Prepare your budget for rising gas prices.   Some experts predict the price will rise to $5 or $6 a gallon by the end of summer.   This price is not only painful for the typical family but has a domino impact on everything else as well.  The price of shipping food to the grocery store goes up -so groceries go up too.     Plan now for MARGIN!!!    Build your budget around an assumption that your cost of living will go up at least 10%.     In fact, margin is a great idea for every budget.    Have a least a $1,000 emergency fund. If you don’t have one at the moment, start building one today.  If your paychecks come every other week, build the 2011-2012 budget assuming you get paid twice a month. Use the additional two paychecks (the ones you didn’t “expect” in your budget planning) as margin for the unexpected.  Margin is critical for a family budget as well as our nation.   Overspending and lacking margin leads to a giant monkey on the back of every marriage, family, and nation.

As Democrats and Republicans argue about extended government programs (ie. Feed the gorilla some more), and cutting taxes (i.e. Switch from tax revenue to Debt revenue), they ignore the real “orangutan in the room.”  The real problem is that we spend too much.

Economics 101:  Governments have no money. They only consume from the private sector. They merely re-funnel money from one area to another. Governments consume by either inflating the currency, borrowing from other nations, or taxing the producers.

Governments take what is “yours” and make it “theirs.”  In 1 Samuel 8, the prophet Samuel makes this point to the people as they are pushing for a larger federal government via a king. Samuel says over and over… he (the consuming large government you are about to create) will take your grain, your vineyards, a percentage of all your produce. And it will no longer be yours, but His.
10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you:
Samuel says, “Economics and Government Lesson 101. Listen up!”  What is the “behavior of a king?”  Well, he spells it out.

He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.

There you have it. What was “yours” will soon be “his.”  He will “take” what is yours over and over again.  Then Samuel spells it out in details showing what percentage of your produce will be redirected out of the private section into the consuming, wasteful larger government.

15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.

So, the bottom line in any economy is clear: The larger the government, the larger the “monkey on your back.”  The more government spends, the more it takes from the private sector, the sector that produces actual job creation. The bigger Uncle Sam’s monkey, the fatter the monkey, and the more the real economy slumps over in pain trying to carry the burden of this oversized gorilla.
We need to put that gorilla on a diet…a huge diet. Right now the monkey on Uncle Sam’s back has gas.  Yes, our monkey has a serious gas problem.  Prices have jumped to almost $4.00.   Most economists say that gas will be $5.00 a gallon by summer. Gas prices are rising because our economy is crying out.  Confidence in our dollar is seeping out in gas prices.  Ironically, gas prices are at historic lows when you compare them to the price of silver. The same silver dime that was minted by the US government can buy significant more gas today than it would when back then.   Why?  The silver is worth more in dollars and oil because the Federal Reserve has “drilled-out” our currency.   The US dollar is losing value and a massive selloff is underway.   A skyrocketing debt approaching 14 TRILLION is also causes our dollars to go down and oil to go up.   Jobless claims hit 429,000.   Our leaders need to take a whiff at the smell of gas and other commodities.  More than ever,  we need the monkey off our back.
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