TIME OUT?: At about noon on Sept. 11, 2001, I believe many Americans concluded that we ought to take a long, hard look at some of the people we were allowing into our country.

That didn’t seem like a particularly outlandish thing to do, on that awful day.

An immigration time out, it seemed to many, was the least we could do. In light of such mayhem, who could blame us for pausing to assess why 19 terrorists — religious fanatics bent on mass murder — were so easily allowed entry, some to attend flight schools where they were interested only in flying jetliners, not landing them.

To quote a president still 16 years in our future, it made perfect sense to many of us to “figure out what the hell is going on.”

And yet, our leaders at the time told us that we should “go shopping” to maintain the economy, and to “go to Disney World.” Remember that? And we were told, countless times, that those 19 terrorists were a minuscule, perverted offshoot of “a religion of peace.”

Since then, more bloody episodes — in the the name of religious extremism — have followed. We call them by the names of the cities in which they occurred, and everyone knows what we’re talking about: Fort Hood, Boston, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam, Nice, Paris, and perhaps the most craven example of them all, San Bernardino, where the parents of an infant child shot up a Christmas party full of co-workers. Well meaning co-workers, that is, who earlier that year held a baby shower for the couple. Bent on murder, they left their infant behind.

Who on earth could blame our country for taking a pause on immigration, to figure out “what the hell is going on” when we see such mayhem, in the name of — of all things — religion? And who better than a president, charged with protecting our borders, to take such common-sense action? Some of those protesting today seem to believe in the perfect right of anyone, anywhere, to come to the United States and stay as long as they want.

What other country has an immigration policy like that?

So, last weekend, I was not among those taking to the streets and the airports to protest the long-overdue process of being a little more careful about who we let in. While the news media, three federal judges, a blubbering Senate minority leader, and the hysterical coastal elites see this as the end of America as we know it, I think to many of us out here in Common Sense Country, it looks more like what any reasonable nation would do. And long overdue.

And you have to laugh, sadly, at politicians who steadfastly defend their “sanctuary cities” now preaching to us about “obeying the law.”

BIG SPENDERS: We could use a little of that hysteria, however, over on the issue of our national debt.

The best laughs I’ve had in years come when I see Democrats on television, wringing their hands over the plans of the new president, and asking, “How will we pay for all this?”

The folks who took a $9 trillion debt in 2009 and turned it into a $19.5 trillion debt in 2017 have suddenly become frugal. You can’t make this stuff up.

Horse laughs. Knee slaps. Spit takes as we hear such whoppers from those who have become born-again penny pinchers.

Now that the other party is in charge.

Meanwhile, over in the party that is now in charge, politicians who did more than they’d like to admit to facilitate the huge run-up in debt, while at the same time abhoring out-of-control spending, now pin their hopes on a growing economy magically paying down the debt. When has that worked in the past?

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was interviewed recently. He lamented that our huge debt didn’t get much attention in the last election, from either party.

To quote a country song, “the road goes on forever, and the (spending) party never ends.”

Daniels is now president of Purdue University. He said he feels guilt every day, spending time among the young people who will pay the huge price for our spendthrift ways.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at davesimpson145@hotmail.com