Kicking the can

This generation is stealing from the next -- and for that we apologize

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Dear Future Generations:

  Rick McKee/Staff
Rick McKee/Staff

On behalf of the generations running this country at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, we apologize profoundly and from the bottom of our hearts for what our “leaders” have done to you.

Somehow, many of us knew what was coming – and we still couldn’t stop it.

That “something” isn’t the so-called fiscal cliff that made so many headlines – amazingly right after the November election. What a coincidence.

No, the full fiscal cliff could have been easily enough avoided – and the cliff is more about us than it is about future generations.

What is still coming, even after the fiscal cliff, is the fiscal train wreck.

You see, our “leaders” in Washington have strained and strained just to avoid the cliff – the series of tax hikes and indiscriminate spending cuts that were scheduled to take effect at the end of 2012. Whether or not you believe they actually avoided it, they still will leave our country in a financial death spiral.

Fact is, the agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff apparently will just mean higher taxes on some and more debt on us. Or, rather, on you – our children and grandchildren.

In fact, in these fiscal cliff negotiations, our president initially was asking for free checking: an agreement that he, alone, could decide what our debt ceiling is. That’s not only unconstitutional – even the modest line-item veto was declared that by the Supreme Court – but tantamount to dictatorial powers. Congress was meant to have the power of the purse. Period.

Then he wanted a two-year debt limit increase, presumably to avoid having to consider any spending discipline at least until after the 2014 midterm elections. How convenient.

In any case, we don’t see how this ends well for future generations.

We’re already borrowing some 40 cents for every dollar of federal spending. That’s money that you young people, and those not yet born, will be saddled with repaying.

All because we don’t have the gumption to jump off the gravy train.

Shame on this generation. We are perpetrating generational theft to see to our own comfort. How immoral.

Nothing our “leaders” in Washington have agreed to on the fiscal cliff will do anything to stop that. They’re not even talking about balancing the budget – and annual deficits are now a staggering $1 trillion a year.

Democrats in Washington even appear allergic to the spending cuts that are the answer to stopping this runaway train. And as for Republicans? They talk a good game, but the election results have given Democrats the upper hand: Current generations voted to keep the gravy flowing. And even when Republicans had leverage, their “spending cuts” were lame, and in many cases merely cut the rate of growth of spending.

When everyone in Washington knew that our $16 trillion debt would take on some $10 trillion more over the next decade, some in Congress proposed “cutting” $4 trillion of that future overspending – but still would have left the rest for future generations to pay off.

Even that plan was dead on arrival, it was too much cutting! We couldn’t even cut 40 percent of the coming debt.

How pitiful.

Concerned citizens rose up a couple years ago to demand an end to this generational theft – but the media mocked them and did everything they could to discredit and demoralize them. It showed in November. The spenders won.

Now, as we sit here in the opening days of 2013, it appears to many of us as if the country’s fiscal problems simply must get worse – perhaps much worse – before our leaders are shocked into really doing something about it.

What’s being glossed over amid the congressional back-slapping about the eleventh-hour fiscal cliff deal is that we’re not really avoiding the full fiscal cliff. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 77 percent of U.S. households will pay more taxes in 2013, mainly because the payroll tax cut expired.

“The deal just enacted implies a significant tightening of fiscal policy this year,” economist Lewis Alexander told The Wall Street Journal. “Payroll taxes are going up and federal spending is being cut by the amount anticipated in the (Budget Control Act of 2011). These measures will be a drag on growth, starting in the current quarter.”

Also, the deal didn’t address the gradual, long-term stabilization of our public debt. Instead, we’ve got only a couple of months of headroom with the current debt ceiling. And when further negotiations start heating up in the next few weeks, it likely will make the fractious fiscal cliff negotiations look as calm as a church picnic.

Now that our “leaders” think the fiscal cliff is past, they will recline into their comfy complacency and wait for the next crisis of their own making – and once again pretend as if they’ve done something difficult and meaningful about it.

Why any young person would lean into this by voting for it is beyond us. Or why any grandparent or parent would wish it upon the young.

We hope that, if future generations are reading this 10 or 20 years hence, that we were wrong, and that true leaders will have emerged in years to come to prevent this train wreck – which otherwise will result in crippling tax rates and reduced services, at the very least.

But just in case, we apologize – if that means anything.

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myfather15 01/06/13 - 09:18 am

This nation has become a nation of "Give me, Give me" instead of a selfless nation that says "Give them, Give them."

