Our own letter to the next president

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Dear Mr. President-elect,

Across the country, thousands of students are being encouraged to write letters to you about their concerns, hopes and dreams for America. That includes Augusta, where some 400 students have sent letters for you in care of the Chronicle . We'll be printing the best of the lot each day through the inauguration.

This outpouring might have happened otherwise, but we have to think the letter writers are more numerous and enthusiastic due to your newness on the world stage and the hope you engender in your words and your background. If you could read them all, you'd obviously be touched by their innocence and humanity and their worries.

Of course, school children have overblown ideas about what a president can or even should do. It's reassuring to young minds to know someone's in charge.

But we suspect if the students knew better -- had more experience in the ways of the world, more information on the goings-on in Washington -- they'd be writing quite different letters.

They may not be as familiar with the Constitution as they should be, for instance. They may want you to do things -- with guns, with the economy, with tax money -- that are unconstitutional. One thing you could do to help would be to encourage schools to do a better job of teaching our constitutional heritage -- the limits on the government, the freedoms of the individual.

We found a particularly apt quote for the top of today's page from George Washington: "Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Our students may be too young to grasp that. But sadly, it's lost on many adults these days too. There will be plenty of them descending on Washington to ask you and your friends in Congress to do entirely too much (with money we don't have). Things we should do for ourselves. We hope you'll resist. That would bring a welcome change to Washington.

If our students were truly tuned in, they'd realize that the biggest government problem they face -- the main thing the next president could and should do something about -- is the national debt, now nearly $11 trillion and growing. It will be their problem, not ours. It will be today's youths and their children who must pay it off, not us. And they'll have to pay it off while supporting us in our old age.

If they knew all this, and the size of the burden the adults in Washington will be leaving them, their letters would be about asking you to do less for us, not more.

So we'll just ask you for them.

Comments (24) Add comment
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Ken
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Ken 01/04/09 - 02:30 am
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If you think that this man

If you think that this man can be trusted you're seriously mistaken. Just look at the O'Reilly interview. It was obvious Obama lied when he said I have far right friends. When immediately asked to name one Obama nervously turned away and started stuttering and stammering. Obama could not even spout a fictitious name in order to get out of the outright lie. He could do nothing and O'Reilly mercifully allowed Obama to escape the lie by asking another question that took Obama away from his blatant lie. Part of being a pathological liar is narcissism. This is a part of his being Obama the man will say anything and do anything to get elected. He took a victory lap to Europe and paraded in front of a cheering crowd of Germans who were invited to a free concert. What about the fake Greek Columns? Obviously Obama is more impressed with himself than most Americans. There is no way Obama is fit for the Presidency when he lies and has been caught in so many lies how can he be trusted. This Country has reached an all time low with this poor excuse for a leader. This is who we want our children to emulate?

elliottness
2
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elliottness 01/04/09 - 07:16 am
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oh ken boo hoo for you loser!

oh ken boo hoo for you loser! your senile pow and his ska.k vp lost.too bad they didn't have james baker to go to the unsupreme court and work out some deals like punk bush did in 00.remember the 60 minutes interview when scalia lied and said he couldn't remember that far back? 7 years?it's over he said,yeah tell that to gore,scalia.now they" had" an employee who was going to testify about how he rigged the machines in the 04 election, but one day before he was due in court his plane "mysteriously" crashed and he was killed,while his family is being protected.you won't see that on oreilly.who would you rather kids emulate, bush? a loser, who never held a job,got elected governor because they smeared richards like they did mccain.both of his elections have a black cloud over them,he has started 2 wars,then laughs about finding wmd's in the oval office,has the economy in a diaster,is hated worldwide,and has a vp worse off than him,and one day when 911 is exposed these 2 bags of trash will be held accountble.let them emulate bush, he is scared of animals,scared of war,was a cheerleader instead of a ball player,and is now the worst excuse for a president this country has ever seen.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/04/09 - 08:03 am
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The "dumbing down of America"

The "dumbing down of America" program that was initiated 45 years ago is a raging success. We now have a nation of uninformed and easily misinformed that are ill prepared to understand the purpose of government. Self centered and self serving abusers are returned to office on every election and a president is chosen because of skin color. The old adage, "...the end is set when the electorate learns they can access the national treasury..." is coming true. Begin the end.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 01/04/09 - 09:26 am
0
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It's morning again--in Saudi

It's morning again--in Saudi Arabia.

