Homeless in Arizona

Vote for me and I will give you free stuff!!!!


Pruitt: Can we the people restore our nation?

by J. Doug Pruitt - Sept. 8, 2012 12:00 AM

My Turn

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

-- Benjamin Franklin

Said differently, "When people elect politicians who will give them something and politicians give people something to get elected, our democracy will eventually fail."

Is that where we are today? Are we watching this theory play out in front of our eyes?

Over several decades, many different elected officials have created programs that give people something. Some call it entitlements, some call it tax breaks or loopholes.

People have lobbied hard through their unions or social groups for programs (entitlements). Congress has given them program after program and made promises to segments of our society they can never deliver on, and we can no longer afford. Many of these programs are unsustainable; many are broke.

Business and the wealthy have lobbied hard for reduced tax rates, tax credits or exemptions. Congress has given them the alphabet soup of tax loopholes, so some of the wealthiest people and largest corporations pay little, if any, taxes. So what has this this gotten us?

We have a part of our society that has become overly dependent on government for survival and doesn't want to see it taken away. We have a society where the spread between the wealthy and the poor has widened to the point where we are losing our middle class, which has some serious negative consequences.

We have a country that is not too far away from financial ruin with $16 trillion in debt and $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities in our entitlement programs, and both are growing exponentially.

We have a country that has significantly fallen behind in its education system, its infrastructure development, and its scientific research and development compared with other leading countries. We have fallen behind in our ability to invest in our future because we don't have the money to do so.

Our future as a great nation is on the line, and we have a Congress that is so entrenched in its separate ideologies and so focused on the next election (which, by the way, comes every two years) that its members are helpless when it comes to making the hard decisions and finding the solutions to do what is in the country's best long-term interests. The prime example of this was the supercommittee on deficit reduction that turned into the super flop.

Are we as a people, from different sides of the spectrum -- wealthy, poor, middle class, big business, small business, unions, social groups -- willing to change our behavior, take some personal responsibility, make some sacrifices, live within our means and stop putting our hand out?

Can we take a stand with Congress and the president and let them know that time is running out and they must work together to make those tough choices? They have to make significant cuts in spending, increase revenues and start investing in our future if we are going to compete in this global economy and reach our full potential as a nation.

If we the people aren't willing to do this, then maybe Franklin was right.

J. Doug Pruitt is the retired chairman and CEO of Sundt Construction.

Homeless in Arizona

stinking title