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TONY WILSON: Congress should be held responsible for country's debt

Since I continue to get the message “The webpage cannot be found” when I attempt to log into the healthcare.gov website, I thought this week I’d explain to you in about 700 words what is wrong with Washington, D.C. and how we go about fixing it.

The D.C. crowd lives in a completely different world than you and I. The recent government shutdown and shenanigans surrounding it is proof.

While families opened their mail and learned that their insurance plans would be cancelled Jan. 1, despite a promise from the president that they could keep their plan no matter what — period, the commander-in-chief was focused on barricading our national monuments and parks.

While families learned from their employers what next year’s increased payroll deductions will be for their “affordable” insurance, Congress was busy adding spending projects, like the $3 billion Kentucky Kickback to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s district, to the bill to reopen our government.

While families realized that they are going to have to make tough household budget decisions in 2014, the D.C. crowd increased the debt ceiling and kicked the can a little further down the road — to January when we will be right back in the same spot.

I’ll repeat the borrowed line I’ve used time and again — if our forefathers were around today to witness this nonsense by our “leaders” they would have started shooting long before now.

Still think there’s hope for change?

We initially denied our military families the death benefits they truly deserved, but quickly awarded, through the bill to reopen the government, a year’s salary ($174,000) to the widow of deceased Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg. Apparently, this is a tradition.

Lautenberg served in the Senate for nearly 30 years and passed away earlier this year from viral pneumonia. CNN reported the senator was worth about $59 million. Hopefully, Bonnie can make it on the extra change she is getting from the taxpayers.

Why do we tolerate this nonsense? Because we keep electing these nincompoops. Why do we keep electing these nincompoops?

Because everybody loves “their” nincompoop and thinks “your” nincompoop is the problem. But whether he or she is my nincompoop or your nincompoop — they are all nincompoops!

We have a group of people who establish laws and then bend those very laws at their whim and pleasure while expecting us to abide by the letter of those laws. We have a group of people who spend money with reckless abandon and no regard for the fact one day the IOU will come due. We have a group of people who make decisions without having to suffer the consequences of those very decisions.

That group of people is Congress.

That group of people recently had a job approval rating of 5 percent.

You can blame the lobbyists. You can blame Wall Street. You can blame big money. At the end of the day, the members of Congress create bills and pass laws. They have the responsibility of serving We The People.

As the Ron White joke goes, “I had the right to remain silent…I just didn’t have the ability.”

Congress has the charge of doing the right thing — but do they have the ability? I submit to you the answer is no.

So, how do we fix it? It’s a three-step process.

  1. Throw the bathwater and the babies out and start over.

  2. Hand the existing debt over to every person who has served in Congress and have them or their estates pay their “fair share” of the debt. Since they created the problem, let them stroke a check for their “shared responsibility” payment.

  3. Implement a law that requires future members of Congress to pay their fair share of any debt they create. Don’t want to roll up your sleeves and balance the budget? Fine. You’ll pay for it — not us.

Along the way let’s elect a president who provides true leadership and understands he is charged with representing all people. We need a president who is a statesman with the country’s best interest at heart. Not one that sends guys with semi-automatic weapons to threaten and intimidate American citizens who are simply trying to see our monuments.

I call the plan the Georgia Jeehaw. Who’s with me? Questions or comments? Feel free to e-mail me at twilson@nfp.com.

Tony L. Wilson is a partner with NUVISION Financial Corporation based in Conyers. NUVISION is a subsidiary of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP), which provides benefits solutions for companies.