I would like to wear expensive designer clothes. I would like to have a brand new Cadillac Escalade. I would like to take a cruise to the see the world. But I need to buy food for my family and I need to make my monthly mortgage payments and I need to purchase medicine for my illness. If I am able to pay for the things I need and still have enough money to pay for the things I want, then there is no problem, but when I have trouble providing for the things I need, then I certainly can’t afford the things I want.
Unfortunately, too many people today spend their money on the things they want and then find themselves out of money when it comes time to pay for the things they need. Even more unfortunate is that such individuals elect people to represent them in Congress who have the same attitude.
Representatives to Congress have the responsibility to speak for their constituents, so when their constituents ask for programs they want but don’t need, the representative frequently gives them what they ask for. But these programs cost money and, as people clamor for more and more of these desirable services from their government, it becomes harder and harder for the government to pay for them. Even so, those receiving these services still want them and are unwilling to do without them, despite the fact that we can no longer afford them.
We must learn how to distinguish between our genuine needs from the things we would like to have, but aren’t necessary, before our elected officials are able to do the same. What the Constitution requires our Federal Government to provide for is a standing army and navy to defend our country, to maintain a Post Office, to coin money, and to provide for a system of justice. These are the things we need and must have. Everything else is a want.
Yet the government keeps spending money on things they are not authorized to fund and then, when money is tight, the public bitterly complains when our elected officials merely suggest cutting back funds for our cherished wants. When that happens Congress continues to give us what we clamor for, which only makes it harder for us to pay for the things we really need.