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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     Well it finally happened just as they said it would. The President and his advisors warned us for weeks that the entire world and our economy would implode, only in the last week to soften the rhetoric to blame Congress for inaction, noting that the automatic budget cuts may not be the chaotic end of the world as was claimed. Meanwhile in Congress the Republicans and Democrats sat across the isles from each other having staring contests waiting for someone to blink first. The tax increases handed to the President before Christmas certainly has escaped the memory of most people, but has been felt by millions whose paychecks are smaller this year.

     And while this fancy game of “you won’t cross this line” has been played the media has been beside themselves. Food will be more dangerous, if there are even inspectors to approve it leading to shortages around the country. Security at airports will fall apart, air traffic controllers won’t be there to direct planes, and millions and millions of people will have to wait in horribly long lines for reduced medical care. That doesn’t even begin to mention the thousands of pre school children who won’t get government subsidies which pay for them to go to “head start” programs.

    Oh yes, the world certainly was going to stop and the cuts were going to destroy the economy leaving countless thousands without jobs. Seriously? How stupid does Washington really think you and I are?

     For years we watched as those around us, and ourselves included, bought and bought and borrowed and bought far beyond our means. We over extended ourselves and when it all collapsed what did you and I have to do? We had to make difficult choices to cut our spending. No longer could we afford to live beyond our means, and instead we had to cut frills and decide what was really important to us. As things began to improve we’ve adjusted our budgets and our spending accordingly. Maybe it’s the ability to eat out once or twice a week. Maybe we went from watching free television to paying for cable. Or maybe we felt that we had just enough room to splurge a little at Christmas.

     Regardless none of us are at the earning power or spending power we were five or ten years ago and we had to downsize to survive. Unfortunately Washington hasn’t learned this lesson. I’m pretty sure that the company I worked at making nearly $40,000 a year would have loved to kept me employed when suddenly their market dried up? Do you think there is a home builder or contractor that didn’t loose sleep when they had to let their workers go? No, those cuts to humans affected everyone, yet they had to be made to save companies in the process.

     It is time for Washington to learn the lesson. Big government, as Washington is used to having, can’t work right now. We need to be fiscally responsible, we need to make cuts and we have to do the best we can with what is available to us. The folks who set up the spending cliff had it right. They set the time limit knowing full well that a divided Congress and a lame duck President who spends more time campaigning than leading couldn’t make the tough decisions and compromises themselves.

     So it is time for Washington to put their big boy pants on and suck it up. Get our financial house in order and then down the road if it is necessary bring back those workers and spending that have to be cut now. It’s not just the right thing to do, it is what has to be done, and it is what you and I have been doing all along.

     See you next week….remember, we’re all in this together.