This country needs to get its act together. Our Founding Fathers created a system with checks and balances. The idea was to force opposing views to compromise while ensuring no tyrannical leadership could supersede the will of the people.
The differences between Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Tea Party and all Americans is very small. We all want good government. We want good-paying jobs. We want a safe homeland and a peaceful world. We all want ample opportunities and a sound future for our children. We want good roads, safe neighborhoods and schools that will educate our young to advance our nation. We want to keep our taxes low. We want affordable health care and systems that are fair and equitable to all our citizens. We want a secure social security system that takes care of the elderly and a social support system to keep the unfortunate among us from falling through the cracks.
What we’re seeing coming out of Washington is anything but a focus on those shared goals. The only thing getting in the way of our pursuit of those lofty goals are politicians who won’t speak to each other. Most politicians today fear the opposing side getting more credit. If we don’t change that attitude soon, it will be our downfall.
With the current emphasis focused on our debt ceiling, I would like to share the words of a noted statesman:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.
“And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on. Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans — a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies. But we are not doing that.
“Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just 5 years. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing from foreign countries. But we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. America deserves better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
Without knowing the person who made this public statement, decide for yourself if you agree or disagree with him. With our debt ceiling now nearly $17 trillion, we must make changes.
We don’t need party leaders who want to grandstand. We need American leaders who could care less about who gets credit or who gets the blame.
We need leaders who will do what then Sen. Barack Obama so strongly urged us to do in 2006 when he took the floor in the Senate and made those statements you just read above.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.