Accountability - Who changed the definition?
Life is a complicated arrangement. Oh yes. It is an arrangement. It's an arrangement between your past, present, and future. We now have a new Congress. A Republican-controlled House and a Democratic-controlled Senate. It should go without saying that either party would have loved to control both. Depending on your perception, that could be a good or bad thing. The real question is, are either ACCOUNTABLE?
I find it interesting when I speak about accountability at a business seminar or other event; many people feel they are not accountable to anyone. Is the sign of someone who believes they are TOTALLY independent? Here's a little secret.
NO ONE IS TOTALLY INDEPENDENT, AND EVERYONE HAS
SOME DEGREE OF ACCOUNTABILITY!
That brings us to the topic of tonight's blog post. Accountability - Who changed the definition?
Accountability is the fact or condition of being accountable. This goes along with responsibility. They are synergetic, which means they work together or cooperatively. One usually comes with the other. Everyone's degree of accountability and responsibility depends on various factors. However, everyone has some form of accountability, especially being accountable to themselves.
What they do for a living, their family, children, etc. However, with that said, for this post, let us refer to accountability to one another regarding leadership. Does it make sense to say that any leader, whether in the local or federal government, is accountable to the people they were elected to serve? Frankly, I believe that is a given. Therefore, I feel confident stating that everyone who votes feels their leaders are accountable to them for the decisions they make that will affect the citizens of any state and this country. If you agree, then you must also feel they are responsible for their choices and are answerable to the voters.
Therefore, I must ask this question. Why do many state and federal officials not answer or avoid the questions when asked? What do they have to hide? Think about that for a moment. In your personal life, if you ask anyone a question and they dance around it or fail to answer it, you begin to wonder what they are trying to hide. Do they know the answer? Are they afraid to answer the question? Or, is it that they don't want to commit to an answer or get caught doing something wrong? Yet, so many politicians do that, and the news media gives them a pass. What's worse, is many people let it go by. Is our government a government of the people, for the people, or not? (1) Therefore, I ask you. Where are the ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, and ANSWERABILITY? Did someone change the definition, and we, the people, didn't get the memo?
As a nation, we are embarking on drastically changing times, and many promises have been made for 2023. These are good steps forward, providing all the promises leaders make are upheld. In this statement, I am referring to the Republican-controlled House, which has made many promises. Promises to fix things and get to the truth on many issues. Let's be honest here. With all the scandals surrounding the FBI, Hunter Biden's Laptop, the border crisis, and government involvement with social media censoring, they can't all be lies.
After all, Congress holds the key to the nation's purse. They promise to investigate all these things and more. They also claim they will reverse the 87,000 new IRS hires, and much more. They promise to use their majority to make life hell for the Democrats. (2) If all of this is true, I think the fireworks are just beginning. However, whether these accusations are true or false, they must be investigated to get to the truth.
If you believe, like most, that the past two years haven't worked well for our country, this could be the start of many changes. Of course, changes will not come easy, and not every attempt will be successful. But, I do believe that most Americans agree that things must change.
So many lost a tremendous amount of money in their 401k's over the past two years. At the end of 2022, the stock market closed at its worst financial year since 2008. Anyone who invested money in the stock market in 2008 will never forget how much they lost. (3) How long can this trend go on? At present, our national debt is 31.34 TRILLION dollars. (4) Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to click on the NATIONAL DEBT link below for those who do not understand exactly what that means. Decimal points can be deceiving. So 31.34 trillion dollars looks like this. 31,340,000,000,000. Damn, that's a lot of zeros. The impact is different when you show it that way, doesn't it? Along with inflation, this number has increased considerably since the end of 2020. What will it look like at the end of 2024?
Also, at our current spending rate, that number will go much higher unless some fiscal responsibility is taken. I will not bore you with all the details of what that means because you feel it every day. Every time you put fuel in your vehicle or go to the grocery store. It is also reflected in our higher interest rates. The FEDS attempts to avoid a brutal recession and slow down inflation. But, if it is not under control, the price tag for all this spending will have to be paid back by us, our children, our grandchildren, and maybe theirs.
This is not the fault of one President or one administration. It is the combined fault of many Presidents. Some national debt is to be expected because we cannot always forecast what problems will arise. Examples of this are the Ukraine War and the Pandemic. However, money is and should be in reserve for some unexpected issues. Therefore, how much of this debt is wasteful spending? That question will NEVER be answered because wasteful spending is a matter of opinion. Obviously, the people spending it do not believe it is wasteful. However, this type of debt greatly reduces the value of the American dollar. Hence, increased inflation. Basically, you have to spend more on the same product. We are printing money that we do not have the gold to back up. This is a form of borrowing. However, this form of borrowing affects the economy of the nation.
