- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The debates and the responses of the Republican presidential candidates to the challenges that we face as a nation thus far have not inspired trust or confidence. The priorities of the debate moderators have guided the questioning, which has intentionally avoided addressing the proverbial elephant in the room.

Consider the following: More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and the trend will persist for the next few decades. Economists agree that the Social Security system is a Ponzi scheme and is unsustainable in its present form. Where will the money to pay the retirees come from?

The war on poverty has spanned the terms of eight Democratic and Republican presidents, yet 48 percent of Americans today receive some form of government assistance. Why is that? If the economy is getting better, then why are 46 million Americans, an all-time record number, now on food stamps?

If the health care reform law is so beneficial and vital to our economy, why were more than 1,200 companies granted waivers from part of Obamacare by the Department of Health and Human Services? Even though almost all Republicans - and most Americans in general - believe that Obamacare is bad, why is Mitt Romney, the candidate who created the model for it when he was governor of Massachusetts, leading in the polls?

If our Founding Fathers intended a limited central government, then why does the federal government’s power and influence continue to get bigger and stronger? Since 1964, the incumbent re-election rate for members of the House of Representatives has never fallen below 85 percent. They are a privileged class that rules with few restraints, so why do we continue to send them back to Washington over and over again?

Both parties working together over decades have spent, borrowed and printed money, moving us closer to the brink of bankruptcy. Our nation is like the Titanic; we’ve struck an iceberg and we need a Congress that will do more than rearrange the deck chairs and take food and beverage orders from the passengers.

ED KONECNIK

Flushing, N.Y.

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