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March 19, 2011


I don't mean disrespect to the host but this progressive vs conservative stuff is counterproductive and frankly is symptomatic of the flawed paradigm, or way of seeing life, that got us into this mess in the first place.

Anyone who understands human affairs at all should know that there is a time to yield and a time to stand firm. A time to contract and a time to expand. A time to be progressive/liberal and a time to be conservative. There are no absolutes except for the lack of them. Ancient texts and scriptures from all cultures acknowledge this. This is nothing new, but we still don't get it and continue with our ideological feet stuck in the ground.

The fact is that the USA is $14,000,000,000,000 in debt. This is not a partisan problem. We're broke. I've been saying this for a long time and still some people don't get it. There is no real money left. It was spent long ago. Now all we are doing is servicing debt and keeping the whole thing afloat with printed money (fiat) and debt derivatives.

There have to be massive spending cuts, now. Hard times are ahead. There is no choice but to tighten the belt almost to a strangle hold and that still may not be enough.

What happens when you are broke and can't pay your bills? You certainly don't go out and create more debt for yourself unless you are on a financial suicide mission.

What you do is simplify and cut back to vital necessities for life like food, clothing and shelter. Then you try to rebuild your life by working hard, paying down your debt and rebuilding your financial base.

This is, in principle, very simple. Why don't people get it? Because they are ideologues and feel their pet cause is too important to sacrifice. Well, if you don't do it voluntarily it will be forced upon you by the facts of the matter.

Law and order, national defense, basic infrastructure, and public safety is all we can afford. It is that simple and that difficult.

Clark J, I agree with your wise advice that there's a time to be progressive, and a time to be conservative. And that these labels don't begin to encompass the complexity of the social policy issues that confront us.

However, I don't buy your conclusion that our county needs to cut back its spending to the areas you mentioned: defense, basic infrastructure, public safety. This would be a recipe for long term disaster.

Other countries, like China, are investing heavily in scientific research, renewable energy technologies, advanced (and basic) education. We're getting left behind. Our excessive military expenditures need to be cut way back. We also need to raise taxes on those who can afford it -- a policy prescription that has been endorsed by those who know the most about our budget problems.

All cuts or all tax-raising isn't the answer. It'll take a combination of cuts and revenue increases to bring the deficit down. But while we're doing this, we have to continue to invest in the future. Families recognize this on an individual level. They will sacrifice so the children can get a good education. The future has to be thought of, along with the present.

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