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The country is $9 trillion in debt, a tribute to the federal government's boundless capacity to spend our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Thanks a bunch, politicians. Can you imagine raking in $3 trillion every year and still needing MORE to make ends meet ? That's exactly the federal government's story. Hard to fathom that. Some of us blame it on the Democrats (rightfully), and others blame it on the Republicans (rightfully). We can blame it on anyone we like, but that doesn't change our situation one iota. If we don't do something about this $9 trillion, pretty soon we could be talking about REAL money (rimshot).
The president is finally beginning to show some small signs of becoming a conservative, after spending money like a drunken sailor for the first 6 years. Way too little, way too late, George. The leading Democratic presidential candidates are all proposing tons of NEW government spending at the same time they excoriate Bush for his spending, making the Democratic claim to the mantle of fiscal responsibility nothing but a pathetic punch line. Call me crazy, but when the Iraq war finally does wind down, and it will, then perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to restore some measure of fiscal responsibility to the country, before we are all trading in our dollars for yuans.
But I guess fiscal responsibility doesn't sell as well to potential voters as "free health care for everyone !", or "free government day care !", or "Social Security problem ? What Social Security problem ?". We don't have serious statesmen anymore. We have cheap panderers, almost literally offering a "dollar for your vote". Don't we as citizens have a civic duty to demand something more than free goodies from our politicians ? Have we abandoned all sense of responsibility to future generations ? We've gone from the greatest generation to the me-me-me generation.
When it comes to dealing with the real problem, which is government SPENDING, you might as well save your breath rather than talk to most Democrats, because to them, when you say "reduce spending", they think you said "kill the poor", and it doesn't matter if 'the poor' make $80K per year. It is virtually impossible to have any kind of legitimate policy discussion with people like that. What is truly frightening is that the Republicans mucked things up so badly that those same left-leaning simpletons will probably expand their power in 2008. That's why I called this column 'from the frying pan into the fire'. If any of you truly believes that the Democrats have any fiscal plans OTHER than increasing spending and raising taxes, then you need to stop smoking that stuff, it is rotting your brain.
That piddly $9 trillion doesn't even seem to be a campaign issue, because I don't hear any of our presidential wannabees talking about it, which makes me wonder if we even have any true conservatives on the Republican side of the candidate roster, you know, the kind that would be horrified by that much debt. It seems like the political battle on the fiscal front these days is between the social statist Democrats and the security statist Republicans. The only guy who would actually try to cut government spending is probably Ron Paul, and he has about as much chance of being elected president as I do, and I wouldn't want him any way, because he'd ruin the progress that has been made in Iraq. It's too late to turn back now on that score. We have to see it through, even though that too is going to cost us big.
What we need is for one candidate to step forward and outline a positive vision and course to restore fiscal sanity to this country, before it's too late. This country is so great that we can turn it all around on a dime if we choose to, but we have to start choosing responsibility instead of gratification. The idea was to leave our children a better country, remember ? We won't do that by saddling them with insurmountable debt, and don't forget this either: the enormous tsunami of debt hasn't even arrived yet, but it's coming, via Social Security and Medicare when the baby boomers retire. Time to wake up, america.