06/19/10 — Spend wisely: Americans are sending a message -- 'Get back to the basics.'

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Spend wisely: Americans are sending a message -- 'Get back to the basics.'

President Barack Obama sounded a bit annoyed this week as he made his weekly address to the nation.

It seems he is upset by the fact that he cannot get enough votes in the U.S. Senate to pass a bill that he said would provide more money for the long-term unemployed, offer aid for state governments and renew tax breaks for businesses and individuals.

The naysayers who opposed the measure did not say it was without merit or that it would not eventually benefit the country. They simply suggested that perhaps it needed to be examined more closely, adding that the last thing this country needs is more debt piled on the record debt it faces now.

Perhaps that is a sign that there are more people than we thought listening in Washington.

The president bemoaned what he called the "dreary and familiar" politics of Washington.

And he is right in one sense. The days when blocking legislation merely to get a leg up on the other party should be over. There is no time in an age when there are serious issues to discuss for that silliness.

But even though it would have been more fun to be able to announce the approval of a bunch of new spending -- and there would have been a round of good news to share with the groups it might assist --  that would not be the positive step forward this country needs.

Americans have sent a message to their leaders that fiscal responsibility is important to them. They want their representatives to ask questions, to determine if something is a "must have" or a luxury. They want their tax dollars spent wisely in areas that they think are important and waste eliminated wherever possible.

And it seems like more and more of those representatives are doing just that.

The United States did not get to where it is today by avoiding tough decisions or by looking for the easy way out.

American voters are starting to wake up and to look more closely at not only how much they are paying in taxes, but at where that money is going. They want to get back to the values that built this nation -- hard work, responsibility and integrity.

So, the easy way out -- or the easy vote -- holds no appeal for them.

They are demanding that their elected representatives stop this runaway spending train -- and if that means a little "politics as usual" just to get the message across, then so be it.

Published in Editorials on June 19, 2010 10:24 PM