Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cooper does well in hearing in citing $54 trillion debt but he's not the leader needed for the times

Nashville congressman Jim Cooper performed well during today's congressional oversight committee meeting of financial regulators by exposing the American people to just how bad of fiscal shape this nation is in.

For the long term, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, America has $54 trillion in unfunded promises in programs such as Medicare and in accumulating debt from the recently passed bailouts of Wall Street.

Yes, $54 trillion. And Cooper chastised federal cabinet officials before the committee for not using their offices to publicize the nation's growing precarious financial position.

The Treasury Department releases these numbers each year. But Cooper says the public document is not publicized. However, former Treasury Snow did remind Cooper that it was he who sent him the report in the first place. Cooper says only four members of Congress get the report.

From the exchange, it is apparent that Cooper would be a fine accountant in the real world. And he noted that the U.S. government is the only entity in the nation that has excused itself from accepted accounting standards.

Still, to resolve this mess in Washington and on Wall Street, it is going to take an inspiring leader to raise the American people's voices above the ongoing noise to provide direction for long-needed change.

Cooper sure has not generated any kind of local audience and response to these numbers that he rightly feels are very important. And if he is worried about the $54 trillion long-term debt, then why has he voted for $750 billion more in taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street fatcats, banks and automakers?

Nashville needs a progressive lawmaker who can inspire and lead -- and be consistent. Despite his interesting questioning and information, Cooper is not the lawmaker Nashville and the nation needs for what will be increasingly difficult times.

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