Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Moment of Truth, or Paying the Piper

In a democracy, by and large the people tend to get the government they deserve. And throughout history, a democracy's moment of truth comes when its citizens discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. Since that discovery, about 50 years ago, we've tended to vote for whoever promised us the most goodies, and have largely ignored the Cassandras in our midst who were warning that nothing in this world is free, and that a day of reckoning would come one day when we'd have to start paying our bills.

The spectacle we're watching this week in Washington on raising the debt ceiling is our modern heritage, and our penance for wanting everything, and expecting others to pay for it all. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the fiscal and financial pain that is in our future; and listening to those who are promising quick or easy fixes --- whether calling for "taxing the rich" to pay for everything, or cutting spending (except for any that happens to benefit us) --- are simply trying to advance their careers at their country's expense.

It's often said that the first step in getting yourself out of a hole is to stop digging; let's just hope we haven't already sold the ladder to the Chinese.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a retired public prosecutor from Michigan, writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel Clouds of Darkness, the compelling third volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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