Together is the only way out

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

This country needs to get its act together. Our Founding Fathers created a system with checks and balances. The idea was to force opposing views to compromise while ensuring no tyrannical leadership could supersede the will of the people.

The differences between Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Tea Party and all Americans is very small. We all want good government. We want good-paying jobs. We want a safe homeland and a peaceful world. We all want ample opportunities and a sound future for our children. We want good roads, safe neighborhoods and schools that will educate our young to advance our nation. We want to keep our taxes low. We want affordable health care and systems that are fair and equitable to all our citizens. We want a secure social security system that takes care of the elderly and a social support system to keep the unfortunate among us from falling through the cracks.

What we’re seeing coming out of Washington is anything but a focus on those shared goals. The only thing getting in the way of our pursuit of those lofty goals are politicians who won’t speak to each other. Most politicians today fear the opposing side getting more credit. If we don’t change that attitude soon, it will be our downfall.

With the current emphasis focused on our debt ceiling, I would like to share the words of a noted statesman:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.

“And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on. Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans — a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies. But we are not doing that.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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