Ah, victimhood. The rallying cry of all good liberals. Nothing is our fault.

I know of a lady who owns a second home here in north Idaho. Most of her time is spent in a warmer climate. North Idaho (duh) is famous for its harsh winters.

Recently she came to visit her vacation home and discovered all the pipes had frozen and burst over the winter, causing a great deal of damage. Irate, she called an inspector. “Those plumbers ruined my house!” she shrieked. (There were four separate plumbers involved.) “Look at this mess! I’m going to sue every one of them!”

The inspector looked at all the plumbing details of the house. “But ma’am,” he told her, “the plumbers did an excellent job. They surpassed code.”

“Then why did all the pipes freeze and burst?”

“Well, did you winterize your house, especially your pipes, last fall?”

“Well … no. But that doesn’t mean the plumbers aren’t responsible. I’m still going to sue!”

“Ma’am, they aren’t responsible. You can sue all you want, but you won’t have my name on it,” said the inspector. “The plumbing surpassed code. It was your fault that you didn’t prepare your house for winter. That’s not a plumber’s job; it’s a homeowner’s job. Good day.”

The lady, let the records show, was furious at the inspector’s words and his attempts to blame her for the burst pipes. The inspector, let the records show, was equally furious at the lady’s irresponsibility and attempts to shove her negligence onto innocent workmen.

Read the liberty-infused answer to the Fed-created economic crisis: “Meltdown: A Free Market Look at Why … Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse”

Lack of personal responsibility is becoming the greatest problem in this country, and no where is it better illustrated than at the highest levels of government. It seems to me that politicians spend much of their time trying to convince us that whatever is happening is not their fault. This defect lies (pun intended) across party lines. Republicans do it just as much as Democrats.

I just read that Obama, for his “100 days in office” anniversary, is disclaiming the very budget he helped shape.

Lest all the liberals begin to form spittle at the memory of George Bush, let me remind them that a president (Bush in this case) can only propose a budget. He cannot force Congress to accept it. He has no control over what Congress adds or subtracts. Obama may refuse to accept responsibility for the deficit he inherited, but it remains a fact that he helped form it. The Democrats were in control of Congress during the latter Bush years. And during the last budget creation, Obama – as the Democratic presidential candidate – was the de facto head of the Party. Obama was part of the problem, something he is now flatly denying.

“And as a presidential candidate and president-elect,” points out Calvin Woodward, “he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.” Woodward adds, “Obama supported the emergency bailout package in President George W. Bush’s final months – a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.” (They succeeded.)

Whatever problems Obama inherited – and he inherited a lot – he has done little but deepen and worsen them, aided by a super-dooper liberal speaker of the House and Senate majority leader who spend money like water and shove responsibility for any resulting chaos onto others.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to stand in a soggy house and tell a plumbing inspector that your own negligence is someone else’s fault. It takes a whole lot more chutzpah to stand on a presidential podium and tell the American people the same thing. It’s pretty obvious that if you find yourself in a deep, deep hole – even if someone else dug it – then you don’t dig yourself down even further or you’ll never get out. Unless, of course, you want a deeper hole for a specific reason. I’m convinced this is the case.

So who’s to blame for this economic mess we’re in?

To an extent, all of us – some more than others. And I don’t just mean because we voted ’em into office.

Far too many of us have come to look at the government as our own personal bailout mechanism. If I’m a “responsible” (ahem) homeowner who thought it was clever to saddle myself with mortgage payments that consume half or more of my monthly income, it’s such a comforting thought to know that all my neighbors will pitch in and help pay my mortgage when I lose my job. The “pitching in,” of course, is enforced at the point of a gun.

No one person can, in good conscience, shift ALL blame for our fiscal irresponsibility onto our government officials if he carries a mortgage beyond his ability to pay by himself, if he carries staggering credit card debt, if he owes car payments on three luxury vehicles, etc. When we do that, we start to sound as ridiculous as the homeowner blaming plumbers for her own negligence. We must take responsibility for our own fiscal soundness in addition to demanding that the government do the same.

Which isn’t to say we cannot or should not hold the government in large part responsible for our ridiculous economic mess. There are many, many factors involved in our current crisis – unethical bankers, corporate greed, inept management, outright theft – that have contributed to our crisis, but our government unquestionably holds the bag.

Meanwhile, Obama, innocent as a newborn lamb, blithely proposes tax hike after tax hike and then wonders why we hold tea parties.

We have forgotten how to be personally responsible. No wonder our government cannot be held to any standards.

The woman who wanted to sue her plumbers at least had the sense to hire good plumbers to begin with, even if she later tried to blame them for her neglect. Can we say we’ve done the same thing? Have we hired the right government representatives?

No. And our “winter” is fast approaching.

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