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Day By Day: Inauguration week is a good time to start making changes

"To bring about the beginning of..."

That's the definition of inaugurate according to the dictionary and I'm ready to inaugurate a few things myself.

First up, I'm ready to think, well at least hope, that maybe Congress can learn to live with short-term higher debt in order to eventually get to a better place without doing too much damage in the meantime.

I had to do that. I assume that's what they wanted me to do when they started sending those "0" percent offers for budget transfers. At first I was in denial that I couldn't pay off some debts in full each month but years of unemployment in our household has taught us that we need to think a little more outside the box to get to where we want to be long term.

So I make those transfers and take a whack at the balance every month to get it paid off before the interest kicks in. In the meantime, we watch our spending and keep those cards under wraps whenever possible. It isn't the way I like to do business but sometimes things work out that way.

That's kind of how I feel about this budget ceiling stuff and the long-term deficit and the rest of it. It took a while to get into this mess and it will take more to get out of it. In the meantime there are still things worth spending money on. The trick is to cut out those things that aren't.

I think we should also inaugurate a new year where the practice of scaring people into believing one way or another is no longer OK. Instead of threatening everything from the apocalypse to Fleet Farm being raided for their guns and ammunition, wouldn't it be nice to be able to sit down and not only talk about a subject, but then LISTEN to what someone else thinks?

I am told there are places where this still goes on -- not necessarily in my kitchen when Kevin watches the news or over at Fox on any given night -- but somewhere.

I have high hopes that in a community like Hudson that can help the Salvation Army raise more than $100,000 and fill backpacks with food for families that need it and build a new hospital 10 years ago, will find a way to get the library we should have and the high school and middle school we need.

And if we are in the inaugurating frame of mind, how about a little détente -- defined as "the relaxation of strained relations or tensions." I'm thinking we might just all be ready for some of that. And I know there are other people around who are thinking the same thing.

It certainly is worth a try and the time might just be right.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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