By Joseph J. Honick
It's time to smash through the hyperbole, hypocrisy and political chicanery keeping us from avoiding the tragedy of fiscal inaction.
Avoiding the fiscal cliff uncertainty is the responsibility of all Americans, not just some debating society in Washington.
If the election could muster tens of billions from the deep pockets of special and individual interests, why couldn't that kind of effort be used to invest in America instead of politicians?
There is history for such effort that made every citizen a team player: in WWII. Then it was called simply war bonds and stamps. Even kids in school were able to participate … and then cash them in for dividends later.
When it was all over, American citizens, young and otherwise, had put up more than a reported $200 billion. According to the calculator of a genius professor friend of mine, that sum would rise to around $2.6T today!
Just as importantly, it would be an All-American idea to invest in the country and get dividends down the road. What on earth is wrong with that?
It’s estimated the presidential election just concluded ran up around $5.8 billion of “loose change” people had lying around, and that did not include the $35 million kicked in by the taxpayers through the Federal Election Commission.
You do not have to look too far or listen to well to know that most Americans are accusing the president or the Congress or anyone else for the inactions in these events.
Well, an old preacher once put it most clearly when he asserted “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!”
We’re no different here. Almost everyone is sure the government that so many wish would disappear is also supposed to take care of every major problem that comes along.
Well the stage is and has been set so there is very little time left to move on the “fiscal cliff” danger, a term coined some months ago by none other than the Fed boss Ben Bernanke – part of the daily public, political and media lingo we cannot escape.
In the nature of stuff turned out daily by government printing presses, it would not take much to factor in a new version of the war bonds and stamps and to enlist citizen involvement via the usual propaganda mills.
As the late and lugubrious Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen would say during budget debates,” A trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon we’re talking some real money.”
So it’s time to talk not only some real money but some real citizen and government responsibility, with just as much emphasis on as the other….or as one great mind once put it: “An apathetic citizenry can be the death of democracy.”
Joseph J. Honick is
president of GMA International in Bainbridge Island, Wash.