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 01/04/09 - 09:55 am
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Wait..be patient...give the

Wait..be patient...give the man a chance. There will be plenty of blame for this empty suit once he is in charge. PEBO 012

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 01/04/09 - 10:34 am
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Ken, what country are you

Ken, what country are you moving to and when? Patricia you need to go with him since you hate it here so much. Thank the GOP, especially Bush and Cheney, for all the trouble we are in. Bush sees himself as a liberator. He's a liberator, all right; a liberator of your money!

shamrock
506
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shamrock 01/04/09 - 10:34 am
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What a waste of paper and

What a waste of paper and ink! PEBO is no more concerned about the AC's letter than he is of any other letter written by students. Obama has his own agenda that revolves solely around himself and his cronies.

avidreader
3215
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avidreader 01/04/09 - 11:01 am
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FEDS -- stay out of the

FEDS -- stay out of the free-market economy. If the big three in Detroit go belly-up, so be it. The Asians will fill the void soon enough with cost-efficient products. I trust the Japanese; I do not trust our government. I do not want any bones thrown my way. I'm middle-class and proud of it. I can take care of myself and my family. I drive a Honda. I have one credit card (with a 350 limit, by choice). My banker is my friend, not my master. I trust AFLAC. I hate Merrill Lynch. And as PT so eloquently put it -- I refuse to be "dumbed down". Our country is in dire need of a stable Indepenent Party to compete with the powers-that-be in DC. I want friends who do not giggle about a wasted ballot when I insist on voting for Ron Paul. I want a President who will force the American public to tug a bit tighter on their purse strings and turn their palms downward. I want to live in a nation that will elect such a man (or woman). I do not want to live among uneducated people. I want our poverty-stricken citizens to take the jobs that illegal immigrants relish. I want our elected leaders to dismiss the concepts of pork-barrel spending. I want a lot, but . . .

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/04/09 - 11:21 am
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Don't hate it here coalminer,

Don't hate it here coalminer, just hate what liberals have done to the country. I don't see any chance of recovery from this deterioration before collapse. Nice job. The support of the uninformed is overwhelming.

jack234
719
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jack234 01/04/09 - 12:32 pm
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look like someone has taken

look like someone has taken it upon themselves to be the person who can determine who is uninformed. this whole country has been uninformed for 8 years. welcome change. hello! hello!

jack234
719
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jack234 01/04/09 - 12:49 pm
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Atleast the liberals didn't

Atleast the liberals didn't predict doom before Bush even took office. We watched as Bush shot himself in the foot with the help of cheney, rumsfeld, and Rowe. With the election, atleast we can see a light at the end of this 8 year tunnel. Now, sit back and watch from the sidelines where you belong. Come back in 8 years, then make a judgement. Stop being bitter, the election is over and we now have hope again. No way to go but up. HELLO!! HELLO! I noticed the AC didn't offer any solutions.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/04/09 - 01:11 pm
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jack234, no one needs to

jack234, no one needs to determine if you're uninformed or misinformed. You prove your position every time you post.

jack234
719
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jack234 01/04/09 - 01:22 pm
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That's the way I roll. Don't

That's the way I roll. Don't take the lost so serious. Now, you have a blessed day and try to get something accomplished today besides posting. There is a whole new world out there. Get involved. Again, you have a blessed day. HELLO! HELLO!

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/04/09 - 01:39 pm
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PatriciaThomas... your RACISM

PatriciaThomas... your RACISM is never more evident than in your first post on this editorial. You call school integration the "dumbng down" of America? SHAME ON YOU. Go bleach your sheets for your next rally. Yeah, yeah, call me a "liberal," say I'm uninformed....blah blah blah. You're like a parrot, only parrots may be colorblind. You repeat, you state incorrect right-wing falsehoods, your roam this message board ready to pounce (do you HAVE a job or are you some airheaded aristocrat's arm-candy??), but more than anything, you spew your thinly veiled racism - well today, you didn't do it well enough. You call public school integration "the dumbing down of America;" so then I can presume you believe, instead, that children should be divided up to attend different schools based on skin tone?

