In July 16 IssueBy Linda Stephens, Columnist
Favorite thing…. a radio program about money by Chuck Bentley from Crown Financial Ministries. Chuck has a 2 minute radio program called “My Money Life”.
This week the topic was “El Freebo” Software and he listed five free soft ware programs. I also like to listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show. Recently, Dave began his show by saying “Cash is king. Debt is dumb and a paid off mortgage is the new status symbol.” Sounds like a winner to me. I can tell you there’s nothing like living debt free. I’ve lived both ways and debt free is the only way to go. I always learn something when I hear these radio programs or visit their websites. When I learn something that helps me manage my money better, it’s one of my favorite things. Money and Debt. This leads me to sharing about a program that Russell Springs United Methodist Church is having this Monday night, July 18th. The topic is Eliminating Debt. We all know debt takes its toll on us financially, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. In less than two hours, this study will help you create a plan to attack your debt, and be free from the dangers of debt dependence. Now, if you’re interested in this class, you need to call the church at 866-5180 and see if there is still space available. Also, there is a class fee of $10.00 per family. Time: 6-8 PM.
Money, More Debt and More Debt. Speaking of debt, the United States Congress is an expert in creating outrageous amounts of debt. They’ve been at it for years and now our country is in serious financial trouble. These folks could use some classes in money management and living within your income. They need to face reality quickly, attack our huge debt, and put our country on a path to financial freedom. The sooner the better.
The Big Three. Three big entitlement programs take up 40 percent of the federal budget. We know their names: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs have no spending limits. Can you believe that?
They just keep growing and growing. As more people become eligible, they continue to grow with no spending boundaries. That’s like giving a kid and all his friends free rein on candy and chips in a grocery store.
These programs appear to be easy to rip off. Frequently, there’s a news article about someone scamming one of them. This week it’s scooter fraud. “The federal government is cracking down on medical equipment providers who either charge Medicare for motorized wheelchairs or obtain them for people who don’t need them.” This year 16 people have been convicted of defrauding Medicare for $57 million.
Six more people may have bilked the government for $30 million. Now get this. The Medicare Inspector general, who ever that is, reported that 61 percent of the motorized wheel chairs in the first six months of 2007, went to people who didn’t qualify for them! Wonder how many more got them in the last six months of 2007? So we have 3 gigantic entitlement programs that have no spending limits. And appear to be easily ripped off. Something is not right with this picture.
More Mandatory Programs. Besides the “Big 3” there are other programs, the government is committed to paying for. Recently, the White House Office of Management and Budget projected that in the current fiscal year, mandatory spending will be larger than all federal income! This is where the rubber hits the road. Instead of balancing the budget, Congress has been borrowing money for years to pay for these and other programs they continue to create.
The Republicans want to cut spending and not raise the debt ceiling. The Democrats and the President want to cut spending only a little, but want to raise the debt ceiling and raise our taxes!
Seems like its time to have some fact-based conversations about federal programs, spending and debts. The federal government has got to cut spending. And this includes spending cuts to the three big entitlement programs that are eating up 40 percent of the federal budget.
Citizens Against Government Waste has provided a special report: 2010 Prime Cuts- Saving American $2.1 trillion over Five Years. There are almost nine pages, in very small print, listing the programs they suggest be eliminated, consolidated, closed or combined. You should read it. The government is funding all kinds of “stuff” . For example, subsidies for vacant public housing and for wild blueberries! I kid you not. More examples of government’s wasteful spending.
One more thing, there’s going to be a special program “Changing our Nation-through Prayer, then Education” at New Victory Baptist Church this Saturday night. And you’re invited. It begins at 7:00 PM. Russell County’s own Megan Chapman, a graduate of Liberty University’s Law School will be the speaker and share valuable information about the health care bill (Obamacare) and also answer questions.
Then there will be a time of praise, prayer and worship led by Rick Mann, Kevin Shearer and Pastor Rick Neff. Hope you can come. In closing,
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ľAristotle.
Till next week.