The viability of democracy depends on its ability to meet the populace demands of need/want and stay fiscally/morally responsible. One can successfully argue that there will always be poverty and need in an imperfect world, as consistently as there will be people who want to spend billions exploring the Martian surface (I don't remember voting for that.) As citizens we need to respond to these challenges in the same way we respond as families: give what we can to support moral outcomes without going into debt.
You may argue the U.S. is unique and not constrained by common economics. While to some extent that is true, to continue to function as if the laws of fiscal responsibility do NOT apply to the U.S. is to undermine democracy. Moving our national ship over into more fiscally sound waters is the smartest, most forward-thinking democratic thing we can do and is our duty in a global market amongst non-democratic, abusive and hostile nations.
Here's an idea: Allow a handful of national referendums each year on immigration, tax and health care reform, abortion, the definition of marriage, Medicaid, budget issues, etc. Broaden our democracy and in Paul Ryan's words: Ensure equal opportunity not equal outcomes.
SHELLY HANSEN, West Richland