Regarding Our Nation's Future

         We're concerned about titanic debt, and this country's sunk in it. For ourselves, as individuals, we have to live within our means, but for those who govern, sadly, enough of them don't think responsibly this way.

         Recently I read that in July of 1790, Thomas Jefferson came upon a depressed Secretary of the Treasurer, Alexander Hamilton, who couldn't persuade Congress to put the nation on "a firm financial footing." The House Speaker, James Madison adamantly opposed his plan. He was waiting to see President Washington and was on the verge of resigning.

          Although differing in politics, Jefferson was concerned about having the country financially sound. He offered to host a private dinner to bring the two gentlemen together to see if they could settle their differences.
At the meal Jefferson raised the subject, and Madison raised his objections to the federal government assuming the Revolutionary War debt of the states. Virginia had already paid theirs but most of the northern states hadn't.

          Jefferson had an idea. The debt would be more agreeable to the South if the permanent capital were located in Virginia. Madison listened to the proposal. This would counter southern criticism.

          Madison withdrew his opposition to Hamilton's funding bill, which afterward was passed. And Congress also passed a bill to make Washington the national capital. The problem, so to speak, was digested at that dinner.

          Were our nation's problems so easily solved today. Washington itself is a problem. Instead of financial stability, we are hearing about debt being loaded on our grandchildren, something I think most of us wouldn't want in our own families. Harking back to Colonial times we need a treatise titled like Thomas Paine's Common Sense, to follow in the governance of this country. And the will to follow it.

          Our Founding Fathers compromised--and it worked, because it could. But there are times, because of principle, when you cannot compromise. Compromise is not something hallowed, something to be politically bowed down to. It works when it works. When it can.

         One thing to keep an eye out for, is whether side A proposes something, that side B cannot budge on (for the sake of the country), then blaming side B for not working together, thereby hoping to turn people against B. If side A has the media “to side with them” –- which is hardly impartial reporting – then it brings into play a certain amount of governance by “the medi-ocracy.”

       Plainly spoken, it is not just, to burden our progeny with encrusted titanic debt, through the misguided policies and actions -- or inactions -- of those who govern. Yet, it must also be remembered, it's the voters who put them in power. People decry the politician. But there has to be common sense at the level of the voter. We should be held accountable too.
                                                                                                                        John Riedell     

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