Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Tough choices needs to be made...
March 02, 2011 | 01:10 PM

John –

The days of calm, rational political discourse are ending, as we no longer live in a country that exists in an economic fantasy land.

The problems that we face as a nation have been building for decades and both political parties are to blame. Democrats promised prosperity by targeting “investments” (government spending) in areas ranging from education to President Obama’s stimulus plan, while Republican’s offered tax cuts without reducing the size of government or spending. In terms of the federal government, the idea that we can add more costly bipartisan sponsored programs such as the No Child left Behind Act and the Medicare Prescription Drug Act while at the same time reducing tax rates and sending rebate checks back to taxpayers is ludicrous at best.

So now, this fantasy is ending for both the state and federal governments. The hollow chorus of eliminating waste and inefficiency in order to balance budgets has proven to be a fallacy, and tax cuts cannot possibly grow the economy enough to offset the structural deficits that have been building for years. In order to balance state and federal budgets extremely tough and difficult choices must be made, and Governor Scott Walker seems to be the first politician in our state to be honest with the people regarding our pending fiscal insolvency.

If anyone feels that the protests in Madison are out of control, wait until politicians in both parties in Washington have to start making tough choices, which they have refused to do in the past. As for one example, in the year 2000 federal spending for the government run health care programs of Medicare and Medicaid represented 18.5% of the entire federal budget, which at the time included no costs for wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. For the 2009 Federal Budget (pre “Obama Care”), Medicare and Medicaid consumed 23% of all spending. Government run health care is now the largest expense for the federal government, and at this rate of growth, it will bankrupt our nation. If anyone feels that the protesters in Madison are a tough crowd, wait until millions of Senior Citizens, Health Care Activists and Union Leaders who also want to maintain the status quo besiege Washington in an effort to prevent cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

James from Lake Geneva