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Letter: U.S. is bankrupt, now what?

In the last 40 years America has gone from the world's greatest creditor nation to the greatest debtor nation. America is bankrupt.

The problem lies in Washington, D.C., on both sides of the aisle. Through gerrymandered seats politicians pick the voters that get them re-elected rather than the voters picking them. Also, politicians throw so much money at special-interest groups they ensure the money flows back to their campaign coffers and so 90-plus percent of incumbents get re-elected.

This careerism loses sight of real political solutions. As lifers, politicians lose the representative principle of a "we the people" government. Term limits are needed and an informed voting public that is fed up enough to vote the fiscally irresponsible politicians out of office.

The current fiscal crisis needs to be put into numbers we average Americans can understand. As governor of California in the 1970s, Ronald Reagan learned this principle when cutting government waste. He'd give a speech detailing a cut of $200 million and receive glassy stares in return. But during one speech he mentioned saving taxpayers $200,000 by sending motorists their annual automobile registration renewal notice several weeks before the postal rate increase went into effect. People jumped to their feet in approval. They could not understand $200 million, but they could understand $200,000.

Consider the following facts as cited by David Walker, the former head of the General Accounting Office under Presidents Clinton and Bush. The current unfunded obligation of Social Security and Medicare is $56 trillion. That's $483,000 for every household in America, 10 times the median household income. Obama's $1.8 trillion deficit this year alone amounts to $3.4 million per minute, $200 million per hour, and $5 billion a day. Does that put things into perspective?

Do we just continue to print funny money in Washington? Do we wait for the money unicorn to land? Or do we the people rise up and demand responsible money policies -- yesterday? We need fiscally responsible politicians who realize America owes more than it's worth, and the gap is growing exponentially.

Ron Snyder