Here?s how I would work the budget

In Jerry Engler?s first national budget determination, Congress has to pay back all of our Social Security funds it took for other purposes over the years.

Then, they put it in a secure, untouchable account where they can?t mess with it for any other reason. They don?t talk about cuts to Social Security and Medicare anymore lest someone mistake them for pontificating liars.

Then, in further consideration of the mess they have been instrumental in creating, Congress cuts the pay scale for its members, and takes away their pension system to put them on the same Social Security program with the rest of us.

They follow this with similar cuts in pay and benefits for the president and the Supreme Court.

Air Force One is sold to reduce the national budget, and replaced by hybrid Ford Escort One. The presidential retreat is moved to a cabin along the Potomac, and a constitutional amendment is passed to restrict his travel in office to no further than Abraham Lincoln went, as it?s already acknowledged that Abe was the best of our presidents.

If you want to take exception to this and say George Washington was best, we can throw George?s travel radius in for good measure.

No matter what, we can?t let any president see firsthand what California?s budget has done for the state.

You?re going to know what Congress did Monday on the budget extension before I ever get the chance to write more about it, because I?m writing this before whatever they do.

My stockbroker friend says he gives them an 80 percent chance of passing something, mostly because the Tea Party presents a wild card in negotiations. Its members say they?re willing to let the Triple A rating for the U.S. government be downgraded if that?s what it takes to cut costs.

I bet they didn?t cut their salaries. I just as well go take my usual nap on the bench in front of Dale?s Supermarket as to talk about it.

Or, I could quote some others with great experience. My dad used to say, ?There aren?t really many truly poor people, just people with poor ways.?

That statement includes the Congress playing with our well-being.

Then here?s what my stockbroker friend said, ?We as a nation are too strong financially to not meet our obligations.

?We have far more options than the countries in Europe. What we are lacking is a political will.

?I still believe there are some adults in the room. I?m just not convinced that room is in Capital Hill!

?In banking terms, the U.S. is currently a won?t pay, not a can?t pay. So, I still believe the debt of the U.S. is solid, it is just no longer virtually worry free.?

Actually, we need to be aware that the United States is a very solid nation, and what we are hearing is the language of politicians who need to beware of what they are telling us.

Remember Will Rogers said, in my paraphrasing, ?You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can?t fool all of the people all of the time.?

Remember that at election time.

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