Archive for the 'The Foundry' Category
For 233 years, Independence Day has been the celebration of the day we declared our independence from the tyrannical reign of King George III. Since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence it has been a symbol of freedom known worldwide. Thomas Jefferson noted, in a letter to John Adams in 1821 that:
[T]he flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.
July 4th is a day to celebrate our freedom, specifically the freedom to govern ourselves. Even in the midst of sharp political divide, Americans have always known that July 4th is the day we celebrate our freedoms that the Founders fought and died for. But are these sacrifices appreciated in the same way they once were? This week, USA Today printed an item asking people to send messages to other Americans on what we need to remember this year:
Americans celebrate the values that unite us on the Fourth of July, but today the country seems sharply divided. As the country copes with unemployment, immigration and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, what do you think the nation needs to remember this Independence Day? What are the messages you would like to share with other Americans? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 21. Please include a name, address, and day and evening phone numbers for verification.
Americans should remember the extreme sacrifices the Founders made so we could be free. We also cannot forget the extreme danger that was involved by just signing the document. That seems to be taken for granted nowadays, but it was an act of true bravery. One of the bravest, Ben Franklin, commented after he signed it:
We must hang together, or assuredly, we will hang separately
What else should Americans remember on Independence Day? Are the first principles that founded our nation being adequately considered in Washington today? The Heritage Foundation has some ideas. Tell us below, and send your thoughts to USA Today (email@example.com).
Gallup recently asked a sampling of Americans, “How serious of a threat to the future of the United States do you consider the following…” The results are clear: Americans judge the national debt on par with terrorism as the top threat facing the nation. Further, independents – a crucial constituency during an election year – believe the debt to be the single most threatening issue facing the country, even topping terrorism.
A quick analysis of the numbers reveals why the public is alarmed. Today debt held by the public stands at approximately $8.6 trillion, up from around $7.5 trillion less than a year ago. Over the past 30 years, debt held by the public has averaged about 39.4 percent of gross domestic product, and last year stood at 53 percent, the highest since 1955. Unfortunately, instead of taking swift actions to address the worsening problem, Congress and the White House have chosen to double down on the unrestrained spending policies of the past. Obama’s budget (the only budget available because Congressional Democrats refuse to draft one this year) sees debt held by the public hitting 90 percent of GDP by 2020.
As the world is currently seeing in Greece and across Europe, there are consequences to excessive debt levels. The American people understand the danger; the question is when our leaders will.
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