Is living within our means meaningless?

Is living with our means meaningless? Listen to what California’s Budget Conference Chairwoman Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) stated on the floor during a heated tax debate last week: “Well, there is this mantra out there ‘live within our means’, and while that sounds really nice, it sounds really simple, and it sounds really responsible, its meaningless.”

During a time when the entire country is feeling the stretch of recession, and California alone has has an unemployment rate of 11.5%, this is an incredibly out-of-touch and dishonest sentiment. In the last few months, we’ve all had a wake-up call about living within our means. Whether we’ve become unemployed ourselves or just seen it happening all around us, we’ve realized how much we have to be grateful for, and the many easy times when we took our “means” for granted.

Because of this much-needed realization, California voters soundly trounced more taxes in a special election on May 19. The message was clear: let’s live within our means. We can do with less, but we can’t keep spending what we don’t have.

What Californians are demanding, and what all politicians need to understand, is that the “mantra of living within our means” is not without meaning. It actually has great meaning, given by the wisest financial planner of all. Luke 14:28 says: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Jesus is asking us to be wise stewards. Our insistence on doing things right now –our way instead of His–will not bring satisfaction, only defeat and ridicule.

Of course, Jesus never said that sticking up for His standards would be easy. In a time when smooth-talk and foolish policies are over-taking sound thinking, we need to stick to our convictions and “be ready to give an answer to any who ask.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Living within our means is meaningless without a Godly mindset. It’s good to remember, amidst all the cares of the world, that His priorities are a bit different: “Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?” (Proverbs 17:16)



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  1. Ironhorse said:

    Dani; Your Father forwarded on your blog information (to me), and I have found it to be VERY interesting and very well written. I agree with you regarding your comments “should it matter?”…Yes it should matter! (Never be lukewarm in affairs.) American’s need (to) not be blinded by propaganda of our biased media (of course this may just be my opinion), and should keep to the heart of what our country was founded upon, religion, freedom, ethics, and accountability, and draw their own opinions. Thank you for bringing to light this situation, and no matter the situation, or person, the policy should be followed. If we did not follow policy (rules) there would utter chaos… Besides, the new president would be accountable to produce a valid birth certificate to prove his American citizenship and put it to rest once and for all! (Accountability, ethics, and policy!) I look forward to future comments from your blog! Regards, Kim Meyer Beatty, Oregon

    July 1, 2009
  2. altfreq11 said:

    I agree. From the NYTimes: “The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years. You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama. The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years. About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.”

    July 6, 2009
  3. altfreq11 said:

    Dani said: “Because of this much-needed realization, California voters soundly trounced more taxes in a special election on May 19.” Not according to the link you posted, Dani: “Similarly, I think it is quite understandable if voters were also confused with Propositions 1B and 1D. In short, the crafty politicians who drafted (and titled) these ballot referendums did their best to bamboozle the public — and I, for one, just said no. Except for Proposition 1F, all the ballot measures were hard to parse and involved the kind of micromanagement of public policy choices that ought not to be any part of the referendum process. Moreover, none of the six propositions addressed the real problems caused by ballot-driven politics, such as the two-thirds vote rule that gives Republicans in Sacramento veto power over the budget, or the legacy of Proposition 13 that similarly handcuffs local governments. Thanks to this initiative process, voters have passed numerous measures that reserve a fixed share of the state budget for specific purposes and thus eliminate much of the discretion the Legislature has in spending taxpayer dollars and balancing competing priorities. Instead, the politicians have apparently decided that Californians are too stupid to be part of an honest debate about how much money it takes to provide the services that voters take as their right — and what we should do when the money isn’t there to pay for the things we want.”,0,4126646.story So Dani misrepresented the link she posted and the California voters.

    July 7, 2009

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