While watching the NBC program “Meet The Press” on Jan. 6, chaired by David Gregory, recurring comments aroused my interest. Gregory’s guests included some congressmen and some learned personnel closely affiliated with the political arena. The subject centered on “what should be accomplished to save our economy.” From the direction the discussion was headed, our citizens are to be blamed for the current predicament. Heck, I thought, that congress passed the laws in this country?
The comments were the same, blame the other party, the citizens and the president for all our troubles. It was apparent that the congressional representatives felt that all the above, not them were at fault — hey, not them! Heck, they are still in office, so they must have been right all along. Their thrust was to reduce funding for social security, Medicare and Medicaid, etc. The so-called learned guests joined in with them supporting the “blame game.”
I have attempted to stay informed by reading the WSJ, Barrons, Financial Times and others. Sadly, some of these well-known productions follow the lead of their political party favorites. They contribute to the “blame game” without ever resolving the issues at hand.
I will never be as adept as Barron’s Alan Abelson and his masterful utilization of the English language, but I would like to present another avenue for helping to save our economy.
Perhaps it is time to take a page from military history and training. The most effective leaders are those who demonstrate their skills by providing an example to the troops under their command. Personal sacrifice: Don’t send your troops into battle, but lead them.
Taking this theory forward, let us assume that these leaders are our congressmen. Should they not share and sacrifice in the possible impending danger to our economy as well as the everyday citizen (the troops)?
Why are they the ones who make the rules but don’t follow the rules of the game? Why are they exempt from sacrificing?
They constantly remind the troops to watch their spending habits and tighten their belts to ward off the impending danger.
Let us assume for a moment that our leaders are our congressmen and the President.
A. While in this line of thought, why couldn’t our congressmen find more tax deductions for we citizens and reduce deductions for the wealthy and large corporations? Furthermore, they could eliminate or substantially reduce all of their tax paid benefits, not to mention those provided through private sources.
B. The newspapers and financial journals could list the salaries/tax benefits as public information.
C. Maybe our leaders, congress and the President, would volunteer a salary reduction until the economy for the working/unemployed citizens improve. This action would be most appropriate instead of asking for reductions in their financial level during this period of adjustment.
Page 2 of 3 - If above are enacted, voters might be more receptive to some of your proposals.
Our leaders cannot overlook the importance of quality education, through college level. Our President has strongly supported the need for expanding and increasing the number of high school and college degrees. Higher quality, and funding must be available to assure our young people succeed. Today, a number of high schools graduate 50% or lower. Our leaders must improve this area considerably if we are to remain the world’s leading country.
On another note, it is refreshing that the newly elected congress has welcomed more women to their leadership group. It is even possible that the increase in women may improve the quality of productivity of congress.
I also would like to take this opportunity to welcome the increasing number of members with diverse ethnicity. Gosh, it wasn’t too long ago that some people were declaring that our president was not a citizen of the United States! And now, finally, we have congressional members from same sex marriages. Who said congress hasn’t progressed?
Since I have used the word “if” several times in this article, let us close with the big if: If congressmen would observe the following, it might be a better, safer, healthier, humanistic, just and politically satisfying world in which we live:
If congressmen treated constituents equally;
realized they serve constituents, not the reverse;
served and cared for voters for the entire term elected and not just at election time;
eliminated special favors;
invited some ordinary “troops” to their social gatherings;
discussed timely issues with common voters;
were honest and fulfill election promises;
explained why some wealthy individuals pay less or no taxes;
eliminate the blame game and just serve their constituents;
were paid based on their productivity and not their salaries;
would cease using the term “public servant” and substitute “little accomplishment for high pay and benefits;”
passed law disavowing all campaign benefits unless they were anonymous and strictly enforced.
I believe I read an article that Democracy as survived only because of the high number of uneducated citizens. I can only supplement this with the quotation we hear so frequently, “do not discuss politics or religion with your friends.” I often wonder if politicians and religious leaders promulgated this precaution many years ago for self gratification to reduce or even eliminate questions about their lifetime occupations?
We must keep in mind that we don’t have to search too far back in history to list several strong nations that crumbled because they failed the common population of their country. Their records indicate that fewer people controlled more wealth as time passed and the masses tended to loose more wealth.
Page 3 of 3 - Could this be happening to our