Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


The Backup Plan

Having my own airstrip means I miss out on one of the most valuable aspects of being a pilot—hangar flying at the local airport. Hangar flying can be done safely in blizzards, tornados, hurricanes or droughts because all maneuvers are performed indoors, sitting around a coffee pot. It is an invaluable resource for fledgling pilots. When you first earn your wings, each pilot is figuratively given two sacks. The first sack is full and is labeled “Luck”. The second sack is empty and is labeled “Experience”. As you build flight time you invariably make mistakes and with each oops-I-won’t-do-that-again you remove one item from the “Luck” sack and place it in the “Experience” sack. The key becomes to not empty your “Luck” sack before filling your “Experience” sack and one of the fastest ways to fill your “Experience” sack is by hangar flying with old, high-time pilots. The message being: Learn from the mistakes of others because you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

It was during hangar flying in 1987 at the Cody Airport Café with the president of Little Bumpy Airlines that I learned a valuable lesson. Larry told how every aircraft and pilot has absolute limitations so if you are faced with an exceptionally challenging take-off or landing you want to critically plan everything down to the smallest detail. Just when you think you have calculated everything, ask yourself this final question: “What am I going to do if this doesn’t work?” Then do the backup plan first. It is an incredibly simple and reliable technique which it applies to politics as well as pilots. Here’s how.

These are precarious times for America. Previous politicians purchased preferences by promising poor people perpetual perks. (Sorry, I wanted to see if I could use 9 p-words in a 10 word sentence. I did it!) Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, Guaranteed Student Loans, CHIP, CRP, Big Sky RX, Montana Healthy Kids Initiative, TARP, company bailouts, extended unemployment benefits and now Obamacare are only a handful of the dozens of programs where generous politicians bribe us with both our own money plus the money confiscated from our grandkids. Shrinking an oppressive government would mean cutting the very programs upon which we have allowed ourselves to become dependant. Every American is more than willing to cut someone else’s program, as long as you leave theirs alone. Here is how it looks for the Treasure State at the conclusion of the 2011 legislative session.

In the 2011 biennial budget, Montana spent 10.174 billion dollars of state and federal money. (This includes 1.18 billion stimulus dollars.) For the 2013 biennium, Montana proposed spending 10.148 billion state and federal dollars for a cut of whopping $26 million, or less than one percent. The state general fund may have been cut $246 million, or 6.3 percent, but it was more than offset by increased federal special spending, so the end result to the taxpayer is there are no cuts at all. It is simply more of the same. (As an FYI, the 2013 budget ignores the $3.5 billion deficit in the Montana pension funds.)

If our congressional colleagues in Washington DC were to cut our federal budget the same whopping one percent, we could completely payoff our $14.3 trillion dollar national debt by the year…never mind. It can’t be done at one percent. We are stuck on a path to financial collapse, so let’s use Super Cub pilot Larry’s advice and study all the data and projections before asking ourselves: “What are we going to do if continuing to spend like a drunken legislator doesn’t work?” Then, let’s do the backup plan first.

Albert Einstein warned, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” A fundamental change of government is unavoidable as we simply cannot continue to spend and shift the burden of payment to future generations. Very unpopular decisions must be made by elected officials who recognize they are serving a cause other than themselves. Such statesmen were a minority in Montana’s 62nd legislative session so government remains unchanged and I feel like I wasted four months of my life.

Home     |     Products     | Copyright (c) 2009 Krayton Kerns  All rights reserved.