Do you remember that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan used to talk about; do you remember when America was the envy of the world in every aspect from healthcare to education to freedom and lifestyle? What we Americans have put up with, or let happen, is just appalling. We arent even ranked in the top 10 for so many things, like life span, college/high school graduates, life style, infrastructure. Its really a travesty whats happened in the last 50 years or so. No one has vision, no one wants to talk about our Country in 2025, 2050. Instead, today we go for the sound bite in the hourly news cycle to see who is winning the media/popularity wars. I blame everyone for this, Mr. Obama, Congress, the American people. How did we let this happen?
Today our Country has 2 major problems an unemployment crisis and a long term debt crisis. Both sides of the isle are basically arguing over which should be addressed first or that only their issue is important. Its hard to imagine with todays petty politics that John F. Kennedy was able to challenge the American people to land a man on the moon and bring him back to earth safely within the decade. Something like that would never be agreed to now by the president and congress. But, that is exactly what we need. Forward thinking bold action. I wish George W. Bush said after 9/11 that we will stop using oil and find an affordable alternative within the decade. After all, its our money that we pay for oil that funds most terrorist. Imagine if he had done that and today we didnt import any oil and were just using renewable energy that was affordable. Think of the leverage we would have with places like Iran and other oil rich countries. Our money could be spent right here in America; bringing people new jobs and a better life. But as we know, that didnt happen. Back to our problems. I firmly believe the biggest problem we face now is unemployment. As I have mentioned many times on this blog, unemployment has the potential to do us in. What will happen to the 25 million people who are unemployed or underemployed? Addressing the unemployment issue also addresses the deficit and long term debt since the more people who are working the more money the treasury will have so our deficits will be lower, and so will our longterm debt. I think we need a massive project that will get more people working and will help our overall economy. Something like high speed cross country transit. I think now is the time to make investments in our future, big bold investments; while also having a balanced way to reduce the debt.
We have a failure in government, every single member of it. The fiscal cliff was a disaster, the upcoming and last years debt ceiling debates are such a waste of time. We know what the problems are. We need to fix them. And, in fixing them the American public needs to be better informed. What exactly do we spend our money on? “Big Government” what does that mean? Tell me exactly whats too big and what can be cut. Defense, what do we spend $800 Billion per year on? Exactly what, so we the American people can decide what can be cut and what shouldnt be. Everyone talks about the “entitlement” are killing the budget, ok, so tell me exactly how much do we spend on Medicare and Social Security. Is there an income threshold ($10M maybe) where people dont receive either? Tell me exactly how much that would save us. Tell us all that. We should all be open to changes and reductions in spending but they need to be reasonable. Someone who has $1 million is not a rich person in todays society, especially depending on location, so all cuts should be on the table but they need to be well thought out. The mortgage deduction, perhaps it should only be on your primary residence and not on any home you want to buy or flip or whatever. My point is think logically. I would like to see a change in the tax code where the government brings in a lot more money specifically to pay down our long term debt. We need to have a plan and we need to have all parties putting everything on the table.
My recommendations are first for Mr. Obama to invite Congressional leadership for weekly lunches/dinners. Obama isnt good at and has not formed relationships with Congress. Thats why Joe Biden was better able to secure a fiscal cliff deal than Obama was. These weekly meetings would foster better relations. Next, we know we have the debt ceiling, the sequestration coming up, deal with it today, right now. What the world wants to see from us is that we can fix any problem and that we have a plan. Having a plan will make our credit rating go back up, show the world we know what we are doing and bring stability and increase hiring.
I want to see a bold plan, I want to see high speed rail from coast to coast. I want our infrastructure the best in the world. Now is the time to initiate all of these things, people need the jobs, the U.S.A. needs to be that shining city on a hill once again.