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Letter: Spooked by Our Growing Debt

To the Editor:

I’m scared! Are you scared of the horrendous debt that keeps piling up? It isn’t just Washington, although the federal government leads the pack. Add up the $17 trillion debt and all the unfunded mandates, and it is frightening. I’m scared for all the children who will be burdened by this debt.

So what to do? We can continue to ignore the problem. We can blame the politicians in Washington, Montpelier or Concord. Or we can decide to think about ways to solve the problems ourselves.

What can one person do to solve this big problem? Do you expect your senators and representatives to bring home the bacon and fund your projects? If so, you are part of the problem.

I have been told that wealthy people often have the first dollar they ever earned. That reflects the fact that they do not spend all of their money but use it to build their business. They understand that becoming wealthy means starting with the one dollar and adding to it over time. It takes restraint to stay within a budget, and our governments seem to have forgotten that simple principle.

Lost in all the rhetoric about the recent shutdown are the Republican principles of fiscal responsibility and the belief that the most effective, responsible government is the one closest to the people. Many of the bills put forward by the House to end the stalemate were to reduce spending and start paying down the debt. On Oct. 24, the U.S. debt per citizen was $53,818, and $148,896 per taxpayer. Go to USDebtClock.org and see for yourself how quickly the number changes in the wrong direction. It is very depressing.

By taking personal responsibility, we can look for ways to solve the problems. It was significant that when state governments wanted revenue from the closed national parks, they stepped in and opened the parks to the tourists themselves. Also, when federal nutrition programs were in jeopardy, volunteers stepped in by filling the local food shelves and volunteering to help. Taking personal responsibility made our country great and can again.

Mary Daly

Fairlee