That sentence is as true today as it was when Thomas Paine wrote it in a series of articles collectively titled, The Crisis, back in December 1776. And it’s that undeniable truth that inspired my new book, Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure.
It’s not in my nature to tell you a version of the truth that I think you’d most like to hear. That would make me a liar, or as they’re usually called these days, a politician. I’ve framed this issue of Fusion around the ideas covered in Broke, and that’s because I feel the timing of this book and these conversations are critical. We’re at a crossroads in this country, and there’s not a moment to waste.
We’re coming up on fall, and the November mid-term elections are just weeks away. This is exactly the time those running for office (and from the truth) want you to believe that everything’s going to be OK…that there’s no need for concern…that they know just what to do to turn this country around. Now, more than ever, you can’t believe the hype. When did they come up with
these answers, and why does implementing them have to wait until they get re-elected? Desperation and honesty don’t tend to go hand in hand, and there’s nobody quite as desperate as a DC desk jockey looking to keep his cushy job. It’s time to ask the hard questions and accept nothing less than painfully honest answers in return.
What are the problems facing America? Race? Things are better, but they’re far from fixed. Illegal immigration? Muchos problemos. Foreign terror? Answer for yourself as you strip down at airport security. Health care? The proposed "cure" is worse than the disease. I could go on, but I’d only be listing things that have always challenged America and will likely continue to. However, the crisis of our economy is unique in that it is the one that could truly end America as we know it. It doesn’t get any more plain-spoken than that, and here’s why that kind of unflinching honesty is so important.
Let’s say you go to your doctor, and he diagnoses you with a potentially fatal disease. Is that diagnosis hate
speech? Of course not! It’s exactly the kind of unvarnished truth that gives you the necessary information needed to work toward a cure. This is exactly what we need from Washington when it comes to the economy! You know it’s bad, and someone telling you that we can solve our economic problems through severe "shared pain" is only adding to the problem by refusing to address it head on.
This is a new age in America. Our grandfathers were asked to storm beaches, but today we’re being asked to sacrifice in a different way. That’s not a new concept to Americans—we’ve always tightened our belts when times were tough and come out of those scrapes stronger and more prosperous than ever. But we’ve usually had the benefit of honest leaders, and I’m sorry to say that’s just no longer the case. What’s saddest of all is that there are really smart people thinking about our crises, and they’re coming up with
realistic solutions that can and would get us back on track. I talk to these people all the time, and I believe the answers to even the hardest questions are out there. Forget recession—it’s a boom time for American ingenuity! But too few are listening, and it’s those with too much power who hear the least. That’s why I wrote Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure, because the more people who know the truth, the harder it will be to peddle a lie.
Thomas Paine’s last entry in The Crisis, penned in 1776, begins with this sentence: "I thank God that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well, and can see the way out of it." This is how I feel—I do see a way out, and by the time you read this issue of Fusion and my new book, I believe you will too. Now if only Washington would get its head out of the sand.
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