My family has to cut back, maybe you should do the same thing!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024


Tighten your beltMark MacKenzie wrote a great article the other day that was about how local governments are finding their budgets are being cut because the house values are dropping.

My comment slowly became its own post.

You see the problem with government in the past 50 years or so is that they can’t seem to budget as a family would budget. When my family doesn’t make enough money because I didn’t sell as many houses one month or the houses I sold were at the lower end of the market, my family cuts back, we decide what we need and what we want has to wait.

But, the government doesn’t work that way. Once they have been given the money once, it is like adrug to them, they have to have more and more and more of it. They never cut back or lose a program that they have put in to place.

Now, I have to say that last paragraph isn’t completely true, they do cut back, but only on the things that affect the most people and the things that should actually be cut last.They cut Police, Fire and Schools first because they know this will get the most attention.

The government needs to realize and tell people that if we are making money, then yes we will help fund our pet projects, the ones that people like and make people feel good. But if the money goes away because of something like the situation we are presently in, then the feel good programs need to go away first, they need stay with in their budget!

Asa business owner, I can’t just say, hey I’m going to be making less this month because I only sold 2 homes, I need you each to pay me an extra 1% at closing to make up for the 3rd home I didn’t sell. That way I can stay within my budget. No, I have to cut back, but the government says, hey we have gotten used to this amount of money and now we require you to pay more, so we can continue to live like we had when times were good.

Think about it, the Oregon government right now is saying it can’t live on 15 billion dollars and wants to raise taxes by an additional 1 billion dollars so they can have the 16 billion they had last year. This is all with the 2nd highest unemployment inthe United States at 15%. But, why do they need this additional money? To help pay for schools, police and fire, the first things they cut from the budget.

But, what about in 2007? What was the budget then? Oh, only 13 billion? So, why can’t they just adopt 2007’s budget and refund the 1 billion to the tax payers as a stimulus package? Can you imagine 1 billion dollars going in to local business and what that would do for the economy?

The government needs to learn to live within their budget, whatever that budget is and remember that their first priority to the public is police, fire and schools. Everything else after that is a want and if you can’t afford it, then you are just going to have to wait until you can and not try to strong arm the public for the money. I can’t do it to my customers and you shouldn’t be able to do it to yours, remember you work for us, not the other way around!


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Vanna Siackhasone
Real Estate Brokers of Alaska 907-720-4663 - Anchorage, AK
Anchorage Real Estate 907-720-4663

Well Said. The Government's pockets seem to grow and grow while the little people are having to trim back on some necessities. 

Jul 10, 2009 05:08 PM #2
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Todd... You are ABSOLUTELY right about this.  Fiscal irresponsibility seems to be running amok in many local governments lately.

Jul 10, 2009 05:31 PM #3
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


Government and the exponential growth of inefficiency never ceases to amaze me. It's like Reagan said one time "The problem isn't government, the problem is people in Government"

Jul 10, 2009 05:36 PM #4
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Auburn, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

Hear Hear! It's about time a bit more common sense made it into government spending, wouldn't you say? I mean, after all, "I" get tagged with additional fees when I go over my credit card limit and then rue the day I ever opened the daggone card in the first place. Government spending seems to have an endless supply of no limit credit cards. And yet they want more!

Jul 10, 2009 06:06 PM #5
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Todd,  You are absolutely right.   However, it isn't just local government, it is every level of government and it gets worse every day.

Big government and over-regulation need to go!  For example, this article was in the Canadian Free Press:

Recession, Depression, What Michelle Worry? First Lady requires more than twenty attendants  She has hired "an unprecedented number of staffers to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary."

The only chnge in government from year to year is to see how much more money can be wasted.

Jul 10, 2009 06:09 PM #6
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

Todd, the whole government budgeting thing just makes no sense.  If only it were this easy and logical. 

Jul 10, 2009 06:15 PM #7
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Todd:  I agree with everything you say.  But, obviously, cutting back... as needed... also adds to the downturn in the economy because it puts more people out of work, lessens what they spend, which in turn makes the economy worse, which in turn, puts more people out of work.  What the answer is, I do not know.  But I DO know... that raising taxes is not the best answer.

