- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2012

In my effort to stay informed, I attended a “Candidates Night” this week to listen to the candidates. There were three of them seeking a congressional seat and four others seeking seats in the New York State Assembly. I consider myself an informed and concerned citizen and was prepared to hear a discussion about the absence of a federal budget for four years, uncontrolled entitlement spending, the unaccountable Federal Reserve, the impending bankruptcy of Social Security and the impending tax increases. I was curious to hear the candidates’ solutions on how we may avoid or mitigate the inevitable “crash” as we approach the “fiscal cliff” everyone is prognosticating.

To my dismay, it seemed I had entered a parallel universe, where loiterers on Northern Boulevard, noise from aircraft and a procedure for extracting gas are the major threats to our lives and economy. Only one candidate attempted to address the inevitable fiscal calamity but was unable to elaborate because of time constraints.

Most elections do not effectuate change, but serve to legitimize and reinforce the status quo, since 85 percent of incumbents are returned to office. Most of the candidates subscribe to the fashionable view that government knows best and is responsible for our welfare. Their aim is to lull us into a false sense of security, encourage us to follow along with the crowd and shirk personal responsibility. What is discouraging is that most candidates, as well as voters, do not understand the issues that affect our economy. Perhaps that is why these issues were never addressed. There is no doubt we have met the enemy — it is us.

ED KONECNIK

Flushing, N.Y.