My exchanges with Senator Boots are, I feel, how we should be engaged with our government by using the forum that a free press affords and asking our representatives to articulate their stance on important issues -- instead of reciting tired old parroting points about a government out of control. Big government is too big and too many regulations -- point well taken. But business without oversight and control exploits labor and natural resources.

Continuing the never-ending religious driven social agenda does nothing to solve our fiscal issues and is no more than another "reality show" that your alter ego opined about in a recent 2 Cents column. False alliances, double dealing, palace intrigue, innuendo and selling out -- this is the pablum spoon fed to the low information voter for higher ratings and more advertising money to sell ED pills.

We cannot slash spending our way out of this, we cannot tax our way out of this, the only way is to grow the economy. Those  looking for the turd in the punchbowl point to Greece as their poster child for deficits and scream for austerity, but ignore the parlor sport of tax avoidance that is rampant  there (estimated at 40-50 billion Euros). Sound familiar -- tax havens in the Caribbean, anyone? Take a look at Great Britain where the austerity crowd has hoorah-ed them into slashing spending. They are now well into  banana split territory -- a triple dip recession. A more forward-looking problem solver might look at Argentina's success of heavily investing in infrastructure projects and rapidly moving into CNG (compressed natural gas ) as a replacement for gasoline -- and their economy is booming. "Our deficits are nearly as much as the annual GDP ",  the Chicken Little flock  shrieks, but Japan -- the 3rd largest economy in the world and would be a better comparative -- runs deficits at twice their GDP and nobody is preaching doom there. And when faced with the devastating aftermath of the tsunami that crippled a nuke plant and put their economy at peril -- they wisely passed a huge spending bill to rescue the economy.

My point is, we as a nation have been neutered into thinking we can't do great things any longer by those that claim to represent the interests of business. There is a great void between conserving and backward retreat that needs a bridge *smile*. The need for infrastructure improvements could fuel a 10-15 year boom to our lackluster economy, and we have at hand enough natural gas resources to eliminate our unholy alliance with OPEC within that same time frame. The cost of money has never been cheaper, a workforce with huge unemployment and suppliers and vendors with unused capacity yearning for business. And a natural resource that is all ours. And yet, that "business friendly" party has succumbed to fear and loathing and social war.

If they want to lead -- and I personally want a viable minority party to keep the do-gooders from giving away the store -- step up and lead. Just Say No is not leading.

aloha , jake~

Jake Spoor is a Crawfordsville resident and from time-to-time writes a guest column for The Paper.