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A 2016 Wish List After the Elections

Columnist Lisa Bigelow gazes four years into the future. Will her deepest patriotic wishes come true?

 

As I write this, it’s the last full day of campaigning before the election. National polls indicate that candidates Romney and President Obama are running neck and neck, although I have a feeling that not only will Romney win, he will win in a demi-landslide.

But regardless of the vote tally outcome we all want the next four years to be safer, healthier and more prosperous for 100 percent of Americans, both at home and abroad. For me, and I hope for you, too, if those three goals are accomplished over the next term then it won’t much matter if a Democrat or a Republican leader achieved them.

We could all use a break from the struggling economy, the perilous state of world affairs and, frankly, the rank stench of uncompromising partisanship that has dominated the national political landscape since what feels like forever.

If I were president, I’d most want to accomplish these ends during the next four years:

Full employment through a streamlined and fair taxation system.  Everybody pays something, even if it’s a buck, and the highest earners pay the biggest share. Breaks for companies that manufacture here in the U.S. and stiff penalties for those who ship jobs overseas. And get rid of that damned 1040.

Bring our troops home. Foreign wars are expensive and often pointless. I don’t support announcing a timeline, but 2014 seems like an awfully long time from now. We got Bin Laden, so let’s let Afghanistan clean up their own mess…after all, how long do we need to continue fighting civil wars for other nations? Let them have their own 1776.

Stronger foreign policy. Protecting our overseas personnel adequately should be a must, not a lust. China should be a partner for a better world, not an adversary in trade. The situation in the Middle East has gotten worse, not better, since the Arab Spring. And energy independence will make us safer and more powerful than ever before.

Let’s stop pretending to be Europe and be America instead. In case you haven’t noticed, other than Germany, the economic situation across the pond stinks. Why? Unaffordable government-sponsored benefits. When tax rolls can’t keep up with politicians’ promises, trouble is sure to follow. Greece happens, people. 

Leave reproductive rights alone. Can you living in a time when abortion wasn’t legal or safe? Neither can I. And while in an ideal world my tax dollars wouldn’t subsidize birth control or abortion, the pragmatist inside me whispers that raising an unwanted child is a whole lot more difficult and costly than taking a pill every month. (I can feel the hate mail already. I know. I’m a traitor.)

Make bipartisanship more than just a talking point. The biggest problem in Washington is the failure to listen, communicate and compromise. Democrats need to concede serious revisions to our entitlement programs. Republicans need to lay off social issues like abortion and same sex marriage; revenue adjustments may be necessary as well. Let’s embrace the you get some, I get some deal-making ethos that business leaders everywhere know makes the world go ‘round.

Better emergency response to natural disasters here in the U.S. Sandy. Katrina. Irene. No power, no water, no food, no gas, no transportation, no school. For days and days and days. And in many cases, no FEMA financial coverage. Surely we can do better.

Pass a balanced budget amendment.  You have to do it with your checkbook to keep yourself solvent. Doesn’t Washington have to do it, too?

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Steven DeVaux November 08, 2012 at 11:40 AM
So here we are at Day 2 after the election. What happened on Day 1? Businesses voted and the market is down over 300+ points. Only businesses create jobs so what jobs did they create on Day 1? UBS annouces staff reductions of 10,000 (Stamford is where UBS is headquartered) - and for a list of other on Day 1 go to: http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=542248&version=1&template_id=48&parent_id=28 Reductions in staff will be coming in fast and furious in the days and weeks now before the inauguration. Unemployment will increase - and the government is powerless as business votes the only way it can - with it's wallet. What a shame that the lesson that politics doesn't trump economics has to be re-learned just 5 short years afte the last lesson. <sigh>
Lisa Bigelow November 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Hi Steven -- I hope you're wrong. The UBS reductions are troubling, although UBS has been troubled for years (and not because of Obama). We shall see what develops. I can only hope that Obama's victory means that people across the nation believe the economy is, in fact, improving. Lisa B.
Steven DeVaux November 12, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Lisa, Unfortunately, I think people are hoping for a change and the economy improving. What folks simply do not get is that business votes every day - with hiring employees and the taxes they pay (without a vote). The Fiscal Cliff has arrived followed by The Debt Ceiling - Part II a few months after that. No actions have been taken by anyone to deal with them. Albert Einstien said the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. That's exactly what's happened with kicking the can down the road. The best thing this country could learn from is the Fiscal Cliff. Let's see if they really want change and hope for it.
Ken November 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM
The fiscal cliff will be dealt with one way or another with or without the Rebubs. If the tea nuts at the fringe of the Repub party cannot be reigned in by their leadership and basically told they need to STFU the solution to the fiscal cliff will be by Fed action, Executive Decision and other emergency protocols. The Repubs can get on board, smell the coffee, take off their blinders and be meaningful participants in resolving this issue. If the Repub leadership cannot reign in the right wing nuts at the fringe of the party that only know the policy of 'obstruct, blame, say no, we won't do that' the Repub party will not just become irrelevant but will be extinct in 2016.
Steven DeVaux November 12, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Let's see in 2016. In the mean time, fasten you seatbelts. The House of Representative is the only body constitutionally that can raise taxes and authorize spending. Even martial law does not abolish the House. Some medicine tastes good, some does not.

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