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Little library, big difference? We were encouraged to learn that a resident near Fawn Mountain Elementary School took it upon herself to start a micro-library on her property. The books are free to all, and on the honor system to return them. As Barbara May, who started the micro-library in 2012, explained to the Daily News, “There was no bonding and there's no taxes and there's no roofing contract and there's no library cards or nothing.”

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Scott A. Brown, 58, died June 18, 2015 of heart failure in Anchorage.
Cynthia J. Demke, 58, died June 25, 2015 in Ketchikan.
Theresa Marie (Kohl) Houtary, 82, died June 28, 2015, at home in Ketchikan.
11/28/2012
Up to us

Americans got ourselves into this fiscal mess, and it's up to us, the President and Congress to get us out of it.

The unelected cannot point to the politicians; we either voted them into office, voted for the other candidate or didn't vote. Whichever it was, it affected the outcome of the election — this most recent one and all of the others that seated any of those elected.

The election victors set the nation's fiscal policy. Clearly, they've been failing.

The president is, well, the president. He can point the finger at Congress for not following his fiscal lead, or for following it, and ending up in deeper debt. But, once again, in his role, he is part of the problem, too, and has the potential to be part of the solution. He is at least partly responsible.

And, Congress isn't without responsibility, especially those elected before November. This fiscal crisis has been building for years, and the mindset that enabled it for decades.

Anyone with any financial sense knows that it isn't possible to continue to spend more than the revenue coming in. To get out of debt, or to eliminate the deficit, means spending less or making more. When the deficit is $16 trillion, it will take both — less spending, more income.

That means taxes will be increasing, as President Obama desires, for the wealthy. It also means cutting spending as favored by the Republican House; if that doesn't occur, then the taxes must continue to increase, and even for the rich, their resources are finite. The day of reckoning will come.

Cuts mean the reduction in entitlements, fewer handouts. With each handout, a little personal ambition ebbs away. It's that desire to achieve that built the United States.

Cuts also should mean a reduction in foreign aid. Because if the United States doesn't save itself, it won't be rescuing any other nation. Think of the flight attendant's instructions on any airline flight: "Put on your air mask before helping your children." You can't help them if you pass out before they do.

That's how it works with Americans and our elected leaders, too. We're all in this together, whether Democrat or Republican. If we "lose air" in our finances altogether, we're all going to pass out. The Democrat up the street won't be saved, while the Republican across the street dies, nor vice versa. When it comes to the nation, we're all one. We go up or down together.

Unfortunately, for all other nations, they'll be affected by whatever we do.

This is bigger than political posturing by the president and Congress, and if this doesn't prompt Americans to get involved in their government, nothing will.