Profiles in Courage 2012



If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may have peace.” Thomas Paine

Once in American history, patriots knowingly put themselves in harm’s way to spare their children. No one kicked the American Revolution down the road. They didn’t leave it for the kids to fight.

Trouble has happened again, 17 trillion dollars worth. Our leaders are less inspiring. No one in Washington is saying “let it be in my day.” To paraphrase Mr. Paine, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my children’s time, so that I may have peace today.”

History credits the founders for their integrity and courage.Their willingness to ‘walk the walk’ sets them apart. It’s possible (theoretically) that two centuries from now, Barack Obama and John Boehner will also be so kindly remembered. If that is the case, it will be for what they do in the coming weeks, not for anything they have done so far.

As an Illinois legislator President Obama defined himself as a man of limited opinions. He voted ‘present’ with an ease that is hard to fathom. The president speaks passionately about our grave financial situation, yet his only commitment thus far is to an increase in tax rates. Those increases will be limited to those persons (and individuals filing as subchapter S corporations) with earned incomes of over $250,000 a year. On the spending side of the equation,’present’ would be an overly generous reading of his involvement.

This rate increase is expected to generate about 80 billion dollars annually. 80 billion is still significant money in some quarters. But consider this; were that 80 billion dollars used solely for debt reduction, it would take 18 years to retire the budget deficit for 2009(principal only).

Boehner and McConnell seem willing to give in on rate increases. Their strategy on spending cuts and entitlement reforms mirrors that of the Democrats – you first.

The founding fathers put their lives and liberty at risk for their children. The president and the speaker seem unwilling to risk a paper cut for ours.