Democrats and Republicans share blame for the nation's staggering debt, soon to top $16 trillion. But because their party controls the White House now, few Democrats in Congress seem anxious about deficit spending.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is an exception. On Sept. 10 he will do an enormous service to those who understand spending beyond our nation's means simply has to stop.
On that day, at the state Culture Center in Charleston, Manchin will host an event of national significance. He has arranged for a "bipartisan federal fiscal summit" to include former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.
The two chaired a national commission that recommended ways of reducing the debt. Few of its ideas were implemented.
By refocusing attention on the debt and the need to address it, Manchin, Bowles and Simpson will remind Americans of the major political, economic and social issue of our time - and that delay in addressing it has serious consequences. How serious? Consider: When the Bowles-Simpson commission began its work in April 2010, the national debt was less than $13 trillion. Debt growth at that rate is a clear and present danger to Americans.