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February 17, 2011 8:23 am

EDITORIAL: Paying the price

Written by Don Amend

Tuesday night, Park County residents were afforded an opportunity to hear about the nation’s budget problems from one who is intimately familiar with them, and a crowd of 250 or more people took advantage of the opportunity.

Former Senator Alan Simpson, who co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform appointed by President Obama last year, invited all comers to listen to his comments on the recommendations that commission had made for addressing the nation’s debt and question him about them.

During the hour and a half session, Simpson touched on many cuts in domestic spending that the commission recommended, but it went further than most of our leaders are willing to go by including cutting military spending, reining in Medicare and Medicaid costs and reforming Social Security, which he said must be reformed — not to end it, but to save it.

Even more controversially, Simpson said the budget cannot be balanced by cuts alone, and tax reforms including some additional taxes will be necessary.

A central point of his presentation was that solving the debt crisis facing America will require shared sacrifice by the American people, both in giving up some of the largesse all of us receive from the government and by contributing to increased revenue.

That might be the most important point the former senator made. It is all too common in our current politics to lay all the blame on the government. Somewhere along the way, we have lost track of the reality that, in America, we are the government, so the blame is on us. The debt crisis is the result of cumulative decisions made by all of us in one way or another, by demanding something from Washington while, at the same time, demanding tax cuts. All of us need to accept the responsibility for the debt and contribute to solving the problem.

In the past, Americans have gone to war to preserve our freedom, and have been willing to sacrifice their fortunes and lives. The debt crisis represents just such a threat to our freedom, and we need to be willing to make sacrifices to win that battle, too.

Freedom, after all, isn’t free.

2 comments

  • Comment Link February 17, 2011 8:56 am posted by JB

    On the contrary,all of us are NOT responsibile for politicians out of control spending habits.We are,however,responsible for electing these crooks,past and present..including Simpson who admits he was part of the problem.Simpson may gloat in his glory,but,like many other ex politicians,Simpson is not every ones hero,so outside of the local area,Al Simpson is nothing to crow about.Especially when he proclaimed that Vietnam vets should NOT be getting compensation for Agent Orange exposure while we served in Vietnam. Al Simpson was not sprayed with dioxin like we were,so he has no business in his words against us.

  • Comment Link February 17, 2011 9:30 am posted by clipstein

    How sad. You take the time to give foot in the mouth disease space in the paper.
    He the Simpson attitude has disgraced Cody, Powell and Park county across the nation. Of course that seems to be a trait of Powell's...Just as foot in mouth again it could be Powell calling the people greedy cause they don't want tax money wasted.... But it all has and is coming home to roost.......

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