Here we are at the fiscal cliff, with all that we expect of politicians these days – the bickering, the big talk, the vague chatter, the clacking mills of partisanship and the arrogance constantly displayed by those we put in office to do what is right for this country and keep it strong, prosperous, and competitive.

We are faced with spending cuts and tax hikes… wait a minute, TAX HIKES? What else do we need and have seen in the local levels bug increases in the prices of this and that and talk of the supposed increases in revenue those extra taxes would bring in? And yet it seems our officials need more and more money every year to close a budget gap – all right, can you say CORRUPTION and WASTE?

Our hard -won dollars barely go anywhere these days. Once we spend on food, on getting to work, on clothing, on mortages, on car payments, on education, on anything we purchase, we barely have enough left to treat ourselves to something nice or something we really want, or to save up for… something we will eventually have to, you guessed it, pay taxes on.

Here is something our beloved government could do to reduce spending and expenses. We can stop the lavish expenditures on ambassadors and foreign embassies. I realized just how much money this takes by looking every so often in the archetectural magazines that would have articles on ambassadors and their official residences in other nations.

Not everybody in America can dine like an ambassador or sleep like one either; not everyone here can eat from fine china and crystal and use four changes of flatware for every dinner for sixteen close friends. Not everyone can use those fine “to the trade” silks and velvets to upholster their headboards and slipper chairs, walls and accent pillows. Not every American is able to furnish their home (if they have one) with antiques and expensive breakfronts to hold that fine dining set.

Yet we put out money to the State Department for a select few to enjoy those privileges. We lay out big time so those people can live in rich security and make their little trips to the United Nations and work on preserving foreign relations. But live high they certainly do, in gigantic houses with acres of land.

Taxation… more taxes they want, eh? I say to our officials, not another word about incraesing taxes until you learn how to more efficiently use what you have now. It does not look good on your record to say, “I can waste millions of dollars a year, and they are not even my dollars.”

If we, the “average, working, commonplace” American citizen must make a budget, do our belt – tightening, and try to get by on a few dollars every couple of weeks, then you the elected officials, need to do the same thing and determine what we really need to do and what we need to concentrate on for our economic and national revival, and then act on the necessities FIRST.

Bring your arrogant minds away from the sure brink of fall and disaster that comes to those who are weighed down with pride, envy, greed, arrogance and malice. Wake up to those who are calling out for a break, those who really deserve it, people who have worked hard and tried to save, to pay their property bills on time, to pay the rent, to give their children proper food and clothing so they can go to school and learn and achieve and education.

Wake up, Washington, and smell the coffee – it is time to stop bickering and start acting (and I do not mean acting up, either, I mean ACTING) for the greater national good, instantly and without hesitation. Cross the aisle, shake hands, get talking, have lunch meetings, do whatever and call it whatever you need to call it, JUST GO IN TO THE CAPITOL AND COOPERATE!

Divi Logan for EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, 2012.