fiscal day of reckoning. This is the wrong debate and discussion. Debt and deficit are the symptoms of the disease; they are not the nation's disease.
Every shade-tree mechanic knows that a problem must be found before it can be fixed. It does not seem our "leaders" in Washington know what mechanics know. The debt commission set about to make recommendations for finding a way to solve the debt and deficit crisis, and within this narrow scope there are but two alternatives: cut spending and increase revenue. But the debt commission is addressing a question that assumes, among other things, the government is operating as it should.
We must not assume the Federal Government is functioning correctly when it got us into this mess. Like the shade tree mechanic we must find the structural problems with government that created the problem, and then we can set about fixing the problem.
Even that is not the fundamental debate. For if we are to decide how government got us into this mess, we must first decide what it should do. What is the role of the federal government in the United States? The Founding Fathers debated this and left us a republican form of government that had a limited role, spelled out in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, for the federal government. Today, by any measure, the federal government has exceeded its legitimate scope under the limited powers of the Constitution.
So let us decide if we want a nanny state first; then let us determine how much nanny state we want; then let us figure out how to put controls on the federal government so that it can't do more than we want and drive us into a ditch again; and finally let us figure out within this set of objectives how we will solve the debt and deficit crisis. These are the questions that must be addressed in order to fix the nation's problems.
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