Paul Ryan is absolutely right. Every family needs to balance its budget, and the government does, too, although except for the constant squabbling, it’s hard to see how the government is like my family.
By all accounts, unless you’re listening to anyone who’s not a House Republican, Ryan has put forth a “serious budget,” so I thought it ought to make a good blueprint for balancing my family budget.
To start with, making more money is off the table. Asking for a raise is out of the question. According to Ryan, that’s absolutely the wrong way to go about it, and because he’s an expert, I’ll just have to take his word for it. Making more money would mean taking it from my rich employer, who has way better uses for it than I do. If I took it, it would leave him less to put back into the economy, and that would seriously inhibit growth. So, my only choice is to cut spending.
Where to start? Health care would be an excellent choice. By not paying my health insurance premiums, which in 2014 means refusing to fund Obamacare, I can cut about $1000 a month from my budget. And, here’s the great thing: if I follow Ryan’s budget closely, I can also count the savings I would have had if I’d paid for my Obamacare! Make that another $500 a month. I know it seems somehow wrong to count both, but who am I to question such an expert?
Next, I really need to stop funding my kids’ education. I have a real weakness for the little darlings, I admit, but it’s time for a little tough love, and we all need to be self-reliant.
Too bad they’re older and I can’t gain any savings from not making their school lunches any more. When I think of all the money I wasted on that over the years! And what a fool I was to pay for their early childhood education. Who in his right mind would fund kindergarten when the budget is so out of whack?
I can stop helping them with their retirement funds, though. I wish I’d stopped doing that years ago. I thought I was so smart opening up IRAs for them when they had summer jobs. Little did I know that I was wrecking the economy. That Ryan guy doesn’t miss a thing, does he?
I do feel bad about their health insurance. Both kids were on my plan before I cancelled it. I’ll replace what I was spending on them with a block grant. It won’t actually be enough for them to buy their own insurance, and over the years it most likely won’t keep up with inflation, but Ryan and I are on a mission here. I just hope the kids use it wisely and don’t spend it on frivolous things like food or clothing.
I’m definitely going to stop giving money to charitable causes. Giving money to the poor is just bad economics; they bleed the system and they don’t employ anyone. Instead, I’m going to donate that money to my boss, who will use it to hire people, theoretically. I haven’t seen him actually doing that lately, but if he stockpiles enough of it, he’s going to have to start hiring people sooner or later, right? That’s the Ryan theory, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.
Now to my own retirement plan. Social Security will be insolvent in just a few years unless we fix it, and asking the rich to pay a little more into the system is a non-starter in the Ryan/Stein plan. Therefore, I need to scale back my expectations. For the good of the country, I’m going to stop funding my IRA and 401(k), and just plan on living on less when I stop working, which, in my new budget, will be when I’m 78.
Well, that about covers it. Thanks to the Ryan blueprint, my family budget is now balanced.
Remind me again why I’m not asking for a raise.