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Business as usual isn’t good enough

September 29, 2012
The Inter-Mountain


America spends more and more money every year, yet the average American sees absolutely no benefit. We have run up a $15 trillion deficit, yet our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate. At the same time, our school system ranks in the lower rungs among industrialized nations. Millions go without health insurance. Employment opportunities and wages have shrunk, while more and more of our manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas.

We are not spending taxpayer dollars on the right policies or projects. The American people have a right to know what is being done with their money and how the American Congress has so grossly mismanaged the budget for the last 50 years.

I am not advocating massive cuts to the budget, far from it. I am advocating that the money the American people have to pay every April to the federal government be spent productively to stimulate growth and provide a safety net to those most vulnerable.

This is why we need wholesale congressional reform. How can we voluntarily get Congress to reform the way they do business?

Easy, we make their election to Washington conditional upon their adopting real and significant governmental reform as the main plank of their platform. They have one term to make substantial reform, or they are out of office, simple enough.

It is not hard to get Congress to act, so long as we act on our promise to punish those individuals who go against the will of the electorate.

Special interests might fund their campaigns, but while individuals like the Koch brothers have endless amounts of money, they only have two votes. Governmental reform should be top priority, because we will not solve our deep economic problems until we rid the system of the corrupting influences that contributed to the problem in the first place.

We cannot have tougher trade policies that protect American jobs or expand the middle class by creating a climate encouraging private-sector growth or make sure that the money we are spending is productive public spending on important infrastructure needs without fundamentally changing how Washington works.

America's current problems boil down to both bad policy and poor discipline on the part of our political leaders.

How can either presidential candidate rightfully stand in front of the American people and claim this election is about choosing one of two separate paths for the country?

The route may be different, but the destination remains the same no matter who occupies the Oval Office or what party controls Congress, because our elected leaders do not have the courage to act.

They worry more about their special-interest donors cutting off their endless supply of donations and rewards for making sure that their interests are protected at the expense of the rest of the country.

We need strong, honest leadership, not only from the president, but also from elected leaders down the line. This issue transcends partisan politics because both parties have unclean hands when it comes to how we have gotten to the point where we are.

The need to change the way government operates is apparent. Unfortunately, the media tends not to focus on the systemic problems of the country.

Congress appreciates the media neglecting the true problems of our country, because if the American people knew how complicit Congress has been in the ruin of our once large middle class, we would have 535 new unemployment claims.

Nigel E. Jefferies




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