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It's almost over- By Daniel Riordan

November 5, 2012

After Tuesday, the ads will mercifully stop.
The campaigning will come to a close.
Things, for better or worse, will go back to normal.
After Tuesday we’ll know whether Barack Obama will continue to be our President or if Mitt Romney will take over in January.
We’ll know whether Mike Pence or John Gregg will be our Governor.
Same goes for Senator as Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly duke it out. And we’ll have a new representative in either Brendan Mullen or Jackie Walorski.
Outside of the Governor’s race, I think all the other races are toss ups.
Although looking at empirical data that is out there, I think it looks more and more likely Obama will get re-elected.
But no matter who wins these races, one thing is certain.
We can’t keep going on like this.
The economy has to start getting better.
Whether its Obamacare or an alternative, we have to stem the rising cost of health care.
We have to pay down the debt.
An under-reported story this year is the current recession China is in. Part of that comes from the fact that without a free press, the government there shoots down any bad news.
But with China now struggling, there seems to be no economic leader in the world.
Japan has been in a recession for 20 years.
Europe is largely a mess.
I’m not an economist and I don’t pretend to play one on TV.
But the simple fact of the matter is we need to lower the debt, decrease spending and increase revenue.
For me, that is solved by jobs, jobs, jobs.
The more people with steady, well-paying jobs, the more people paying into the system.
At the same time, we need to look at ALL areas of the federal budget to cut.
Cut waste. Cut bureaucracy.
But that means some painful choices.
And that’s what it comes down to. Politicians want to get elected. And they know one way not to get elected is by talking about cutting defense spending, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.
It’s pretty simple. Those are the big-ticket items.
Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS won’t balance a budget.
Those are drops in the bucket.
You have to look at cutting defense spending. One way to do that is to stop fighting wars all over the world or shutting down bases where we haven’t fought a war in decades.
This doesn’t mean cutting funding for troops.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
We need to look at raising the age of Social Security. Maybe that isn’t the answer but we have to do something. Or else people my age won’t ever see a dime of the money we paid in.
I know I’m going to sound like a naive child here, but I really hope, no matter who is elected actually has the courage to tell Americans what we need to hear.
It’s time to stop coddling us.
The time for platitudes is over.
Times are tough. And they don’t get better without some tough decisions.
Making some tough choices is what we need.
This of course won’t happen. Without campaign finance reform and term limits, politicians work to rock the boat as little as possible.
Things aren’t great now. But hey, just promise things will get better without really doing anything.
I often feel like there’s a secret politicians and those in government know but refuse to tell us as to avoid an utter freakout.
I think our system is beyond repair. And I think they know it.
So Washington now is just playing a game of kick the can down the road.
Keep the house of cards up long enough until they can cash out. Then it’s someone else’s problem.
I hope I’m wrong.
And I hope whoever is elected, as my dad would say, has the stones to do something.
But call me a cynic. I think we’ll be hearing the same promises, talking about the same problems the next time an election rolls around.
Quick Note
If you’re still reading this, congrats. You can survive anything. I know that a lot of newspapers are endorsing candidates for different races.
The Pilot News, much like many newspapers of our size, doesn’t have an editorial board and doesn’t endorse candidates.

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