Questions for nation
I have an 1835 copy of the "Annual Messages of Andrew Jackson." In his inaugural address on March 4, 1829, he enumerated his duties as he saw them, and about one he wrote:
"The management of the public revenue — that searching operation in all governments — is among the most delicate and important trusts of ours: and it will, of course, demand no inconsiderable share of my official solicitude. Under every aspect in which it can be considered, it would appear that advantage must result from the observance of a strict and faithful economy. This I shall aim at the more anxiously, both because it will facilitate the extinguishment of the national debt — the unnecessary duration of which is incompatible with real independence — and because it will counteract that tendency to public and private profligacy, which a profuse expenditure of money by the government is but too apt to engender. Powerful auxiliaries to the attainment of this desirable end are to be found in the regulations provided by the wisdom of Congress, for the specific appropriation of public money, and the prompt accountability of public officers."
Just as politicians are indebted to those who finance their campaigns, our nation is indebted to those countries from which we borrow money. The larger the debt, the less independent we become.
We need to ask ourselves, "Are the people serving us in Congress being faithful stewards of the public revenue? Are the public officers providing prompt accountability of the funds with which they have been entrusted? Is the president anxiously aiming at the observance of a strict and faithful management of the income and expenditures of the public revenue?"
I'd say the answer is no, and it just takes a casual reading of The Tampa Tribune and listening to news reports on government officials wasting taxpayer money on hot tubs and silly celebrations, borrowing money so we can give it to Egypt and Pakistan, and sending money to Washington so they can send it back to the states, etc.
We need to demand of our elected officials both at the state and federal levels that they balance budgets and extinguish state and national debt.
Until we do that, there will be many more "fiscal cliffs" in our future.
It's a wrap
Regarding "Dave Barry's 2012 Year in Review" (Views, Dec. 30):
Too bad Dave Barry doesn't write his weekly syndicated column anymore, but at least the Trib brings us his annual "Year in Review."
What a fun way to wrap up the year. Thank you!
Cathy Peek McEwen
Moody's latest rating of Tampa General Hospital revised its outlook from negative to stable. A Dec. 30 editorial, "USF-TGH partnership must be regional priority," said otherwise.