Ambiguity and Abstraction: Debt crisis through purple-colored glasses

News stories and headlines have been dominated by the ever-escalating debt crisis looming over our economy, and ultimately both short-term and long-term American prosperity. Through it all, I somehow feel that a “debt crisis” is an inaccurate description of the type of crisis in which our nation is involved. I feel a more fitting title would be a “common-sense crisis” or a “maturity crisis” or the always-ridiculous “I am the morning and evening star. I know everything, and you don’t” crisis.

As I watch these elected officials banter back and forth and regurgitate that which their staff tells them is safest to say, I wonder what Weber State University Wildcats might do if faced with a similar situation. Imagine if WSU was faced with a severe debt problem because we have borrowed too much and spread ourselves too thin with extra programs and events that we can’t sustain on revenues alone. Coupled with the extra spending and borrowing, we have given tuition breaks to everyone, including the students whose wealthy parents pay for all of their fees (including their new Audi GT), all while they maintain a ‘C’ average.

The president of WSU sees that, in order to deal with this looming “debt crisis,” some tough decisions are going to have to be made. There would need to be cuts to certain programs along with tuition increases, especially for those who park their Audi in the A1 parking lot, and whose parents are fully capable of providing the necessary funds for their tuition.

When the president pitches the idea to the student council, there is a bit of a divide. There are those on the council who represent the students who don’t want any cuts to any programs other than some athletic scholarships, but the other half of the council represent those who are wholeheartedly opposed to any cuts to athletics and oppose any tuition hikes, especially for the wealthiest students, because they theoretically create more significant donations.

Now, there are two possible outcomes to this particular scenario: Either we could rant and rave about what the founders of WSU would have us do and why the other side’s opinion is flawed, or we could work together to secure a bright future for WSU and its students. I feel like we would have the decency and common sense to choose the latter, to cut out some programs and clubs that ultimately have little impact on the quality of the school, while having everyone do their part by taking some tuition increases, including the Audi driver.

Of course, how I feel we Wildcats would face this crisis is very different from how the men and women in D.C. are currently handling the real crisis. They preach and sing about the Constitution and what our Founding Fathers would want us to do about the current crisis we face, and then refuse to compromise on any issue. This is mind-numbingly hypocritical in that the Constitution is a direct result of several tough compromises made by the founders of the nation (as my WSU history classes have taught me).

Now, to say that if the Founding Fathers were here today, they wouldn’t budge on tax increases or entitlement cuts is absolutely outrageous. They would, just as they did 200 years ago, look past their personal agendas and delusions of grandeur (mostly), then do the right thing for the nation regardless of party rhetoric or what would be politically expedient. It’s time for serious public servants to take on serious problems by meeting in the middle rather than putting up the defenses in their polarized corners of the ideological spectrum. Now, whether my hypothetical WSU scenario will play out in D.C. is yet to be seen, but may we all strive together to put aside petty differences and work as one to create a brighter future as we slowly take the reins as the leaders of tomorrow.