This is an open letter to Washington from a man who loves Montgomery County:

Dear President Obama and members of Congress,

I think that large number of aides you insist you need to run your offices gave you the wrong calendars this weekend.

You seem to think it was Oct. 31 instead of Dec. 31. Are you really trying to scare us? It's the start of a new year, not Halloween.

As I sit in my home office this New Year's Eve day, I am appalled by the idiocy I hear being reported in Washington.

I live in West Central Indiana and you are scaring the heck out of me and some of my fellow Hoosiers. Others around here are just mad.

They are buying guns because the President has said he wants stronger gun control laws. We have the Second Amendment right to bear arms but the way this country is going, not everyone is convinced that Second Amendment will stand. Many are afraid it will be legislated out of existence by you people or the activist U.S. Supreme Court.

To many, the phrase, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" is no longer a joke, it reminds us of the threat from our own leaders.

I grew up reading Al Capp in the funny papers. Seven days a week Mr. Capp lampooned the federal government in his strip, "Li'l Abner." In the 1950s, a movie brought the residents of Dogpatch to life and Sen. Jack S. Fogbound had the country repeating the line, "There's no Jack S. like our Jack S." while Americans sang or whistled the tune, "The country's in the very best of hands ..."

Need I tell you many of my neighbors think there are a lot of Jack S's in Washington as 2013 begins.

While you debate continuing long-term unemployment benefits, too many of my friends are worried they won't be able to keep the jobs they have worked at for so many years. I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in Montgomery County people take pride in learning how to better do the jobs they have and they take pride in what they are able to accomplish.

While Washington is concerned about bureaucrats being laid off in the Pentagon, I'm concerned about the possibility more of my friends will lose their lives trying to defend a foreign nation's interest that has no direct bearing on the U.S.A.

Are you interested in growing and protecting the U.S.A? Are you really?

I remember several years ago I was in an area post office and picked up a slip of paper that defended higher postage rates. The paper said, "If you were in Germany, you would have to pay more to mail a letter."

I quickly and politely informed the teller behind the window that we do not live in Germany and if I want to pay higher prices I will move overseas. In the meantime, I expect our leaders to not just maintain the strength of this country but to make us stronger in every way possible. If you can't, it's time we elect someone who can.

I don't see that leadership coming from Washington and I really don't give a darn about your finger pointing and whining about who's at fault.

Just fix the darn thing and let's get back to a position of leadership in the world.

Most sincerely,

Frank Phillips

An American who wants a better life for our children and grandchildren

Frank Phillips is a retail advertising account representative for The Paper and has spent 18 years watching and reporting local events in Montgomery County and Central Indiana.