Another week has come and gone, and our government still cannot agree on a plan for addressing America's impending financial disaster. Each day, Wall Street and Main Street draw closer to the brink while the Poobahs on the Potomac concern themselves with political angles and public relations strategies. To say we are witnessing politics as usual is an understatement. What is occurring in Washington today is politics on steroids. The fact that our representatives have allowed the country's financial situation to deteriorate to this point is a testament to how out of touch with reality they are. Even now they seem to be operating under the deluded assumption that there is a painless path out of the financial quagmire America has gotten itself into.
We are in for a rude awakening.
Truth be told, it will be impossible to undo the damage that's been done to our government, our economy, and our culture without significant sacrifice, prolonged hardship, and a radical attitude adjustment. For too long we have plowed along with the casual arrogance of a spoiled teenager – oblivious to our worsening condition, devoid of discipline, and utterly self-centered. We've suffered from a woeful inability to take the long view, preferring immediate satisfaction to delayed gratification, the fate of future generations be damned.
For us, just like for that teenager, it is inevitable that our insular universe will one day be shattered by the hard cold facts of reality. For many, that day has already come. The unemployment rate continues to hover at historic highs, many areas of the economy remain sluggish, and confidence in the U.S. dollar continues to weaken. If we don't get serious about our debt and deficit – and get serious NOW – there will be financial hell to pay. In many ways it is already too late. Hell is on the horizon and there can be no avoiding serious discomfort all the way around. At least, however, we are still at the point where we have the liberty to decide how we want to bite the bullet. Delay much longer and we run the danger of hitting the bottom so hard that recovery becomes impossible.