Sen. Joe Manchin spent much of last week traveling through West Virginia, discussing challenges facing his state and nation with his constituents. It was a chapter in his campaign to focus on difficult choices residents of the Mountain State - and other Americans - need to face.
Part of what Manchin, D-W.Va., has emphasized is the absolute necessity that the United States get its financial house in order.
The brutal truth, as Manchin recognizes, is that the $16.4 trillion national debt now is only a sampling of what is to come. Before President Obama leaves office, the debt will total $20 trillion unless something changes drastically.
That will work out to around $65,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
Already, through lowered credit ratings on U.S. debt, that is affecting us. The situation will deteriorate rapidly, making our paychecks worth less and our economy less able to create jobs.
Good for Manchin, then, for calling attention to the gravity of the situation. Perhaps Manchin should take his presentation on the road to other states.