Commission must get debt under control

We should sing the praises of these 18 individuals now, because they have taken on a truly thankless task.

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It's a sad state of affairs when our elected representatives can approve adding another $1.9 trillion to the nation's debt limit and the majority of people don't even flinch any more.

Wage slaves across the country have been lashed with this whip so often they seem numb to the pain. This measure pushes the debt limit to $14.3 trillion -- about $45,000 for every American, according to The Associated Press.

If a family of four maxed out its credit cards at $180,000 ($45,000 each for mom, dad, sister and brother), there would be much gnashing of teeth, wagging of tongues and pointing of fingers in an intervention by friends, relatives and bankers. "Cut up those cards and put yourself on a strict budget until you've paid off that debt," they would demand.

For decades the public has wailed, screamed, cried, pleaded and threatened for this financial irresponsibility to stop, but it has all landed on deaf ears.

But maybe there is finally a ray of hope. As part of digging the debt hole deeper, the measure also included tough new "pay-as-you-go" budget rules.

Yes, we have heard that before -- from Republicans and Democrats right before they blasted another loophole into law and we fell deeper into debt.

What is so different this time? President Obama has created an 18-member, bipartisan, debt commission to put together a plan to help the nation start crawling out of the money pit.

Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chair, says the commission will gather data and then formulate a plan.

The plan, according to Democratic co-chair Erskin Bowles, will put everything on the table, from tax increases to spending cuts.

Obama wants the proposal by Dec. 1.

We should sing the praises of these 18 individuals now, because they have taken on a truly thankless task. They will not find buried treasure or a goose that lays golden eggs. Members of the public will put in their two cents about how their program or tax break or piece of pork is vital while "those" are a waste of money and should be eliminated.

The commission will have to preach sacrifice and learning to live within our means instead of over our heads.

No one wants to hear that. We have enjoyed a "pay me now or pay me later" existence with the government acting as a fairy godmother granting all our wishes. It's a lot more fun to spend and live the good life of the grasshopper. Now it's time to pay the piper and realize we need to adopt the practical ways of the ant.

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