Like every family in this country understands, you must live within your means. So when you don’t have the money, you cut back. Yes, it would require trimming, but we could live on the same income we had a few years ago, and that is exactly what we are demanding of you.

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Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Defense and the Treasury (mostly payment on the debt) - these 4 areas of expenditure eclipse all federal tax revenue before we even consider any other departments that make up the remainder of the budget.

True leadership requires making tough decisions on: benefit criteria for Social Security and Medicare, reduction and block granting of Medicaid funds to the states while at the same time eliminating the extortion process that ties their hands through federal mandating, reductions in defense spending (foreign and domestic) and significant cuts in every single other federal department.

Cut those things, cap the spending and balance the budget - a simple starting point. Without definitive and long term purpose in solving this crisis, you are risking much more than a simple default.

Here are some important concepts for you through the negotiations:

1. Stop blaming each other.  Each side can take blame for respective parts of this mess. No one is perfect and everyone knows it, so stop acting like spoiled brats playing with other people’s toys.

2. Everything is subject to being cut and significantly reformed. There is no money, so across the board cuts are needed. It doesn’t favor any interests over another. In fact, if you cut 15 percent a year for the next three years and cap and balance, the budgetary crisis is solved.

3. Just for the Republicans: the military has tons of waste, abuse and flawed priorities. Saying this does not make one “unpatriotic.” It is reality. Worldwide spending of billions of dollars does not equate to providing for our common defense or keeping Americans safe. In fact, our best “defense” right now is financial solvency.

4. Just for the Democrats: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have broken formulas for solvency. Because these programs require significant reform does not mean anyone wants to abandon the elderly, poor or medically fragile. In fact, if significant reforms to these programs don’t occur immediately – you won’t be looking at a gradual change more easily absorbed. You will be faced with overnight collapse of the economy – meaning all those people lose in a much bigger way.

By the way, if it can be done at the state level – it should be, and that’s almost everything. Sending money to DC through a multi-billion dollar filter is complete lunacy. For this idiocy to work, you make the assumption that you or some other random bureaucrat knows how to run my life better than I do – in my own state, in my own town. Ridiculous.

Lastly –government doesn’t create jobs. Entrepreneurs create jobs. Even when you open a new government building or department, you are taking money from the existing work force and making that money far less productive than it would have been if left in the hands of citizens. You have no ability to produce anything, and are by definition of your very existence, a restriction on freedom and prosperity to all citizens. The best thing you can do is to stay out of the way.

There is one single fix to our problems: the fundamental limitation of government, and therefore the protection of personal and economic liberties for every American - the freedom to choose one’s own destiny without inhibition.

Personal Liberty + Economic Liberty = Prosperity. I call it the prosperity formula, and it’s obvious you never covered this in the real halls of education known as daily life.

Chris Littleton is co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a coalition of over 75 Tea Party grassroots organizations across Ohio.