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posted: 11/22/2012 5:00 AM

It's fiscal abyss we should fear

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Perhaps the gravest threat our country has ever faced is upon us. That's the bad news. The good news is that there is no need to send our troops overseas, no risk to property necessary, no need to shed blood to neutralize this threat. All that is needed is an informed public and political will. That's not asking for much in comparison to the heroism and genuine hardship so many Americans have given and endured throughout our exceptional history.

Our most grave threat comes from within. It is not just today's $1 trillion deficits, the $16 trillion debt, or even the "fiscal cliff". The threat is the more than $71 trillion in unsustainable, unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other promises made by the federal government that grows by $10 million per minute.

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David Walker, former comptroller general of the U.S. and current CEO and founder of the Comeback America Initiative calls these unfunded liabilities the "fiscal abyss." Combining the federal debt and unfunded future spending mandates comes to $278,921 for every man, woman, and child in this country.

The public must insist that the deficit in leadership from both parties and both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue come to an end. Our elected officials must meet their fiduciary and moral obligation to make this issue our national priority. The problem is too large to resolve through simple or one-sided measures. All of us, except the very poor, will need to give some measure of sacrifice in some form.

It will be worth it when we see that we, today's voters and today's elected officials, have launched another great American century for the betterment of future generations of Americans and people the world over.

John Szalinski

Mundelein

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