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Speer: A parachute for the coming cliff dive

December 28, 2012
Bill Speer - Editor/Publisher , The Alpena News

Can I interest you in a parachute this morning?

As of next week I've decided (but Diane doesn't know this yet - so it's just our little secret) that I'm leaving the newspaper world and opening a parachute shop.

Green ones.

Blue ones.

Striped ones.

Cool ones.

I will sell them large and small. I will sell them wall to wall.

Sorry Dr. Seuss, but I've just spent this past weekend reading non-stop to my granddaughter. Could you tell?

So fellow traveler on this road of life, as you draw near to the fiscal cliff that lies precariously closer and seems all the more steep each and every day, can I interest you in a parachute this morning?

Take your time, but not too long. Like the last gas station before the desert that warns "Last fill-up for 100 miles," so is my offer of protection. Right now the price for a parachute is $XXX.XX but with each passing hour, the price increases. This is, after all, American capitalism at its best.

What's that you ask, fellow sojourner - "What exactly is this protection, and will it actually work?"

Good question.

The rip-cord only activates when the person pulling it commits to follow fiscally sound principles. That person must agree to save, they must agree to spend within their means, they must agree not to borrow excessively, to rack up debts or spend lavishly. They must agree to tithe a portion of their income to help others and they must agree to compromise in all things - fiscal, political or personal.

When deployed, along with the open parachute comes other things to drift to the ground with you. You will discover new taxes. Sorry, like it or not, we're not going to solve this problem without them.

Yet, it also will contain many new cuts to popular programs as well. No longer will there be sacred cows. Popular programs like Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare will be affected.

Millionaires will have to pay their fair share, as will the common Joe and Jane.

Tax incentives still will be in place to encourage job creation and expansion, but they will be revamped and revised to conform to specific time periods, with a clear sunset clause included with each package.

I care not your political leanings, fellow hiker. You could be a tea drinker and be as conservative as the day is long, or you could be a tree-hugging flaming liberal puffing on some wacky tobacky. You see, at the edge of the cliff, the fall doesn't take into account your political affiliation, so neither do I as I offer my parachutes for purchase.

Also, dear pathfinder, leave the name calling back at the last bend. The days of name calling, petty arguing and partisan politics long have passed. From this point forward only those willing to work together toward a common goal should proceed. It's time for those willing to listen to all viewpoints to move ahead. It's time for our country to move forward, not backward, to purr and not putter.

In the writing style again of Mr. Seuss:

Red, Green, Yellow, Blue.

All Americans - me and you.

Come together, do what's right.

Avoid the cliff, end the fight.



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