Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Who creates jobs -- the government or individuals? The only way government can create a job is to use our tax money. We want government to work -- to get out of our way so we, individuals, can make steady progress. We want to be able to create businesses, hire employees and make profits that drive the economy. Some 6.6 million entrepreneurs generate more than half of their income by working at home. Their small businesses employ one in 10 private-sector workers.

What do we need? A better climate so small businesses can be created and grow: less regulation, less taxation and the ability to spend our time creating, instead of complying.

As Reagan said 45 years ago: "You can't control the economy without controlling the people. ... We either take responsibility for our own destiny, or we abandon the American Revolution and confess that an intellectual belief in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

Which path will we take today?

While the domestic economic news is chilling, the news on the Afghan front is no better. On Monday, 14 U.S. troops and agents died in helicopter crashes. On Tuesday, eight U.S. soldiers died in bombings.

Last month, their commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, asked for more troops. So far, President Obama has not answered. He defended his indecisiveness on Monday at a Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., telling our troops, "I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way."

There are currently 68,000 U.S. troops risking their lives in Afghanistan. They are already in harm's way. Should he not be rushing to provide them support?

"Never again should young Americans be asked to fight and die for their country," said President Reagan, "unless the cause is one we intend to win."

Americans are fighting in Afghanistan. Our commander in chief has not yet made a decision regarding McChrystal's recommendation for increased troop strength.

The question for Obama: Is this a cause we intend to win? If so, how?

Once again, the American people are called to action. "The average citizen cannot afford to leave politics to the politicians," said Lemuel Boulware, the vice president of General Electric who hired Reagan to serve as the company spokesman in the 1950s.

Decades later, this statement applies to us.

We cannot leave politics to the politicians -- but must determine if we are ready for our rendezvous with destiny.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.