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Can America Get It Right?

Introduced: December 15 2012

While we ponder what issues America should tackle in 2013 -- we think you'll enjoy this item about Warren Buffet, Elizabeth and the Fiscal Cliff.

 

Warren Buffet, Elizabeth, and the Fiscal Cliff

 

Of course, you know very well who Warren Buffet is - one of the country's most revered business men and third richest man in the world who has been vocal with his opinion that he and other wealthy people don't pay enough taxes. In late November in an op-ed in the New York Times, he said he doubted Congress could avoid going over the fiscal cliff but thought legislators would agree on a plan in early January. He also recommended raising taxes on those with an income over $500,000 instead of $250,000 as proposed by President Obama. Most recently, in an interview with Melinda Gates (married to Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and second richest man in the world) Buffet said he's extremely optimistic about the long-term prospects for U.S. success because the country is "finally beginning to harness the full potential of women."

 

So you know Warren Buffet, but chances are you haven't met Elizabeth Storr. She's 14 and she has some opinions on the deficit crisis, too.

 

In many ways, Elizabeth is a typical teenage girl who plays sports, takes part in church youth group "lock-ins," and loves her dog. But she also thinks about world problems and tries to come up with ways to solve them. Following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which happened shortly after Elizabeth moved to a new middle school, she decided to organize an effort to raise funds for the people in Japan and donate the money to the Red Cross. She called her campaign "Japanade," named after a lemonade concoction she made and sold at school and local community events. Through those efforts, she donated more than $700 to help people in the stricken areas.

 

Her philosophy: if you're thinking someone else is going to do it, chances are it won't get done.

 

Elizabeth loves politics. She eagerly watched the debates in 2008 and 2012, and in 2008, when her mom wasn't planning to vote, she escorted mom to the polls and made sure she voted for Elizabeth's favorite Presidential candidate. By the time of the 2016 election, Elizabeth will be newly 18 and hopes to cast her vote for Hillary Clinton.

 

In the meantime, she's been deliberating on paying down the national debt and solving the budget deficit. The core idea of her solution is that we all want to solve it, so we should all chip in and make it go away. She thought, "why not have every man, woman and child contribute $1 a month for a year?"

 

Then she re-did the math and realized at that rate it would take approximately 4,000 years to erase the deficit. What the exercise taught her is what a really huge problem the deficit is and how monumental a challenge it is to solve.

 

Still, she's not giving up. Another idea is to have kids donate dimes and have corporations multiply and match their donation -- all in the spirit of cooperation. We need more thinkers like Elizabeth!

 

The politicians in Washington battle on while Warren and Elizabeth remain optimistic.

 

Note from IWD: Now, tell us what problems you'd like America to solve in 2013. Is it tax reform? Election reform? Gun legislation? Immigration reform? What is the thing you'd most like to see our leaders tackle and come up with a reasonable solution?  

Dialogue on Can America Get It Right?
786:

Elizabeth, you rock! Everyone keeps complaining about how big a debt we are leaving to our future generations, but very few have stepped up and made a donation to that debt. While we may not all be a Warren Buffet or a Melinda Gates, together we can certainly make a difference.

I can't wait to see the woman you grow into, Elizabeth! I'd vote for you.

114:

With young people like Elizabeth, we, America, will get it right! We need more Elizabeths. Bravo, Elizabeth. Your ideas should be sent to Congress.

007:

I like Elizabeth's idea about kids contributing small amounts. Even if it was too small to really hack away at the monumental debt, hopefully it would make a big impact on Congress, embarrassing them that they let politics get in the way of moving toward real solutions.

 

It's inspiring to hear about a kid who wants to take action to work on world problems. Too often, you hear cynical comments about the apathy of our youth. It's refreshing to learn about Elizabeth and other kids who are trying to make a difference.

 

This article reminds me of a 60 Minutes segment I saw last month. Here's a link to the feature on Kids Helping Kids.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57553738/a-worldwide-mission-of-kids-helping-kids/

786:

Elizabeth, you rock! Everyone keeps complaining about how big a debt we are leaving to our future generations, but very few have stepped up and made a donation to that debt. While we may not all be a Warren Buffet or a Melinda Gates, together we can certainly make a difference.

I can't wait to see the woman you grow into, Elizabeth! I'd vote for you.

114:

With young people like Elizabeth, we, America, will get it right! We need more Elizabeths. Bravo, Elizabeth. Your ideas should be sent to Congress.

007:

I like Elizabeth's idea about kids contributing small amounts. Even if it was too small to really hack away at the monumental debt, hopefully it would make a big impact on Congress, embarrassing them that they let politics get in the way of moving toward real solutions.

 

It's inspiring to hear about a kid who wants to take action to work on world problems. Too often, you hear cynical comments about the apathy of our youth. It's refreshing to learn about Elizabeth and other kids who are trying to make a difference.

 

This article reminds me of a 60 Minutes segment I saw last month. Here's a link to the feature on Kids Helping Kids.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57553738/a-worldwide-mission-of-kids-helping-kids/

007:

I like Elizabeth's idea about kids contributing small amounts. Even if it was too small to really hack away at the monumental debt, hopefully it would make a big impact on Congress, embarrassing them that they let politics get in the way of moving toward real solutions.

 

It's inspiring to hear about a kid who wants to take action to work on world problems. Too often, you hear cynical comments about the apathy of our youth. It's refreshing to learn about Elizabeth and other kids who are trying to make a difference.

 

This article reminds me of a 60 Minutes segment I saw last month. Here's a link to the feature on Kids Helping Kids.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57553738/a-worldwide-mission-of-kids-helping-kids/

114:

With young people like Elizabeth, we, America, will get it right! We need more Elizabeths. Bravo, Elizabeth. Your ideas should be sent to Congress.

786:

Elizabeth, you rock! Everyone keeps complaining about how big a debt we are leaving to our future generations, but very few have stepped up and made a donation to that debt. While we may not all be a Warren Buffet or a Melinda Gates, together we can certainly make a difference.

I can't wait to see the woman you grow into, Elizabeth! I'd vote for you.

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