I have read with interest letter writers incensed at the Republican approach to balancing the budget, lamenting that entitlement programs might suffer.
One seemed to articulate the mentality of many Americans regarding borrowing and spending and our comfort with the status quo: "Face it, this country is based on deficit spending. Deficit spending is not bad in itself. It's the why, what and where you spend the money that's important." Another way of saying the end justifies the means.
While I appreciate the sympathy for those less fortunate in our society, the root problem is still our attitude toward spending. Despite the assertion that continuing to borrow and spend is the American way of life, eventually your mortgage company, your credit card provider, and America's foreign investors are going to insist we pay up. They lend us money for financial gain, period.
Congress has never seen a tax dollar it can't find a reason to spend. New taxes will eventually just turn into another pot of cash for some new federal program. The only sure way to eliminate debt is to make the hard decision to stop spending.
Our self-indulgent sense of entitlement, despite our humanitarian hand-wringing, will only cause us to complain more bitterly as we look for someone else to blame when our debt-ridden economy finally hits the brick wall of financial reality. In any case, no one will be able to ask, "Why didn't someone warn us?"