Fiscal Drought

Suzann Darnall

I live in the Texas Hill Country. We are currently in the grip of a years-long drought, with no appreciable end in sight. This does not necessarily mean we are getting no rain at all, but it does mean we are not getting anywhere near enough as is actually needed.

One of the problems is not just that not enough rain is falling from the sky, but that too much is being drawn from the ground sources. The aquifer and other sources cannot be refilled because too many people are using it up faster than it is coming down from the heavens.

The "experts" keep telling us how to conserve water, making it sound as though we can put water back in simply because we are not taking it out. But, I believe they are misguided in this idea. If you use too much of anything, without putting at least that much of it back, you still got less than you did before. Kinda like we have in our government fiscal disasters known as budget, deficit, and debt.

One of the things that makes me angriest when we are suffering from drought here in Texas is when citizens, businesses, and government are all stupid about what water conservation is really all about. So many of them are seemingly clueless about what it really means to abide by restricted use of a limited resource.

It is about learning to live within the confines of a drought-ridden environment. It is about maybe not having a lush green lawn, but only watering enough to keep the grass from completely dying off. It is about not washing your car every week, or at least parking it on the lawn so the water doesn't go to waste. It is about not having automatic sprinkler systems that run during the rain or pretty much water only sidewalks, gutters, and streets. It is about penalizing people who are blatantly wasting water. It is about not planting water-glutton gardens, flowers, shrubs, and trees. It is about watering in the early morning or late evening, so water can soak down to the roots. It is about using native plants that can tolerate heat and drought. It is about not using the water folks might need for drinking, cooking, and bathing to make your prize-winning rose-garden look terrific when we have an aquifer that is down and no rain in the forecast. It is, to put it simply, about common sense and common courtesy.

I feel the same kind of rage when I look at the fiscal drought created by our government. Maybe they need to practice a little common sense and common courtesy, too. I can think of a few steps where they could begin.

The president, vice-president, and their families could do stay-cations, instead of vacations . . . like a lot of other Americans are having to do. Government officials could give up a lot of their perks . . . such as luxury offices, junket travel, enormous staffs, in-house barbers, etc. We could quit subsidizing the free so-called Obama Phones. We could implement real policies to end fraud, waste, and abuse in government bureaucracies and programs. We could stop sending money we don't have to countries that hate us. We could save our charitable funds for United States citizens ONLY, as well as implement better safeguards to make sure we are not being scammed by people who could and should be supporting themselves and their families.

These are just a few of the problems we need to address as we try to end the fiscal drought brought on by our government. Like with the actual drought in Texas, a lot of it can be solved by simple common sense and common courtesy, neither of which seems to be all that common anymore.

The main thing with both droughts is that we need to remember that we cannot keep having more taken out than is being put in. But, we also need to remember that just like rain clouds don't have a limitless amount of precipitation to drop on Texas, taxpayers (even the rich ones) don't have unlimited funds to pour into government coffers. Wise use of both water and money needs to be practiced. For everyone's sake. Otherwise the Texas drought and the fiscal drought are gonna wipe us out!

© Suzann C. Darnall, MAY 2013

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