By Mary Lynne Dahl
October 20, 2010
As I think about my vote in the upcoming election, I cannot help but make a few comments. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am not impressed with or interested in blasting any candidate. I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, for what it's worth.
In all the rhetoric and campaigning, I long to hear some meaty ideas, some concrete concepts about fixing the financial problems we have. We cannot tax them away and we cannot spend them away.
The solution, I believe, lies in a return to our fundamental roots as Americans. Too many people spend too much money on useless, discretionary consumer items. Too many households carry too much debt. Too few people save and invest their own money for their own financial security, preferring their government and employers to do it for them. As a nation, we have become soft, undisciplined, entitled and financially ignorant.
My hope is that we will return, baby-step by baby-step, to the principals that we started with as a new nation, starting this November.
For a start, I would like to see our elected officials begin to work for a return to the basics in this country. The only way they can do that with any kind of meaningful results is if, as a nation, with leadership from the top, we fix some major problems. We need to establish an energy policy, a tax policy, enact tort reform and establish term limits on all elected offices. This approach is not a cure-all, but it is a decent start. Without a start, there is no finish.
Once a politician knows that he/she only has 2 terms in which to accomplish his/her goals for his/her constituents, the power incentive goes away. Once the power goes away, corruption is reduced. Once the corruption is reduced, we can get to work on the real task of fixing the things in America that are broken. Our tax system is broken. The only way to get our economy growing again is to cut taxes to the American worker and ordinary citizen. Fed Chairman Bernanke cannot solve the problem of creating economic growth by buying US Treasury bills.
Our energy policy is non-existent. We need to concentrate on developing not only our existing natural resources, but also the financial plan that will make it advantageous to research, develop and afford new and alternative sources of energy. We need to get off of the OPEC teat.
Admittedly, tort reform will not cure all the woes of the legal system in this country, but it sure would not hurt things, either. At a minimum we would have fewer frivolous law suits and could establish clear limits on damage awards.
Too many Americans accept the media hype as adequate information, on so many subjects, especially things political or financial. However, it is not adequate; in fact, much of it is not even true. We desperately need to become educated and discerning about the information presented in every election. We need to read the actual statements and platform of every candidate, our state candidates' APOC disclosures and the records of how an incumbent candidate voted on bills in the State House or Senate or US House or Senate. We need to turn off the television, get out of the blogs, get up off the couch, and get the facts before voting. Voter apathy is inexcusable in a nation that offers so much to so many.
And when you do vote, remember that this country was born out of revolution. In the eyes of the civilized world (Europe) in the 18th century, the American colonists were extreme radicals, rascals incapable of governing themselves, dependent on mother England and unable to conceive of an independent government. Well, we proved Europe wrong, and in spite of our faults, America is the best example of a democratic republic on earth.
Mary Lynne Dahl
About: "Local citizen who is concerned about apathy, mediocrity and political corruption"
Received October 20, 2010 - Published October 20, 2010
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