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home : opinions : editorials August 1, 2014


3/6/2013 12:00:00 PM
Editorial
Tell Congress your priorities
Courtesy the Daily Courier


Time for a little pep talk, Americans. Not a lecture. Just a pep talk - reminding us who we are and that we have been through plenty of tough times in the past - and we have always survived.

Always.

And, we most often have pulled through a crisis a stronger people, when we pay heed to lessons the tough experiences have tried to teach us.

Today, this country is at another impasse, one that has us poised to fall over another "cliff." This one is called sequestration - an erudite word for automatic across-the board budget cuts - that began to take effect Saturday. President Obama and congressional leaders met in what one pundit called a "sterile" half-hour session Friday but couldn't reach a deal to keep the cuts from taking effect. So, the axe is falling.

What this means is that billions will be shaved from the budgets of federal government agencies. Anticipating the effects is like waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

But, this is just one aspect of this country's financial woes. On the other hand, our national debt climbs minute by minute. As of Saturday, it stood at more than $16 trillion - an inconceivable figure that puts a bounty on the heads of all of us.

Maybe herein lies the lesson. Maybe it's time American citizens decide what this country's priorities really need to be - call it the will of the people coming to power by speaking out.

For too long we have allowed politicians to make most of our decisions for us, and we are tired of being jerked around by them - all of them, no matter their political persuasion.

It's time for this to stop.

Whining as we watch our leadership stand alongside battle lines won't fix the budget. But, setting priorities will. What will they be, we must ask. Defense? Education? Border security? Wars? Foreign aid? Healthcare? Infrastructure? Government subsidies? The environment? Space exploration? Jobs? The economy? Tax reform?

We have a lot of questions swirling around us that need answers, and one step toward this is to ask congressmen to come down from their ivory tower and find out what we, the citizens, think and want to see happen to get us back on the black side of the ledger.

Let's not leave it up to Congress to figure this all out without listening to what we have to say. We elected them to do a job for us. In a sense, they are our employees.

Remember, then, our credo - government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Now is our chance to demand a voice. It's as easy as picking up the phone, sending emails or writing letters to the people who represent us.

If we don't, we will have only ourselves to blame.


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