Since Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman so easily
trounced their opponents last week, some believe this is the Year of the Woman.
Others opined that the primary election results in California, as elsewhere, underscore the
anti-incumbent mood, so that makes this the Year of the Outsider.

But I’m thinking something else. I believe this may be the Year of the

about it. This recession has unmasked the enormous financial problems that have
been festering in all levels of government for a generation. Or two.

of Los Angeles
has a $500 million deficit. The government of California
(a.k.a., America’s Greece) has a
$20 billion deficit. And the federal government, well, it’s so far
indebt that some projections say we may soon need $1 billion a day just
to pay
the interest. It’s hard to imagine $1 billion a day, but that’senough
money even for Jamie McCourt to live on.

did we wade into this public sector bog? Career politicians got us here. When
there was some problem, they created an expensive bureaucracy. When the
employees wanted to retire at 50 or 55, they not only let them, but gave them
90 percent of their salary for life, in some cases. If the government didn’t
have enough money to pay for all this stuff, no problem, just raise taxes.

sure, the private sector couldn’t really support such high levels of
public sector spending, but the problem got covered over by a good economy. The
career politicians could kick the can down the road.

we’re nearing the end of that proverbial road. Various governmentdebt –
whether it’s the towering pension problems at the state and
local levels, or the Social Security obligations at the federal level –
have built up so much that it will become difficult to pay. Even paying
theinterest on it will be a burden, although for now, that problem has
been masked
by extremely low interest rates. But how much longer will that last?

now, with financial disasters unfolding before them, career politicians in Los Angeles City Hall
and Sacramento
are both dithering about reining in runaway pension costs.

may have seen a fairly recent report by academic economists that says when public
sector debt totals 90 percent of a nation’s gross domestic product, that
country’s economy hits a tipping point and is in danger of going into a
slow-motion death spiral. America’s
debt is shooting up and is in the mid-80s. This must be unfathomable for the
Greatest Generation, the ones who fought in World War II and worked so hard for
decades, only to wonder if they’ll die before or after their country
becomes the financial equivalent of a banana republic.

So how do we get out of this? I think
Americans know, perhaps instinctively, that they don’t want any more
career politicians and glib gabsters. We don’t need a president to feel
our pain or cheer us on through a bullhorn or tell us Brownie’s doing a
great job.

think voters today want elected officials who can make hard business decisions.
You know, those who know how to convene meetings of bright people, identify the
real problems, devise solutions, chart strategies and then break it all down
into assignable tasks. With tight deadlines and with accountability.

other words, I think voters today want their elected officials to have
executive experience. And the voters don’t much care what sex they are or
whether they’re outsiders. They just don’t want more smiling,
compassionate politicians. They want someone who can save us, not schmooze us.

election night last week, Whitman described herself and Fiorina as "two
businesswomen from the real world who know how to create jobs, balance budgets
and get things done."

think that’s what voters want to hear. From all candidates, from all
parties and at all levels of government.