If common sense -- or at least fiscal sanity -- prevailed in Washington, few things would be a higher priority than getting catastrophic federal spending under control and slashing our national debt, which now exceeds $15.5 trillion.
There would be broad recognition that the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes necessary to pay interest on the debt every year is draining money from the private sector, where it might otherwise be put to productive use creating jobs and generally expanding our economy.
There would be prompt and determined efforts to find and excise from the budget spending that is unconstitutional, whether it be supposedly "temporary" farm subsidies imposed during the Great Depression or the latest failed federal gambit on electric cars or wind power.
There would be serious discussion -- followed by equally serious action -- on enacting a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
There would be immediate efforts to reform huge, bankrupting entitlement programs in order to make them solvent.
But common sense does not prevail in Washington. So instead of real talk of spending cuts, we get occasional lip service about cutting the rate at which spending keeps growing -- which is hardly the same thing.
And disgustingly, we get outright obstruction of efforts to trim even small amounts from our annual trillion-dollar-plus deficits.
Some Republicans in the House of Representatives want to cut $19 billion from the budget for the fiscal year that starts in October. But Democrats and some "moderate" Republicans say that's just too much to cut -- from a budget that will total well over $3 trillion!
That $19 billion is less than Washington spends in two days -- yet it's "too much" to cut?
We are mortgaging our future and, indeed, our present.