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The next generations have the power to save our nation

Published: December 14, 2012

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson used to say, “Leave the country better for the following generations.” We're failing. On our watch, baby boomers (led by our self-serving politicians) have squandered our inheritance, emptied the Social Security trust, cheapened the dollar, established unfunded government pensions and entitlements, mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren, and threatened the economic well-being of future Americans. We seem to lack the courage to fix it.

It matters little who wins elections. Democrats and Republicans write checks they can't cover. They borrow money on the next generation's credit cards. These politicians, mostly old folks, are lobbied by old folks, for the special interests of old folks running banks, unions, hospitals, universities and businesses. Their checks tend to help special interests and politicians' re-elections, not the nation.

Politics is normally seen as right vs. left, conservative vs. progressive, rich vs. poor. Now, it'll become young vs. old. It seems obvious that old folks can't or won't stand in front of this runaway train. They're either driving it or are passengers in the club car. But there's a constituency that should have the motivation, and does have the potential voting power, to save us from ourselves. It's the next generations — our children and grandchildren. They need to organize. Listen and join in as Simpson implores young folk to get involved or, “These old coots will clean out the Treasury before you get there.”

Tom O'Neill, Edmond