests before their own?