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America better get better politics. And quickly.

The past year has been a new low, perhaps an all-time low in Washington -- with two-thirds of the country disgusted with conditions inside the Beltway -- and neither party has distinguished itself in the process.

New Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has led a largely contentious, unproductive year of Bush-bashing. Congress hasn't done its budget work on time, and even backtracked on securing the border, but had plenty of time to investigate and hold hearings on every drop of spilled milk in the White House.

And Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following the marching orders of the left-wing extremists that pull the strings of the Democratic Party, have tried all year to sabotage the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan while blissfully denying any and all progress there. Reid pronounced the war lost months ago -- and was proven wrong by our troops.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Washington continued to abandon their base by helping bust the budget again and, for the longest time, ignoring the American outcry for border security and no amnesty for illegal aliens. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham famously lamented the voices of a few "loud people" who were insisting on border security.

Apparently not loud enough. After two years of public outcry, the government only pretended to build a fence, and did everything it could to drag its feet -- perhaps hoping that we'd come to our senses and see the wisdom of eschewing American sovereignty for a borderless North American Union.

And two border patrol agents continue to sit in prison for shooting an illegal border-crossing drug dealer -- one of the many reasons Republicans in Congress are regarded less positively than even Pelosi and Reid's Democrats.

"Republicans made promises they didn't keep, and Democrats made promises they couldn't keep. And now it's a pox on all their houses," summed up pollster Frank Luntz.

Not the best of years for Washington.

But Washington's biggest and worst shortcoming is that it let another year of immoral spending pass by -- as well as a golden opportunity to do something about it.

We're not even talking about the annual operating deficits, either -- which, by the way, are vastly understated by 1) using Social Security surpluses and 2) keeping a lot of things off budget.

No, we're talking about the coming tsunami of red ink in the form of entitlement spending that is on track to wash over both the federal budget and your children and grandchildren.

This is not a matter of opinion. Every expert on the left and the right that has looked at the numbers is certain of it: America's finances are absolutely, utterly and completely unsustainable.

What does that mean? It means that funding Social Security Medicare and Medicaid will someday likely require every dollar the government can obtain. It means that the country is on a track toward insolvency. It means our creditors -- places like China and Saudi Arabia -- will have increased power over us. It means the 70-million-plus baby boomers who begin retiring on Tuesday may not see the benefits they were promised.

And it means your children and grandchildren will be saddled with unspeakable debt from this generation's beach party: The national debt, which is now over $9 trillion, is only the beginning. If you count unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs -- the amount of money the government has promised retirees but hasn't budgeted for -- our debt is really over $60 trillion.

Sixty. Trillion.

And that unfunded liability is climbing $2 trillion to $3 trillion a year, according to U.S. Comptroller General David Walker.

You are, today, this very hour, helping spend your grandchild's future paycheck.

This is the disaster that's headed for your children and grandchildren, ladies and gentlemen. And it was completely and contentedly ignored by your high-living leaders in Washington again this year.

The coming year must be different.

One would hope the presidential and congressional campaigns would highlight this coming disaster, but not thus far. In fact, Hillary Clinton is promoting more spending -- on universal health care and even universal preschool! And she just might win.

Call and write your congressional representatives and senators. Starting Jan. 2. And all year long, until they get the message. Tell them to balance the budget and reform entitlements. Tell them their jobs depend on it, because our children's and grandchildren's standard of living depends on it.

Loud people? They haven't heard anything yet.

Comments (18) Add comment
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Little Lamb
43367
Points
Little Lamb 12/29/07 - 10:37 pm
0
0
We told them we wanted a dual

We told them we wanted a dual fence on the border and the manpower to patrol it. They spit in our faces. No matter how many calls we make, E-mails and letters we send, they will not listen.

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 12/30/07 - 07:52 am
0
0
This is where you get to tell

This is where you get to tell them in your letters, YOU"RE FIRED!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/30/07 - 08:46 am
0
0
When the Republican congress

When the Republican congress went on a wild spending spree, their party said "you're fired" to a lot of them. Not enough, but a lot. I wonder if the left will say the same to their congress. As a nation, we need to do a huge house cleaning in D.C.. Since so many are worried about their 'benefits' being interrupted, I doubt it will happen. On a lighter note, regardless of what this article implies, the sky isn't falling---yet.

mgroothand
5
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mgroothand 12/30/07 - 10:15 am
0
0
The Korean "conflict" has

The Korean "conflict" has been over for 54 years yet we still have some 35,000 American troops guarding the border there. If we were to bring them home to guard the US/Mex border, a soldier could be stationed every 300 feet. (Simple math) The first presidential candidate announcing that he/she would bring home American troops to guard our border would likely win the nomination of their party.

LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 12/30/07 - 10:37 am
0
0
dont be an isolationist mr

dont be an isolationist mr groot.......... be a patriot. lets pick out a new country to bomb today. lets print up some money, off budget of course,lend it to both sides, get one side to start killing the other side, sell them weapons, and when it gets too
violent, in the name of the prince of peace, lets bomb the hell out of them. women, children, pet dogs, goldfish........... think of the economic boom when we go build it all back for them. they will love us for it. meet us as liberators with roses. lets see
who doesnt think like us? france? spain? nahhh who has something we need?

fredinaiken
0
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fredinaiken 12/30/07 - 10:44 am
0
0
The democrats will eliminate

The democrats will eliminate the looming national debt by inflation. At 4% inflation, the national debt is reduced by a factor of two every eighteen years; at the 'Jimmy Carter' rate of 15 to 20%, the debt is reduced by a factor of two ever four years, and by a factor of 32 every twenty years. Runaway inflation consumed Germany in the 1920's; at the end of their inflation spiral postage stamps cost a billion marks each, and they had no war debt, no savings and no social security. Hitler was elected to solve their monitary problems; remember that 'Nazi' is an acronym for National Socialist German Workers Party.