Allow me to put this in more basic terms. Suppose you have 20,000 dollars in credit card debt at a high-interest rate. You go to the bank, take out an equity low at a much lower rate and pay off your debt. A good plan. Providing you DO NOT make more debt. However, most do. Now you max out your credit cards again and take out another loan. The cycle continues until you reach a point where no matter how much you work, you can't make the payments. Hello, bankruptcy. You've lost everything. Why? Because you lack one thing that the federal government has. A printing press with the ability to keep printing out money. At least in your scenario, you are only affecting yourself. Government mismanagement and overspending fall on the shoulders of the entire nation. The taxpayers. Yes. That's you and me.
Like most, I am all for humanitarian efforts. However, our country and states cannot afford the massive influx of people that open borders cause. In many cases, we cannot properly take care of our citizens. Our veterans and others. The other problems that come with open borders include drug trafficking, illegal weapons, not knowing who is coming into our country, sex trafficking, and increased crime. The additional cost of housing, medical coverage, and more. There is an old and true saying. It goes like this:
You can't help others until you first help yourself.
I ask all of you reading this. DO YOU THINK OUR GOVERNMENT IS HELPING US? That is undoubtedly a matter of opinion. I believe, in some respects, they are. In others, they are falling way short of the mark. Unfortunately, I think they are doing more harm than good at this stage.
Look at all the words in this photo. You tell me how many of them apply to our times? When we talk about how we as a country feel about things, I polled one of my social media platforms and asked a simple question.
"Do you believe our government is accountable to its citizens?
Out of those who responded, 82% answered NO. I get it. Is that an exact percentage that represents the entire country? Of course not. However, that applies to every poll. However, it provides a general sense of how we, as citizens of this great nation, feel. Frankly, I find that saddening.
Someone has to take responsibility for how the American people feel about their government. However, like in various vocations, the responsibility, culpability, answerability, and ACCOUNTABILITY lie with the person sitting at the top. Here is an example. The New York Times (5) wrote an article about President Biden taking heat for spending 40% of his days in office 'on vacation.' I wasn't born yesterday, and neither were you. Everyone needs time from work, no matter who you are or what you do. However, I ask you, do you get 40% vacation time where you work?
As I stated earlier in this post. The level of accountability is different for every vocation. Since the President, any President, of the United States is probably one of the most crucial jobs on our planet, isn't it safe to say their level of ACCOUNTABILITY is exponentially higher? With all the American citizens stranded for days at airports over the Christmas holidays, we never heard from our President or our Secretary of Transportation until after. Yet, The President got a jet to fly the 1.7 TRILLION DOLLAR spending package passed to him while he was on vacation in St. Croix in the U.S Virgin Islands. Playing golf and enjoying life while others were stranded at airports. At least a message from the President or Pete Buttigieg during the travel crisis of the Christmas weekend would have been appreciated. Not after the fact, and some form of intervention should have taken place. After all, we gave Southwest Airlines a 7 Billion dollar taxpayer bailout. What did they do with the money? Obviously, they did not upgrade their outdated systems. The government NEVER held them ACCOUNTABLE for what they did with OUR money, as they went on to show quarterly profits.
No airline could be held responsible for storms across our nation, yet, all the other airlines combined, did not total the number of canceled flights by Southwest Airlines. Some duties and responsibilities come with many jobs. Firefighters, law enforcement, doctors, nurses, and more, are just a few that require a higher-than-normal level of commitment. For example, as a career firefighter, I missed many holidays because of my commitment to the job. Many of them when I was off, but a major fire came in, and we were called to duty. Is it unreasonable to think that our leaders should be held accountable to do the same when a situation that affects so many arises? How about the sacrifices our military men and women make? This is what government leaders signed up for. Guess what, politicians. You do not keep bankers' hours and don't always get to enjoy all your free time. When people cannot look to their leaders for support, it leaves them with mistrust and a feeling they cannot rely on their leaders. Sadly, this is the general mood and feelings of the citizens of our great nation.
There is so much to say about this topic I can write about it for hours. However, I think you got the point. We cannot expect, nor do I believe, our leaders should ask our permission for everything they do and every decision they make. Whoever you voted for, you voted for that individual because you felt you could trust them. Unfortunately, due to a biased news media network, you can't believe what you read or what is told. The FBI scandals are another example. How about what is coming out about our government working with social media platforms to censor people and control the narrative? These are not rumors, folks; these are facts. The party that claims to be about democracy messed with your freedom of speech. Isn't freedom of speech one of the roots of democracy?
Yes. We have problems. No one or no one thing is perfect. Everything has its flaws. The trick is to realize what they are and fix them. Without being pushed or forced to do that, I am NOT convinced our present administration can or will do that. Hopefully, I am wrong. Time will tell, and the change in the control of the House will also speak toward their degree of accountability to the American people. It will also tell us if the Republican leaders will keep their promises. That remains to be seen. Therefore, we are in for an interesting 24 months that will be crucial to where our country is headed. How its citizens will be able to live and survive. How this nation stands on the global stage. These next 24 months will determine what happens in the elections in 2024. It's a given that there is a great deal at stake now for both political parties. We can only hope they begin to work together for the good of the American people rather than their own agendas.
(1) GETTYSBURG ADDRESS
(2) VANITY FAIR
(4) NATIONAL DEBT
(5) NEW YORK POST
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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