I must admit I am a registered Republican. I must also admit I have not voted in recent presidential elections due to various factors. Frustration, apathy, and a distain for either candidate being a few of the reasons. But I now feel a need to cast my opinion as the National Debt is at 14 trillion dollars (and rising as I write this). The $800 billion Stimulus Package was staggering. As was the $700 billion bank bail out, or the money spent to bail out G. M., or A. I. G. or to whoever had their hand out. All of this was done to keep unemployment at 8%; it now hovers around 10%. Where did all this money come from? Who do we really owe it to? Do you know any one who actually benefited from all the spending? (I don’t). Is there a plan to ever pay down the National Debt, much less curb the annual deficit spending? Can the Federal Government continue to spend money like a college student with a new credit card? If you or I operated our businesses or ran our personal finances like the Federal Government we would be bankrupt, chastised for fraud and thrown in jail for embezzlement. President Obama said he would bring ‘Real Change’ to Washington. What ‘Real Change’ is he really bringing? He is spending much more than former President Bush, who never saw a spending bill he didn’t like. This is where my frustration lies. The previous administration was a revelation of misguided politics. Many never agreed with the war in in Afghanistan or Iraq, but to appease the Democrats on the left Bush spent money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. He prostituted the Federal budget to get his way in the war on terror. What ever happened to the ‘Fiscal Responsibility’ the Republicans now are so quick to point out that is lacking in Obama’s plan. After all, they controlled both houses of congress during much of Bush’s term. And yet the Federal Debt ballooned during the Republicans watch, as did the housing crisis, the banking crisis, the insurance crisis and the Wall Street crisis. And the Republicans solution to all this? Let’s throw more money in the kitty and see what happens. And we are finding out, the money was given with few strings attached and basically vaporized in the raging inferno we now see as a collapsing economy. It seems if Obama were an astute student of politics, he would quit blaming everything on the previous administration and actually learn from it. Blind spending is not going to save our economy; spending is what got us here in the first place. Spending is only going to weaken our financial position with countries buying the debt (insert China here). Creating more Government jobs might be a quick fix for the unemployed, but how many auto or construction workers does the Federal Government really need? It will only create a work force that depends on the government and will create more debt (see the relationship?) President Obama is absolutely correct: we need Real Change and REAL LEADERSHIP! It is time for someone to stand up and say that the Federal Government cannot solve all of our problems. It is time for REAL MEN elected in high places to tell our gluttonous society that it needs to lose a few pounds. We Americans tighten our belts for a few decades and pay down the National Debt. That is the true pink elephant in the room. Currently 560 billion dollars of what is added to our National Debt annually is going to INTEREST PAYMENTS alone! That’s right, $560,000,000,000 is spent and we have nothing to show for it. If the Federal Government would get serious and pay down the debt, we would have enough money saved in interest alone to spend on all the social programs, schools, health care, we want. Bush was a hypocrite. As a Republican he spent more money than any president in history. Obama is a hypocrite. He does not want Real Change; he wants more of the same, big government and big spending. The big question is what do you want? As President Kennedy so eloquently stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Tell your elected officials. I hope and pray we want the same thing.
Tate C. Mabes