Last week, a surrender was announced. Many unemployed surrendered to the federal government and accepted a handout in the form of extended unemployment benefits. As a fiscal conservative who believes in limited government, I would like to request that instead of taking money from the government, that Americans begin to look at ways they can tighten their belt.
Yes, as a congressman I'm very well compensated for my work and before that I was even better compensated working for my father. When I'm done in congress I will go to K Street where I will be paid even more handsomely as a lobbyist. However, I wasn't always wealthy. When I began work for my father, I did not start at the top.
I remember that Fall when I brought home plane tickets for a vacation to Aspen, how my wife burst into tears. She had had her heart set on Paris and here we would be flying coach to Colorado in the offseason. Fortunately, we were able to upgrade our seats using frequent flier miles and looking back on it, those six weeks in Aspen were some of the happiest of our marriage.
That year we cut corners every way we could. We drank domestic champagne. If we ate lobster, you can be sure it was Canadian and not Maine. We even got by with a once a week cleaning lady instead of a maid.
The point is, if you relax your expectations and your standard of living, the world won't end. If things do rebound for you, you'll appreciate all those things you gave up when you can afford them again. Above all, remember it costs no money to pray or to spend some quality family time together huddling for warmth. If we all do our part, I have no doubt we can keep the Bush tax cuts without leaving future generations saddled with debt.