Jul 10, 2009 06:34 PM #8
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

One great example here in Texas, and in the Dallas area specifically... is what is happening with some of the "Toll Roads" in the Dallas area.  They are not getting the "ridership" they have in the past... obviously because people are cutting back, and either doing less driving, or taking other routes and not paying tolls.

So... what do they want to do ?  Raise the toll rates THIRTY PERCENT.  What dummies !  Will this raise their revenue ?  Noper.  All it will do is cause more of the already-strapped toll road uses to use the toll roads even less.  Which of course, causes their silly response of raising the rates... to boomerang right back in their faces... lowering their toll revenue even more.  Dummies !

Jul 10, 2009 06:37 PM #9
Cathy McAlister
Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento - Sacramento, CA
Sacramento DRE#00648507

It just seems that too much big  business (AIG, Merrill Lynch, Auto industry) or too much big government (bailouts - new programs) is bad for the individuals.  It's a vicious cycle and we need balance.  I am beginning to wonder if there is anything one person can do.  For now.... my fully paid for 1999 automobile will do just fine for a couple more years.  I'm NOT spending a dime.

Jul 10, 2009 06:57 PM #10
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Government in Oregon, as elsewhere, spends almost all it has.  The feds spend even more.

We need the feds to balance their budget. No need to tackle health care now.  Wait till it's in the black on the things it already does.

States need to save significant monies from their income and sales taxes...and really salt it away for a really rainy day.

Until both do those things, they deserve neither more taxes or more sympathy. 

Jul 10, 2009 08:53 PM #11
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

You should be running for a public office.

Jul 10, 2009 09:55 PM #12
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Our local county government did the same thing ... they raised the millage rate instead of cutting back. I wonder what they were thinking!

Jul 10, 2009 10:40 PM #13
Amy Salisbury
Leading Edge Properties - Charles Town, WV
West Virginia Realtor/Jefferson/Berkeley


For the first time in a l-o-o-ng time, my husband and I went out for dinner and drinks last night.  We went to a locally owned pub and spent $20 plus tip.  Good food, time with friends and we didn't break the bank. 

If we, as individuals, can manage to cut back, conserve and save, I think the government can just won't.  Its disappointing and distressing...

Jul 10, 2009 11:01 PM #14
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

It is kind of like adult kids. If they know mom and dad will keep bailing them out financially, then why take on responsibility.

Jul 10, 2009 11:03 PM #15
George & Arlene Paukert
Road to Wealth, Inc. - West Palm Beach, FL


The government will never stop doing this because they don't have to. Even if we vote them out, the money sucking programs will already have been put in place with no way to get rid of them. With each new politician comes new pet projects.

Jul 10, 2009 11:21 PM #16
South Austin Real Estate Blog
Sky Realty South Austin - Austin, TX

Todd, you are 100% correct.  IF we don't make the same we did last year we cut expenses, not essentials.  Unfortunately many in Congress and some state legislature have never ran a business and do not have a clue that is what needs to happen.  Hence they cut essentials as you said.  We teach our children, its NEED vs WANT...  Needs are essentials like food, water, wants are televisions, playstations and the latest running shoes. 

IF ONLY we could have summer school to teach NEEDS vs WANTS to those who spend the public money.

Jul 10, 2009 11:28 PM #17
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Agree 110% - government wants us to be fiscal yet they just print more money. Just like the many politicians recently that had to "pay back taxes" before they could get into an office. Ridiculous.

Jul 10, 2009 11:45 PM #18
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Well stated, Todd.  But as my beloved father-in-law used to say "and folks in Hell want ice-water, but that ain't gonna happen, either".

Jul 11, 2009 01:37 AM #19
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

You are totally right. In our household, we have "circled the wagons" and "tightened our belts" so we can "weather the storm" until there's "light at the end of the tunnel".  Enough cliches for ya?  You get the idea though, I'm sure.  Every penny spent is being scrutinized.

Jul 11, 2009 02:52 AM #20
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

I'm glad to see most agree the government needs to cut back like the rest of us. Increasing taxes doesn't help anyone or the economy. They need to work with the money they have even if it is less than they expected, they need to cut back just like the rest of us.

Todd Clark -

Jul 12, 2009 01:56 PM #21
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