As nation teeters, what is really needed for us?

I feel as if I am watching a high wire balancing act as our nation teeters to one side and then the other.

On the one hand the country could fall to the right into an abyss of recession or depression such as we are seeing in Greece and Spain. I don’t think we want that.

On the other hand the country could fall to the left where big government would probably lead us into some sort of totalitarian socialism that could stifle and possibly destroy our free enterprise system.

Greece and Spain are now in crisis as they try to deal with rampant unemployment, deficit spending and badly needed government budget cuts. The workers in those countries have taken to the streets to protest further government cuts that are going to be very difficult for them swallow at this time when unemployment is close to 25 percent and the unemployed are more than ever in need of help.

They, Greece and Spain, are deeply in debt and depending on less troubled European countries to bail them out by loaning them money to see them through until their economies recover.

Unfortunately the lender countries are unwilling to throw good money after bad. They are demanding fiscal responsibility as a condition for the bail-outs. That means budget cuts.

How far behind them are we? We have relatively high unemployment and a stagnant economy that does not seem inclined to recover. If the U.S. economy fails, it would probably lead to a world recession or depression. That could be bad for all of us.

Four years ago we had a financial meltdown on Wall Street that affected the entire world. It also exposed a great deal of irresponsibility on the part of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world.

Our free enterprise system ran amok while government regulators stood idly by. There were warning signs and they were ignored.

Fortunately that [Bush] administration was quick to act to shore up these institutions so that things did not get worse. The next following [Obama] administration took further drastic actions as well. Sadly, we had to borrow the money to do it. So our national debt went up even more.

I think we all know by now at least some of the causes of the crisis: Fancy footwork on the part of Wall Street that was pretty much ignored by government regulators.

Now we are in the midst of a presidential election where Republican foxes want to get back into the hen house. I don’t think that is such a great idea.

Republicans want power and are stoning the President for not fixing things, all the while seeming to forget that we got into this jam on their watch.

Interestingly they do not, or will not, tell us exactly how they intend to mend the broken economy.

As Mr. Romney bashes the president for everything under the sun, he offers precious few specifics about what he will do.

He says he will create jobs. Is that what he did at Bain? I think not. I could be wrong, but he made quite a lot of his fortune breaking up companies and putting their workers on the street — Trickle down economics.

Enough said. I say again that what this country needs is a government that works. I don’t know whether you have noticed or not, but we have had partisan gridlock and stalemate instead of any sincere effort by Congress to legislate a program that will get us on the road to recovery.

Republicans call for another change in direction and that is exactly what we do not need.

Four years ago our government, Republican and Democrat alike, took the conservative approach and bailed out a frozen banking system. I think this was a prudent but repugnant course. I hated the thought of the taxpayer bailing out a very red-faced Wall Street.

Admittedly we aren’t recovered, but we are recovering. I am particularly glad that our automobile industry did not disappear. They are making good cars for a change and it is only a matter of time until they win back a more significant share of the auto market.

We need to avoid making drastic and immediate change that can only serve to confuse investors. They need stability and to know what kind of a climate they will invest in down the road.

I think half of the problem is that the investment community does not know what the future holds and until they are comfortable with the future they will not invest. Would you?

I don’t think we want “business men” running government. They have and, given the chance, will continue to manipulate government to benefit themselves. Do not forget their fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders.

We are a diverse nation and the needs of every segment of society should be sincerely addressed. Business and government may look a lot a like, but they are not the same and have entirely different responsibilities.

Our government is there to serve all the people, not just the top one percent. I want business to be business and government to be government. I want them to work together for the benefit of the country, but remember that they are not conjoined.

Corporations are not people and must be stopped from running government. They are stealing the government from the people and the Constitution speaks clearly about that.

Our country deserves better than we have gotten from government. Change, serious change, is called for. However, it took a generation or more to get into this fix and it will take quite a bit of time to recover. Short-term measures that only kick the can down the road won’t do anymore.

It’s time to start fixing the problems, not just acknowledge them. Let’s start moving in the right direction.

David Browning

Peachtree City, Ga.

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