Don't you wish we had a crystal ball we could look into and predict the final outcome of our current recession? Most of us are not economists, Wall Streeters, or corporate bankers. We are just common folks who are suffering and have little confidence in some of the decisions made by our leaders.
Our president is hopeful and says "we will recover." Republican opponents are not so sure saying you cannot increase taxes and add to the federal debt because you add to the growing deficit and saddle future generations with the payments. They think the president's plan is irresponsible. So, who has the right answer?
Old-timers may remember the past Laurel and Hardy comedies. They often remarked about "the fine mess we are in." Each of us awakens daily wondering about our future and the future of our great nation. The president admits we are in a mess, but says we as a people still possess the qualities that made America a great force of progress and prosperity.
We have to remember this even as the days look dark and gloomy. A family member who has lost his job and cannot find a new one is among those looking for a needed break. He now spends eight hours a day on his computer, making telephone calls, and knocking on doors seeking work that will help pay his mortgage and put food on the table. He is now among the thousands of jobless Americans.
The new stimulus package is a promise of help for people in this same situation. Hey, they may not be laborers by profession, but even salesmen can pick up a shovel in a crisis and help rebuild aging bridges, roads and levees.
This is a beginning. If elected leaders can put aside partisanship and without too many strings release monies quickly, Americans can go to work and rebuild the United States back into the nation it once was. Pulling together, we might be able to see that bright light at the end of the tunnel.
We hear a lot of buzz words that are supposed to make us feel good. What we need is accountability for all of the taxpayer dollars being thrown at our economic problems. Hard choices will have to be made and some will be painful. Already budget cuts are being called for by local, state and federal governments.
We know our elected officials cannot walk on water, but they can stop the partisan politics, listen and respond positively to the needs of the people. They can quickly implement the stimulus bill, be it a good one or bad one, and get on with the national recovery without compromising public safety or national security.
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Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.