It's always hard, personally and nationally, to face serious financial problems. But it's better to confront them and seek solutions than to invite worse consequences.
So with the United States having a national debt of $14.3 trillion and an expected deficit of $1.6 trillion in the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30, isn't it past time for President Barack Obama, Congress - and the rest of us - to quit digging a deeper financial hole?
The Committee for Economic Development, a nonpartisan group representing scores of current and former chief executives who have extensive financial experience, is urging federal officials to "put everything on the table" to alleviate the problems before they get worse.
"As leaders in the business community, we expect to share the effects of reductions in public programs or increases in taxes - or more likely both," the organization stated in a news release.
Since "too-high" spending rather than "too-low" taxes created the huge national debt, we do not believe higher taxes are a solution.
Unfortunately, President Obama is going in that very direction, largely ignoring his own National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's recommendation to reduce federal spending $4 trillion over a decade and amend the federal tax code.
A majority in Congress also is hesitant to take realistic corrective action.
No one is eager to take responsibility for hard decisions on cutting spending, even when it is plainly too high. But that should be the first step.
Political figures love to "lead" when times are good and the economy is booming. But real leaders are needed now to tighten belts and cut spending wisely.
We should assure "good times" ahead for everyone by doing the "hard, right things" now.
It is going to require insistence by the American people to get the president and Congress to act swiftly to head off painful economic results.