You know the greatest difference between us and the generation that went through the Great Depression?  To recover from their respective recession, they pretty much had to sacrifice to be able to rebuild and prosper.  For the generations that followed, from the Baby Boomers to the Facebook generation, we are in a position in which we must sacrifice to recover, and yet, our selfish mentality and detriment to anything being taken away from us could very well cost us what we hold dear.

On Monday, President Obama presented his budget for the next fiscal year, a whopping $3.73 billion and a record $1.645 trillion deficit to follow.  The issue at hand is that without any serious tax increases to compensate for the extended Bush tax cuts on the rich, the Republican Congress has sought to implement more budget cuts to important social programs, in particular health care, education, and non-defense spending.

Since our elected representatives seem to only be focusing on a rather minute part of the overall budget, failing to consider any cuts to the defense budget, Medicaid, or Medicare.  Rather than trimming or reforming these institutions that are the actual culprits of bankrupting the country, the Republicans and the Tea Party pundits want to slash programs that weren’t even properly funded to begin with.

We’ve already seen the ramifications in our own state; with reductions to financial aid and educational reform, up to 7,000 students that may have qualified for a Pell Grant will instead go penniless and dependent on high-interest credit in a system that can’t control the rise of college tuition.

A recent Letter to the Editor stated that it was reckless and spiteful of us to criticize the Tea Party.  While we do not mean to generalize a specific political group, the fatal flaw of the Tea Party is the lack of hindsight of their members.  If they were serious about budget reform, they should take a page from their groovy counterpart, the Libertarians, and slash the very programs that many of their elder constituents depend on like Social Security. 

That program and others could very well cripple this country’s recovery, putting our economy and society on a monetary limbo, but no one wants to do something serious so as to not piss off the retirees and the aging baby boomers.

We understand the right to what we own and what is owed to us.  And no one likes taxes even though we’re the least taxed, developed country in the free world.  However, the solution to the budget is rather simple: either implement some serious cuts in the federal entitlement programs and defense spending or just bite the bullet and raise taxes.

Cutting it where it counts is not the way to fix the deficit.  Sacrifice and the willingness to let go of a marginal amount of our capital is the only way we get out of debt.  Because the current solution is like a person in credit card debt that stops going to Starbucks but gets a new sports car on a weekly basis.

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