(NNPA)—We are supposed to be the envy of the free world. Yet, here we were in the midst of a budget struggle. Budget struggle? That is the stuff third world countries wrestle with. But, here we were acting like Zimbabwe or something. Our treasury is in a major deficit and our so called leaders act as if they have money to burn. The only ones who are going to get burned are us. China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia hold our financial paper; the price of oil is going through the “roof,” grocery prices are skyrocketing and we are now into three wars with no end apparent. Whatever happened to good fiscal management like they teach us at business schools? We are drunk with malfeasance and our leadership is stuck in the “toilet.”


Last week we were on the verge of shutting down the federal government and our elected officials were cavalier about the whole thing. How can you play with peoples’ livelihoods and posture? The worst of it all was how they regarded our military families. They are the jewel of this nation. They protect us; put their lives on the line for us and in return just want a modest payment for the valuable work they do. Yet, we dis them. We scare the spouses and children of our precious warriors by saying we are going to cut off their paychecks to spite our political opponents. They are defending us and trying to figure out how to stay alive and we respond with a total disregard of service and lack of respect for the safety of their family members. This is just plain rotten.

Our troops aren’t the only ones. Let’s think about the one million federal employees who were about to face financial ruin. How could our congressmen, senators and White House officials consider the ruin of these precious people, all for spite? Our precious soldiers, their devoted spouses and children, and our federal employees were merely “pawns” in this game of political showmanship. What type of “devil” enjoys such an evil game?

In the end, all the posturing and wolfing went away and we came to a mild resolution. We are still in massive debt but for the first time in decades we decided to cut our spending. Yes, we cut some spending even though it didn’t matter much to the total but we indeed made a cut. This could be the start of a very positive movement. In addition to that, we even provided a voucher program for Washington, D.C. parents to send their children to private and accountable schools versus the morass of the D.C. public schools. Our veterans will continue to receive their hard earned pay. Let me say this, “DON’T EVER MESS WITH OUR VETERANS AGAIN!” Woe to the elected officials that think they can. We will “mow” you down at the election booth if you ever try it again. Mark my word!!!

Our troops are our most valuable asset. We should have scholarship funds set up for their children as many states did for their loving veterans after World War II. The GI Bill of Rights should be expanded so that being a bona fide veteran means that you are a special citizen endowed with special rights and privileges. God bless our veterans and their loved ones. They are the ones who have paid the price for our actions be they right or wrong.

Back to the issue at hand. We are in serious debt—a debt that rivals Zimbabwe more than any first world nation. We must address this for the future of our children, grandchildren, and the free world at large. Our elected officials must no longer ignore this and begin to cut away at the debt. Yes, it will be tough and painful but it is necessary, if we are to survive as a great people. All budgets from here on out must address this massive debt. The budget of 2012 must show a massive decrease in spending as well as all budgets thereafter. The debt ceiling is coming up for a vote. We should not increase it one penny. It is time to get tough and vigilant, if we want our nation to survive in peace and prosperity. Shame on our elected officials who put on such a great “hissy fit” over something that should have been so elementary and routine, they betrayed us all. It is time for us to tell these elected officials that they have a fiscal responsibility. Like a business, they must be accountable and maintain solvency. Anything else will lead to bankruptcy and bankruptcy by our government is intolerable. Let’s end the debt and prevent a reoccurrence from ever happening again. God bless America and may all those incompetent officials go straight to Hell.

(Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: http://www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.)

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