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/04/09 - 01:43 pm
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I'll go one step further and

I'll go one step further and say that SUBURBAN FLIGHT (whites running FROM public school integration) is a MAJOR factor in what's destroying this country. All that fleeing to the 'burbs has taxed city and county infrastructures, and of COURSE, politicians don't dare raise the tax money necessary to cover it, so streets and facilities crumble from disrepair; that might be too simple a theory for that parrot mind of yours to grasp, though, patty parrot.

grouse
1635
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grouse 01/04/09 - 01:46 pm
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A president (or
Unpublished

A president (or vice-president) performing unconstitutional actions. Where have I heard that before?

jack234
719
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jack234 01/04/09 - 01:48 pm
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Patricia Thomas: Your head is

Patricia Thomas: Your head is old and your thinking is as old as your head. The world will be a better place when some of these old heads die off. The only person that buys into what an old head says is another old head. Most of your audience is in the nursing homes across this land or a nice little hump in the ground. Now, you have a nice day. Learn to think about your comments before you post. We all know that you are a victim of your upbringing and that your parents are very proud of you. Get out the way and make way for change.

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/04/09 - 01:57 pm
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Grouse, I think you heard it

Grouse, I think you heard it just about every damn day the last 8 years.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/04/09 - 02:51 pm
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jack234, most of my

jack234, most of my contemporaries are employed and feel much as I do. The entitlement mind set relies on their working. While you feel viable people are in the way, your contemporaries will be in for a big shock when their source of leisure is gone.

jack234
719
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jack234 01/04/09 - 04:42 pm
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I fail to see where living on

I fail to see where living on entitlements is a life that anyone would choose. I certainly wouldn't choose to exchange my life with any of them, would you? I worry more about the rich who feel that they have a right to rip off more from the government and feel safe in doing so. I'm not concerned about those who just have a bare existence. I just don't carry that type of hate with me. Complain about things that really matter if you must complain. You shouldn't let that type of hate dominate your life. There are some real problems out there that you could be concerned with. I know all of this is falling on deaf ears and that it took you a long time to get set in your ways. Anyway, have a blessed day as always.

jack
10
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jack 01/04/09 - 05:25 pm
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Elliotmess, you are the

Elliotmess, you are the epitomy of the dumbing down of America. Inane diatribes without any facts to even begin to support your stupid comments.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/04/09 - 05:27 pm
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Different things seem to

Different things seem to matter to us jack234. You seem to suffer from a serious wealth envy and I seem to dislike those that have been tricked into choosing to live off the "free" government ride. No, I wouldn't choose to trade lives with those that have made that choice and I don't like what those that make that choice for themselves and their children evolve into. You don't seem to think that makes any difference and don't seem to think it's the entitlements that precipitate the evolution. Fine. If you're happy with your perspective, I'm happy with mine.

jack234
719
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jack234 01/04/09 - 05:30 pm
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What Elliotness stated is

What Elliotness stated is what the informed already knows and evidently a majority of the American people. i.e. the last election. Have a good night, I'm outta here.

TheTruth
1
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TheTruth 01/04/09 - 09:56 pm
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Let's bring the focus back to

Let's bring the focus back to where it needs to be: the state of this nation. There are so many things the new administration will have to face: a broken Iraq that is bleeding this country dry, Afghanistan which is seeing a strong resurgence of the Taliban, another rogue Islamic nation - Pakistan, who by the way has nukes, an emboldened North Korea, an aggressive Russia Hell-bent on rebuilding the Iron Curtain, and the emergence of China as the world's next military and economic superpower. I'm not a liberal; I'm not a conservative. Extremists are the reason this nation is in the poor condition it is in now. We need moderates with intellect and abilites to reason, not mindless warmongers and corporate thieves. It's time to unite and find solutions to our problems, and bickering and name-calling like a bunch of four-year olds is not the answer.

TheTruth
1
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TheTruth 01/04/09 - 10:09 pm
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I'm sick and tired of hearing

I'm sick and tired of hearing people bad mouth this country. We are STILL the greatest nation in the world and always will be because we are free. Let's focus our attention inward and rebuild our nation's educational system, industries, manufacturing, and crumbling infrastructure. I disagree with the corporate bailouts. Wall Street should have crashed, the big three should have failed. Big oil should be under indictment and facing government takeover. Everything entering this country should be tarrifed. We should be out of the WTO, World Bank, NAFTA, NATO, and the UN. LET'S FOCUS ON US!!!

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