2bBob
0
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2bBob 12/30/07 - 10:53 am
0
0
Whether you're talking about

Whether you're talking about Democrats or Republicans, the real problem is that the vast majority of these politicians put the good of their party - not to mention their individual interests - above the good of the country. Certainly our predominantly two-party system shares some of the blame. This year I intend to have a look at the Unity08 movement. Hopefully they can supply us with a viable alternative.

jack
10
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jack 12/30/07 - 01:04 pm
0
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Mcgroothand, I agree we

Mcgroothand, I agree we should pull the majority of our troops out of Korea (and German). However, your wanting to put soldiers on the border to do the work of the INS violates the "Posse Comitatis Act". Look it up. Were it left up to me, I would put up guard towers along the border and man them with INS officers with orders to shoot those illegally crossing out borders. Drastic, but I gurarantee you it would stop the invasion and possibly put it t a trickle.I know I will get a lot of flack on this, but if we are to save ourselves as a nation, we must regain our sovereignty.

dani
12
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dani 12/30/07 - 01:16 pm
0
0
Has anyone heard the Hillary

Has anyone heard the Hillary speech in which she talks about freezing mortgage rates, mortgage loans, etc. The last time we had price freezes were during the Carter administration, I think.

dani
12
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dani 12/30/07 - 01:19 pm
0
0
I don't know why we can't put

I don't know why we can't put pressure on the Mexican government to clean up their act and give their people better living conditions. If they had the opportunity to make a living in their own country they wouldn't need what we have to offer. We dont need a fence. We need better government in our neighbor country to the South.

gcap
270
Points
gcap 12/30/07 - 01:50 pm
0
0
Our problems are twofold and

Our problems are twofold and growing. First, the politicians of both parties are self-serving thieves who throw goodies into their districts for the votes to send them back to Washington and a luxury lifestyle. Second, no politician has the courage to recommend policies that will protect us, whether from illegal immigration to wasting our money "preserving" governments like South Korea to fiscal responsibility. Additionally, no one is held accountable. No one. If we don't think self-serving politicians and poor self-protection policies can't ruin a government, just look at Augusta Richmond County. And it's getting worse daily.

deportem
94
Points
deportem 12/30/07 - 02:09 pm
0
0
If the Illegal Aliens are

If the Illegal Aliens are given amnesty and become American Citizens, we will have a viable 3rd party very soon. However, the 2 major parties are too stupid to realize that. Also, if something isn't done soon to reverse the lopsided trade deficit with China, it will be too late to worry about the sky. It already fell!

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 12/30/07 - 02:56 pm
0
0
jack: For well over two

jack: For well over two decades the military has been increasingly used as an auxiliary to civilian law enforcement when the capabilities of the police have been exceeded. Under both the statutory and constitutional exceptions that have permitted the use of the military in law enforcement since 1980, the president has ample authority to employ the military in homeland defense. And please don't make a Scotsman out of a Dutchman :-)

longtrainrunning
0
Points
longtrainrunning 12/30/07 - 03:55 pm
0
0
gcap, you covered the entire

gcap, you covered the entire problemin your 12:50 post!!!

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 12/30/07 - 04:59 pm
0
0
Amazing. Talking about out
Unpublished

Amazing. Talking about out of control spending and not a word on the cost of invading Iraq!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/30/07 - 08:24 pm
0
0
Spending on the Iraq invasion

Spending on the Iraq invasion is a tiny % of the money wasted on "social programs". They don't get mentioned either.

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 12/30/07 - 10:13 pm
0
0
Relocate Gilbert Manor far

Relocate Gilbert Manor far away from downtown Augusta. Put them close to the new bus depot on Davis road. The Sheriffs department needs to do a crime analysis for the last five years for Gilbert Manor. This will show Augustans how the Gilbert Manor residents will behave in a new neighborhood. You can take them out of the "hood" but, you cannot take the "hood" out of them.

fd1962
26
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fd1962 12/31/07 - 02:31 am
0
0
LaTwon - great comment re:
Unpublished

LaTwon - great comment re: 9:37AM !

Michael Ryan
593
Points
Michael Ryan 12/31/07 - 12:11 pm
0
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About the cost of Iraq. I've

About the cost of Iraq. I've talked to U.S. Comptroller General David Walker -- a Clinton appointee who is clearly an opponent of the war -- and he says the cost of Iraq doesn't help, but is a drop in the bucket compared to the unfunded entitlement liabilities we've got coming our way...

Michael Ryan
Editorial page editor

Little Lamb
43367
Points
Little Lamb 12/31/07 - 03:02 pm
0
0
If they will not listen to us

If they will not listen to us about securing the Mexican border, then they will not listen to us about unfunded entitlement liabilities.

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