While I applaud U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi's latent acknowledgement of the fiscal crisis in our government in his Sept. 13 column, I have to question the timing.

While I applaud U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi's latent acknowledgement of the fiscal crisis in our government in his Sept. 13 column, I have to question the timing.

When the U.S. went from a $127-billion surplus in FY 2001 to a $158-billion deficit in FY 2002, that would have been a good time to raise the red flag.

When government spending rose 22 percent from 1999-2003, that would have been a great time to warn people. When he helped push through the Medicare pharmacy benefit program to a tune of almost $400-billion over 10 years (despite being on track to set a then-record deficit of $374-billion that year), that would have been an excellent time to think of a budget that couldn't support it.

When it became clear that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would cost taxpayers $1-trillion, that would have been an opportune chance to question our spending habits.

When the last three administrations took $1.5-trillion from Social Security so they could make their deficits look better on paper and then had the audacity to claim that the system was broken, that would have been a wonderful time to alert the American people.

At any time in the last 10 years while the debt grew from $5.5-trillion to more than $11-trillion would have been a fine time to take into consideration "our growing fiscal problems."

Clearly the country is in dire financial straits but to suggest that this is something that has just recently begun "looming in the shadows" is fairly misleading.

In fact, the debt has grown every year with the exception of one in the last 27 years and yet as recently as November of 2007, Mr. Tiberi stated on his Web page that, "When Democrats start talking about cutting funding for programs like children's health care, or education, because troops are in Iraq, look at all the facts. We can fund both."

The deficit was $161-billion in 2007.

Apparently we can't fund both.

I agree with Mr. Tiberi that there is plenty of blame to go around and that both parties need to work together to bring the country out of this crisis. Unfortunately, it's been proven time and time again that our representatives are more beholden to their parties and special interest groups than to their constituency.

Pat Tiberi's attempt to paint an accumulation of debt decades in the making as something we "should begin working on" is just the latest, disheartening chapter of reality getting trumped by perception in this cage match we call U.S. politics. While I'm glad that the national debt is finally getting some visibility, my question for Pat Tiberi is, "What took you so long?"

Are there two Pat Tiberis? As I see it, there is the Tiberi who wrote the Sept. 13 guest column ("Tiberi: Cut spending first"), speaking as someone who advocates less government. Then there is the Tiberi who represents this district in D.C., advocating a big government agenda right out of 1920s Italy.

And in a true sense of political doublespeak, the graph above Tiberi's column proved that he served during a period of excessive government spending and deficits.

So while Tiberi bemoans our current financial situation, he neglects to mention that he voted for the spending bills that created this very mess.

Talk about spin. Talk about arrogance.

But I'll let Tiberi speak, "We should be leaving the country in better shape for our children. They deserve it."

Sorry, Pat, your rhetoric is too little, too late.

You should have defended future generations when you had the chance. Instead, you shackled them with debt.