As I have said very often, “Common sense is now a super power and a gift that very few possess.” It’s an interesting experiment and one that can lead your blood pressure to rise but take a look around and you will see those who are supposed to be pretty smart people making decisions that fail to pass the Common Sense Test! Here’s an example:
“The State Department plans to spend $400,000 in taxpayer dollars to purchase a camel statue for the new American embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. The sculpture by artist John Baldessari depicts a fiberglass camel staring into the eye of an oversized needle in play on a passage from the New Testament about the difficulty the wealthy have in entering heaven, BuzzFeed reported.”
Fox News reports, “The department came under scrutiny in December after commissioning a $1 million sculpture to be installed at new building at the American embassy in London in 2017. The purchase was defended as a “good use” of the agency’s resources.”
Last Year, The Washington Times reported “that department spent about $180,000 on alcohol in September and $400,000 in all of 2012, three times the $118,000 spent in 2008.” Records obtained by the paper showed that alcohol spending went up at American diplomatic posts around the world. The purchases included nearly $16,000 for bourbon and whiskey in Moscow, and more than $22,000 for wine in Tokyo.”
For full disclosure: I’m not a math wiz, I haven’t taken a Dave Ramsey course, and my wife controls the checkbook in our house and I get an allowance just like the kids. Yet, with all my lack of financial training and expertise, I am at a loss to find any common sense in this. Here’s how I look at it:
1. Our national debt is 17.5 Trillion. In 2008 (just six short years ago) it was 10 Trillion. Our debt has almost doubled in 6 years!
2. Our debt increases 2.73 billion each day.
3. That means that each person in the US owes $55,130.32 or each household is responsible for $142,787!
I know up against 17.5 trillion $400,000 for a camel sounds like a good deal (I’m joking). Where is the common sense? Where is the one person who says, “I don’t think this is a good idea!” I’ve got this visual image in my mind of a group of people sitting around a table and one person says, “Hey, I’ve got an idea!! Let’s get a camel and put it outside the embassy!” Person 2 “Sounds like a great idea, how much will it cost?” Person 1 “We can get it today and today only, if we are one of the next 5 callers for only $400,000 to the American tax payer!! Person 2: “Great, hurry up and call! We’ll send the check!”
Okay, how does this relate to me? Ordinary couple who has a combined $20,000 in credit card debt and they come to me as their pastor and say, “We’re getting married and have our wedding and honeymoon planned for only $12,000. My response as their pastor is going to try and talk some sense into them. Who is the common sense person speaking to the people making decisions in the State Department? When does someone from the Executive branch say, “Whoa, this doesn’t make any sense.” Where’s the leadership? Where’s the responsible one. Isn’t there anyone who can make the point, “We’re cutting our military and at the same time also buying a $400,00 statue of a camel? This doesn’t make sense!”
And we wonder why we are in the financial shape we are in…sad.