Our politicians and even a lot of the people couldn't care less about the future generations and how much debt we leave them. Why? Because it's all about US and the here and now. Extremely selfish. People want what they want. Be that the latest cellphones, tablets, laptops, TV's, vehicles, boats, RV's, etc; It doesn't matter because the mentality is "I want it so GIVE IT TO ME." It's not the mentality of "I want it so I need to work to earn it."

In my line of work I constantly see people coning the system for disability benefits, SSI, food stamps and more. I see people working under the table doing ROOFING and Contruction jobs, later to find out they are on disability. They couldn't care less that they are contributing to the demise of the greatest Country ever to exist. As stated, it's all about ME, ME, ME!!!

Now, before I get blasted; I'm not talking about those who are truly disabled, those people truly need our help and I'm glad to do so. I'm also not talking about the Waffle House waitress who also works a second job at a convienence store, who receives food stamps. Those people trying their hardest to make it in this hard world, deserve a little assistance. I have no problem with this type of assistance and I'm glad my tax dollars go to help them. I'm talking about worthless wastes of space who CON the system, lying about their income to receive "entitlements". Those who fake injuries so they can get more government money to buy that 55 inch flatscreen, along with their drug of choice and case of beer.

But there is no fixing these problems becaue you can't legislate people into being decent, honorable citizens. But they will be held completely accountable for their actions soon, very soon.

bubbasauce 01/06/13 - 09:50 am
Very good article. Kicking

Very good article. Kicking the can seems to be all that government knows how to do, and they do it sooo well! Yes this Country has become truly the land of freedom. Free this and free that. What can I get for free, shame on you people who work the system! I also noticed there are very few comments on this article. Sounds to me like there are many guilty parties out there.

Riverman1 01/06/13 - 10:22 am
We Need a Democrat to Straighten Things Out

Simply put, I hear many liberals now saying capitalistic ambition is wrong and we shouldn't work as hard or worry about paying the bills. They believe the resources should be shared equally no matter the work effort. I listened to a radio show last night with that theme suggesting a 20 hour work week along with free health care and so on. Total rubbish that doesn't reflect history, but that's getting to be a mainstream liberal view that can draw a majority of the votes.

What I think HAS to happen is a Democrat who understands what all this means for our economy has to lead us to fiscal sanity using subtle leadership and not let the unwashed, occupy, masses know what's happening as spending and benefits are reined in.

robaroo 01/06/13 - 10:28 am
Children and Grandchildren?

I hope it won't work out that way, but I suspect the US will declare bankruptcy long before our children and grandchildren have to pay off the debt.

When that happens, all our creditors will get pennies on the dollar - savings bond holders, social security recipients, foreign banks and governments, veterans, contractors, federal employees, etc.

When you look back at history, financial collapse is usually followed by a dictator who provides stability and direction at the expense of freedom.

DanK 01/06/13 - 10:39 am
The generic apology

This article is a generic apology, but I'm glad the ACES has owned up to their role in creating this financial quagmire.

Bush Jr had the opportunity to to apply the huge budget surplus endowed to him by the Clinton administration to pay down the national debt. He didn't. Instead, he decided to turn it over to the wealthy with a series of "temporary" tax policies. Those policies have led to the greatest accumulation of wealth in the hands of the fewest people since the age of the robber barons. Those policies, combined with his quixotic and hugely expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have pushed this country into near bankruptcy. But the 1% are happy. And the far right are angry because it looks like a little of their temporary socialism for the rich might not be permanent.

It's good to see ACES taking responsibility and apologizing for the "leaders" they elected. The ones who are charged with creating the annual budget. That would be the U.S. House of Representatives, which not only has failed consistently to put together a budget that actually addresses the operational requirements of the federal government, but also blocks and waters down plans suggested by the Senate and the President.

It's high time ACES and its kindred media outlets take responsibility for their role in this mess. Thank you.

But ya know, when mid-term elections role around, I'm betting that ACES will have forgotten who is responsible and once again get on the bandwagon for more of the same "leaders" that got us here.

harley_52 01/06/13 - 10:42 am
"When you look back at history.... collapse is usually followed by a dictator who provides stability and direction at the expense of freedom."

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

freeradical 01/06/13 - 10:59 am
It's Official , We are now

It's Official , We are now all on board an economic train to hell

fueled by the worst aspects of human nature , personal greed ,

personal envy, of specific groups of people .

And a leader that smiles wide as he fuels the train .

Conducted by a political party that actually voted to have any mention

of God at their national convention in Charlotte a punishable violation.

