President Obama’s debt commission is calling for shared sacrifice. We all know that’s what it’s going to take, in order to reduce our collective debt– and it’s refreshing to hear Bowles and Simpson say so.
“Shared sacrifice,” while not explicitly religious, is certainly a moral good. For a family, community, or nation to share sacrifice means that individuals give up something for themselves as individuals, in order to benefit the larger whole. If the definition of evil is “to be turned back on oneself,” then the definition of goodness is something like shared sacrifice: to be turned outward, toward the well-being of others.
The question that I want to explore more fully in an upcoming post is: do we, as a culture, still have what it takes to “share sacrifice?”
The Christian Science Monitor’s report:
The Democrat and Republican who cochair President Obama’s debt commission haven’t offered a magic fix for federal deficits, but they’ve tried to make one point loud and clear: Answers to America’s fiscal challenges will involve “shared sacrifice.”
Erskine Bowles (D) and Alan Simpson (R) outlined a plan this week designed to keep US public debt from growing out of control. It’s also designed to show that major progress is possible if Americans agree to make tough compromises.Yes, this means things like paying more in taxes and working longer before becoming eligible for Social Security checks.
“Throughout our history, Americans have always been willing to sacrifice to make our nation stronger over the long haul,” former White House Chief of Staff Bowles and former Senator Simpson write in their report. “That’s the promise of America: to give our children and grandchildren a better life.”