Democrat, Republican, and other--look out because you may hear a word that you haven't heard much over the last two years of this long campaign. The word is SACRIFICE. If you don't hear that word then you will see a financial disaster, because the path we are on will come to an abrupt end.
Proposals to increase taxes or cut spending are rarely met with appreciation by voters and I would be surprised if the Republicans do not attack the next administration if they take the necessary steps to fix this crisis. Unless the next president and a bipartisan Congress take action to put our fiscal house in order, they will put the budget, the economy, and the well-being of future generations at risk.
Like addiction, the first step toward restoring the nation's fiscal health is to admit we have a problem. Every Republican administration since Reagan has masked the enormity of the deficits by using the temporary surpluses in Social Security and by employing budget gimmicks that cloud the budget-making process for their spending binges.
There is no single answer, we must cut spending and increase revenues but there is a need to address these challenges responsibly in advance of the crisis that will inevitably occur as the result of inaction. Acknowledging these challenges honestly and directly is the first step toward finding workable bipartisan solutions.
Obama will need to elevate the issue of fiscal responsibility and expand public awareness of these problems and place them on a national agenda like Kennedy did when he challenged the nation to put a man on the moon.
At the very least, the president and a bipartisan congress should: Commit to the goal of reducing the deficit or balancing the budget. Suggest a time horizon over which they would strive to meet that goal, and provide an outline of what policies such a plan might include because growing deficits divert capital from economically productive investments, lead to increased interest payments as part of the budget, leave the country reliant on foreign lenders, diminish the projected growth of future U.S. living standards, and shift the costs of today's spending onto younger and future generations.
President elect Obama, I am glad I don't have your job. I do however wish you well and hope that you are up to the task of putting America back on track for a healthy economic future that will secure prosperity for all Americans.
Peace and Liberty through intelligence, strength, and inte