Hitler used this same formulary of economic envy & greed + hate of

groups of people to justify confiscating wealth and ripping gold out of

people's mouths as well .

Riverman1 01/06/13 - 11:00 am
DanK, make that Newt's budget

DanK, make that Newt's budget. Clinton fought against spending cuts and threatened to veto the best budget we've had in decades. Newt's a little weird, but he's smarter than the guy who ran the projector when I went to high school.

Gary Ross
Gary Ross 01/06/13 - 11:31 am
Excellent well written article!

It only takes just a little bit of common sence to know you can't spend more than you bring in. Many of our elected officials probably don't even know how to balance a household checkbook. My "approval rating" for the man who sits in the president's chair on down is at an all time low. It's difficult to comprehend that Americans will have to pay even more for this dismal failure of leadership, and the best and brightest minds that money can buy are the ones pulling us down. And they want to label us traitors for wanting to jump their sinking ship (succession)?

They are the traitors!

allhans 01/06/13 - 12:16 pm
"That would be the U.S. House

"That would be the U.S. House of Representatives, which ...."

As they say, people are funny.
With all the resources of the internet and folks don't bother to verify/ check the accuracy of their posts.

allhans 01/06/13 - 12:21 pm
If Republicans would insist

If Republicans would insist that the billions Obama is taking from Medicare to support Obamacare be left in Medicare and see to it that he instead finds other expenses to cut, then us older folks would thank them.


Bizkit 01/06/13 - 01:38 pm
You are correct Riverman but

You are correct Riverman but Dank is correct in that both Bush and a Rep Congress went crazy spending and generating deficits (the dot com bubble burst created the recession when Bush first entered office and then two wars and Rep congress who had carte blanche to spend-the failed policy Obama keeps talkin' about. But what I don't get is Obama advocates the same policy of more spending and expanding govt. Makes no sense. But a pseudointellectual ideologue like Obama knows nothing of reason or logic so he could care less about the economy or any data or logical planning-he has bigger bear to bag with his agenda. History will reflect on this period of American history like the wild west with the rule of law a joke-it just applies sometimes to some people. I just can't believe no one wanted to impeach Obama for assassinating an American citizen without due process. Now besides that dictatorial trait we see more in Obama with wanting control of the purse springs with the debt. You would have to be an unmitigated idiot, fool, or moron to allow that-just like the idiots in Stratford subdivision who trusted one person.

TrulyWorried 01/06/13 - 05:29 pm
Balancing the budget

I challenge the mathematicians to work on this figure:
All politicians that live off the gravy train once they have left office getting retirement pays that won't quit - free medical care - goodness knows what else in "staff", etc. - combine all these dollars that should not be paid out once a politician leaves office - just for one year???
How could this be done??? What CAN be done?? Does anyone have any idea? No taxpayers in the USA pay their taxes??? (can't put all of us in jail) - no money for anything then - we would go over the cliff now instead of our children and childrens' children. PLUS - maybe, just maybe - these politians come to their senses and realize what a rotten deal they give the ordinary citizens by living in splendor once they retire while the rest is given the shaft. I don't know if this suggestion will remain on R & R - maybe Sean is off today and his assistant too!
Happy New Year and -- Lord help us - and the USA!!

Bizkit 01/06/13 - 05:52 pm
We need to kick the can of

We need to kick the can of both the Prez and Congress because all this drama is just the machinations of both to politically maninuplate all of US for some political gain-not our gain. It's disgusting. I told my wife from the git go that no way would these morons ever cut govt with this cliff deal-they may allow taxes to go up but forget cuts. I hate being right on this one.

RMSHEFF 01/06/13 - 06:23 pm
Remember the statement Obama

Remember the statement Obama made about Bush being unpatriotic for adding 4 trillion in 8 years and his own budget that did not receive 1 vote would have added 10 trillion. Listen to him again and remember the main stream media never calls him on anything !

metalhead 01/10/13 - 02:03 am
This country will NEVER be

This country will NEVER be what all of you desire until a viable third party is formed and takes a majority in congress. If you're relying on the lame Republicans to reverse the trend of the Democratic party, then you might as well give up that fight. The one candidate in the last two elections which championed liberty and freedom along with limited gov't didn't even recieve a nomination.

Until then, you are left with a manipulative Obama and his cronies, or cowardly crying Boehner and his morons. Choice is yours.

I still can't believe there are comments blaming George Bush for problems 5 years later. I'm glad to know the stereotypical scapegoat is still there and kickin.

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