On January 20, 1981 Ronald Reagan delivered his first Inaugural Address. In it he warned…

For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present. . . . We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.

That was the same speech in which the President famously declared that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

In a later speech, President Reagan observed:

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.

And in yet another speech the Gipper noted:

We don’t have a trillion dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough.  We have a trillion dollar debt because we spend too much.

Sadly, little has changed since Reagan left the White House.  We’re still mortgaging our nation’s future on the backs of our children and grandchildren.  Government is still the problem, not the solution.  And the government still spends too much.

Sadder still, that trillion dollar debt President Reagan inherited in 1981 grew to $20 trillion under President Obama.  To paraphrase another famous saying, “It’s the spending, stupid.”  And that includes spending on so-called “entitlements.”

Fixing this problem will require elected representatives who are willing to make tough but responsible decisions regardless of political consequences.

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