Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
As 2013 draws to close, it is easy for many- most- to feel our country is heading in the wrong direction. From economic malaise to a lurch toward a more controlling and socialist government, this year has been forgettable. The dysfunction and ineptitude of our elected leaders has contributed to and compounded the problems that we face as a nation.
Our partisan divides have our elected leaders- and us- often yelling at each other. Rather than seek the common good, "what's in it for us" is often our guiding principal. As such, the common weal is neglected and suffers.
This negative backdrop could cause most of us to throw up our hands and withdraw.
And that would be the wrong response.
Instead, it is critical that as we enter 2014, we become more involved and engaged. It is important that we never lose sight of the fact that our elected leaders are accountable to us.
They work for us. And it is time that they started working for us, rather than their own interests and re-election prospects.
We must be armed with facts. And the most salient fact is that we as a nation are on course for a financial disaster if we do not begin to change our ways.
The mind boggles at the enormous numbers that we hear when it comes tour nation's financial situation. The picture above presents our country's financial situation in more understandable and human terms.
Looking at this, we quickly realize that if this was our family, this situation could not continue for long before we are faced with bankruptcy. The credit card that the family uses to finance their deficit spending is comparable to our nation's printing press. Printing more dollars is our federal credit card. And like some families abuse credit cards, our country has abused the power to print money.
The long term implications of this, just like it would be for any family, is disastrous and dangerous. Debasing our currency by printing more dollars will ultimately lead to inflation and loss of purchasing power for you and me. Just like high credit card balances require higher interest payments, our ballooning federal debt is requiring more spending to service the debt. And can you imagine what that debt service will be when interest rates rise? Painful doesn't begin to describe it.
The facts of our fiscal situation are non-partisan. Our dire financial condition affects us all. Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, we will all feel the effects of our situation.
Our current situation is not desperate- yet. But it is dangerous.
So as we enter 2014 all of us face a challenge that will determine our financial and national future.
We can retreat and take whatever Washington dishes out. Doing that will not be good for any of us.
Or we can engage and fight the good fight. We can demand that Washington rein in its profligate spending and begin to make tough decisions. These decisions will be hard ones. They will not be easy or even politically expedient.
But they will be the right ones for the country.
So be of good cheer, dear readers. The fight is on.
One that will determine our future and the future of our country.
And that, my friends, is my view.