Don’t Throw Rocks at the Firemen

When people are in trouble they’re not always willing to accept help.  Whether you’re talking about an alcoholic resisting intervention, a drug addict, a wife who protects her wife-beating husband, or a homeowner who refuses to leave the flanks of an erupting Mount Saint Helens, there’s never been a shortage of people who lie to themselves about the situation that they’re in. 

It’s fair to argue that people have a right to ruin their lives if they want to, but the situation looks very different when there are other people involved.  Our nation’s slide into bankruptcy will ensnare a hundred million innocent bystanders.  The congressmen making the decisions and the people who are influencing them (pundits, lobbyists, and the millions of Americans who feel entitled to receive monthly checks from their next-door neighbors) aren’t just making decisions for themselves;  they’re dragging all of us into a grim future of escalating interest costs and budget cuts that are far more drastic than anything we’re contemplating today.  Those who are unable to connect the dots from Greece to Ireland to Iceland to the United States have no business offering opinions about the work of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

Their bipartisan report is here for your reading pleasure, and we all need to pull together to support it.  Sure, we all want to quibble about details;  the plan doesn’t do much about the government’s health care outlays, which will soon pass a trillion dollars a year on their way to two trillion.  But that’s not a reason to withhold support for a broad, innovative, and courageous set of proposals that could save America from itself. 

The truth is that few tomatoes have been thrown.  Opposition usually takes the form of a big yawn and a declaration that nobody is going to even bother to read the report.  It’s our job—the job of all American taxpayers—to stand up and make a joyful noise.

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