Maybe it is human nature to pick a side in a “battle” and then view facts through the foggy lens of that side of the debate. There are ideologues and Kool Aide drinkers on both sides of the political spectrum. Our leaders in the White House and Congress need to start being intellectually honest with the American People. The reason that many Americans and Tea Party participants are distrustful of politicians on both sides of the isle is that we see that many Republicans standing up for fiscal responsibility now that did not do so when it was their congress and their president with the excessive spending. Democrats that whined about the irresponsibility of the budget under Bush are now unable to find the political courage to cut spending themselves and have in fact increased spending.
Well the game is over. Our debt and our deficit are now at levels that are not only unsustainable, they are dangerous. Medicare and Social Security are unfunded and going to be out of money in the next decade. Also in the next decade the interest on our massive debt will take up more of our budget than national defense. The amount of money that we owe China could compromise decisions for our national interests as we become beholden to the will of our lenders.
The wisdom of our founding fathers has long been ignored by both parties. And it is these founding principles that have made America the strongest, most prosperous country on Earth for generations.
Thomas Jefferson said “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”
Leaders from the right or left or both need to find the courage to admit to the American people that our course of Government taking care all aspects of citizens’ lives is not only unsustainable, it puts our country in danger. No politician wants to take on the albatross of Social Security or Medicare reform. No leader hungry for re-election and approval points wants to cut government programs that have promised money and financial security to future generations. But it is a lie. The money will not be there. The same is true of unions in the public and private sector. They have promised billions in pensions that have no source of funding.
The responsibility also lies with the people. We have to be willing to stand up and say that we will take care of our own futures, our families and our communities and relieve the government of the perceived and and unfulfillable promises that were given.
We have to start now. We cannot cut healthcare or Social Security support for those already reliant on the failing system. So my generation and those not yet in the systems have to be willing to say that we will cut the cord that is strangling our budget, our economy, and our future.
If political leaders will not have the courage to tell Americans the truth then regular Americans who see the path that we are will stand up and yell from the mountaintop until we are heard. Movements like the Tea Party are just a reflection of the fact that many Americans have not been fooled into believing that bigger government can or will keep this nation prosperous and free. We have read the history books and we know what happens when government tries to be all things to all people. We can do math and we realize that America is truly in danger and on a path that leads to national bankruptcy. If yelling from the mountain top does not work then we will excise through the ballot box those politicians who refuse to speak the truth or follow the courage of their convictions. We will replace them with leaders who will do the hard thing, the right thing. I don’t care if those leaders have a (D) or an (R) next to their names. I only care that they care about America more than their own political power.