Three news stories out of city hall illustrate why our "Uncle Sam" will spend one trillion dollars more than he is bringing in this year.

In next year's city budget the mayor is requesting federal money to help pay for the hiring of local police officers. Local law enforcement should be paid for by local taxpayers, not folks from Sheboygen.

Last week, a city police official announced a joint effort with other law enforcement agencies, to remove impaired drivers from our city streets and roads. The money to pay for this "extra" policing is coming from a federal grant as part of the Impaired Driver Mobilization Plan.

Part of this year's city health department budget is a federal grant to help pay for a community assessment of health issues and to create pathways for us to deal with them. One hundred fifty seven thousand dollars this year and an equal amount for the next four years.

All of the above ideas and plans are good ones. Hiring more officers to protect us, as the city grows, makes sense. Efforts to remove impaired drivers from the streets should make all of us safer. Understanding our local health problems and devising plans to solve them should make all of us healthier, maybe wealthier, and hopefully wiser.

Taking federal money to implement these good ideas will negate the positives the city is trying to accomplish. The painful reality of today's world is this, the federal government is borrowing nearly $.45 cents of every dollar it spends. In regular folks language, "Uncle Sam is using  "the credit card" to pay for the basics. He is not paying off the balance each month, and continues to borrow more. This lack of financial restraint is "shackling" us, our children, and their children.  We know this continual borrowing is wrong and yet we continue to allow and even encourage it.

Here is a modest plan to bring some sanity into this very sick situation: The mayor and city council should look at the ideas discussed above and decide if they are good enough to be funded locally. If they are,  then include them within the local city budget using local money. Taking from "Uncle Sam" just because he offers it does not make sense anymore. He doesn't have it and the offers continue to feed our addiction.

Let's break our addiction and take at least some of the burden off our very broke "uncle." It is the least we can do for "him," ourselves, our children, and their children.

Let's take the lead. It's a start. The country is looking for people willing to lead us out of this mess. Our Mayor and City Council are up to the challenge.