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The next few weeks are going to be a great strain on the patience of many of the American people. We know that some things are seriously wrong - and few of the candidates want to talk about them.

Even though President Bush wants to blame Congress and Gov. Bill Clinton wants to blame Bush, few candidates want to talk to the citizens on an intelligent basis and mention any of the following:As citizens, for many years, we have asked for more government services than we are willing to pay for. The time has come for us to face up to reality.

As citizens, we were outraged by the informality of the House Bank operations. Many congressmen will lose their jobs because of it. But we have no qualms about letting the same group write $400 billion of checks this year to pay for many essential government services and a lot of pork barrel when there is no money to cover these checks.

The deficit burden will come to our children to pay. They will also have to live in a third-rate nation in great fiscal chaos - in just a few years - unless we as citizens can demand, and are willing to accept, responsible government.

As citizens, some of us don't study the real issues before us. We hope for a candidate who will be able to solve our problems for the time being and not bother us too much about how it is done or who has to pay the bill.

Democracy must do more for more people for less money.

All the rhetoric of the next few weeks (at a cost of millions) will have no real effect unless the citizens demand a level playing field. No need for the citizens to be concerned about who is lying the most or the least - we must insist that they debate the immediate need for responsible government and the deficit issues. We must demand a measured statement from all candidates about how the citizens are going to pay the bill.

A. Glenn Spencer

Salt Lake City