by David Safier
I think Al Melvin's next bill will be to ban families from spending more than they make. Because he said state budgets have to be like family budgets.
“These are difficult times,” said Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson. “The state budget is not different than a family budget; you can’t spend more than what you make.”
In Al's world, everyone should save until they have enough money to buy a house, cash. Likewise a car. And if you can't pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month, I guess it's off to Debtor's prison.
You're a hard man, Al. But I knew that from one of your first pronouncements when you were elected to the state senate:
“When everyone is on their knees, so to speak, from the adverse economic situation, you can get more accomplished in a fundamental way than you can if you’re flush with revenue and cash.”
[Semi-Sarcasm Alert/UPDATE: Just to be clear, Melvin hasn't really suggested people stop borrowing on credit cards or to pay for houses and cars. It's just that, when Republicans from Reagan on claim they want governments to act more like families, they purposely ignore the fact that most families live in debt, and many these days are living by increasing their level of debt — not unlike governments.
But you know, the Republican governments-are-like-families metaphor actually works on another level. One reason governments are in a debt crisis is they have been starved of revenues, most of which should come from the rich, who are getting richer, and corporations, which are becoming ever more profitable. And one reason families are in debt crisis is that money which should have gone to workers in the form of increased salaries to compensate them for the country's increased production is instead being "redistributed" to the rich, who are gobbling up an ever larger portion of the country's revenues. So, both the government and 98% of the country are being robbed of much needed revenue by the rich, who are making out like bandits.]