Second in a three-part commentary on the fiscal cliff.

By GERRY SCHULTZ

On Thursday, I called upon the very wealthy to provide leadership to avoid the fiscal cliff. I called upon these persons to demonstrate their commitment to freedom with increased taxation. When those on top provide the leadership and ideas to correct the problem, then we, the people need to additionally step forward and take heed, do more, pay more and work harder at protecting the freedoms we enjoy.

Independence Day is about freedom. Freedom from debt is a national goal.

Each person's part in the formula for success means receiving less from the government and relying more on the desire to protect and invest in our country, following the lead of those on top who have agreed that freedom is more important than creating and keeping great personal wealth to the exclusion of the requirements of living in a free country.

This is precisely what I wrote about on Thursday. If we have leadership from the top, then we must not be greedy for the "crumbs" that fall our way by means of government payments. Individual rights are not lost when the government does not send money.

In fact, industry, savings, hard work and individual success will bring about personal prosperity.

And it is much easier to commit to such facts of life if the very rich have committed to being taxed greatly thereby investing greatly in our ability to remain independent and free.

Without proven leadership and sacrifice from the top of the economic ladder, the call for sacrifice on the individual will fall on deaf ears.

But if we get the extraordinary leadership so greatly now needed, we, the people, can be the driving force to change a society that demands free everything, and return to an economy that is driven on the basis of ingenuity, work, savings and success.

The concept of freedom is not forgotten, but the commitment to pay the price for freedom is not at the forefront of the American duty list.

We must commit and have the strength to agree, all together, that freedom has a price. Living in a free country is worth the price.

Gerry Schultz has practiced law in Garden City since 1984.