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Priority fandango 2

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

There was a young boy named Adam. When he was 8, Adam, asked his parents how much money they earned in a year. His parents gave him the figure. Adam said, "Wow, you could buy a fancy sports car for that. We should do that." The parents said to Adam that yes we could do that. "We could take all of our net earnings and buy that fancy car. But there would be just one problem. We would not be able to afford anything to eat that year. We would have to live in the car because we could not afford to lease a place or to pay a mortgage. We could not afford gas for the car or the insurance so we could not drive it. The car would just have to stay put. There would be no new clothes, no new toys, no movies, no trips because all are money would have been spend on the car. Now was it still a good idea to get that car?" Adam's 8 year old mind thought for a bit and then he said, "Well I think we should get the car. It is just so cool. I don't need new toys."

Like many children, Adam just could not think this through. He knew the price of the car. He knew how much money his parents had. But he had forgotten about necessary spending that needs to be done, food, clothes, shelter, utilities, etc. He didn't realise that there is a great deal of difference between net salary and the amount of money available for discretionary spending.

Yesterday was federal budget day in Canberra. It is a day that the government lays down its policy of how the government is going to spend the discretionary dollars. I am not going to give my opinion on whether this was a good budget or a bad budget. All governmental budgets offer things that can't be delivered. All government budgets, especially pre election budgets, seem to hand out some goodies to some people in society and take away from other people in society. All pre election budgets seem to say that everything will be wonderful if you just vote for us.

Governmental budgets may promise paradise, but they never quite deliver. There are always some groups that end up underfunded, some groups who face a higher tax burden then others, some groups which get ignored. No matter who wins the federal election in the next year, there will undoubtedly be a new budget next year, correcting all the wrongs of this year. That's just the way things are.

I think each government budget shows the priorities of that government. Who do they favour more? Who will get more funding? Who will get less? After all the necessary expenses are paid for, there is only so much money left. How the government chooses to use that money tells us a lot about that government. And the government has to balance the needs of many to make a budget. Like Adam's family, they could choose to buy a useless luxury car that can't be used, or spend it on things which benefit the whole family like food, transportation, health, etc. Only time will tell if the right decisions have been made. Blessings.

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