- Posted April 11, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
America's Choice - #1 The Economy
As I reported earlier American voters have one main concern in the upcoming general election for President of the United States. That concern is to determine the direction in which citizens want the country to proceed over the next 4 years.
1. Do American voters want to continue the current road with increasing involvement of the federal government in the lives of the American people?
2. Do American voters want less federal government involvement with more of the decisions being left to the individuals and local/state governments?
The main issue, I believe, that will assist voters in making that determination revolves around the economy. Incorporated in that are the staggering national debt; the still too high unemployment numbers; the thousands who are not counted, but simply stopped looking for work; and the thousands more who are underemployed.
Admittedly the economic outlook has started to improve slightly over the last few months, but the turn-around is still quite sluggish and nowhere near where it should be. There has been an increase in jobs available, but most of those jobs are not the higher paying jobs that were lost since 2008.
This raises the question of what is holding the economy back?
Is it rules and regulations and an atmosphere that is not conducive to providing the confidence and assurance business needs to build and expand?
Yes, rules and regulations are needed, but are the right rules and regulations being implemented and enforced?
With uncertainty over future healthcare costs and requirements on business to provide for employees putting a damper on expansion and hiring?
Are environmental rules and regulations, though in number perhaps less than previous administrations, written in such a way with such stringencies that are making it difficult for new job projects to proceed?
The stock market seems to have rebounded, yet at the same time, the slightest wind tends to blow it back into the doldrums. How can this be changed to provide more stability?
Do the policies being advocated by President Barack Obama represent the best course of action that will boost small business as well as large corporations to feel more at ease with expansion and increased hiring?
Do the policies being propose by the opposition Republicans bring more light and security for small business and large corporations?
How many of the economic baby steps are a direct result of the present Administration's policies and how much is a result of the loggerheads within the Congress impeding progress?
Is the opposition to the Administration by the Republicans in Congress responsible for the recent growth?
These are all questions we must ask of not just the presidential candidates, but of all our elected officials running to either retain office or upseat an incumbent or fill a vacant seat.
In addition as we make our decision about the fall election and the direction of the nation, we must ask and ascertain if the minimal economic upturn is a result of Congressional Republicans keeping the current Administration at bay or is it because the President has worked around Congress to push the nation back to recovery?
Then there is the national debt. The whole Congress has yet to pass a budget going on nearly 4 years. Why?
A budget has been passed the last 4 years by the House of Representatives, but a vote in the Senate has not been allowed. This should not be. This is one of the enumerated powers and rights of Congress. Congress has abdicated its role of implementing and passing a budget with which the American people can live.
The national debt is out-of-control. There is no method or madness to what is happening. But to solve this problem it must be a concerted effort that puts literally all expenditures and all incoming revenue on the table.
Conservatives must realize that cutting funds alone is not the answer. Conservatives must realize that surgical increases are necessary as well.
Liberals must realize we cannot spend or borrow our way out of debt. Liberals must realize that government cannot usurp the traditional roles of family, community and state.
Safety nets, yes...but enslavement of a large portion of the population by keeping them unable to move out from under the circumstances in which they find themselves will not work. For those most needy: the elderly, the chronically ill, the nation needs to be there. But for those who are struggling to find a way to live the American dream, provide a hand up not a hand out with time limits for assistance that are reasonable and logical.
Social Security needs to be placed back in its original form and unable to be used to offset budget deficits. Changes to the system for future beneficiaries must be made.
Medicare needs streamlined and more power given back to the states and local medical boards to determining patient care. Decisions must be made with common sense, true medical need and an eye on controlling costs while not denying care.
All of this has to do with righting the economy.
But do our members of Congress, does our President, does the Republican nominee-to-be and do the American people have the will to do what is necessary to gain control of our economy?
From the Cornfield, the person that needs to be elected in November is the one that has the courage to do what is the most beneficial for the US economy over the next 4 years and not the one who is more willing to shrug and pass the buck to future generations.
This fall is also more than just about who will be president, but also who will serve, we the people, in the US Congress and in state houses and legislatures across the country making the tough decisions to put Americans back to work and trim a debt which soon we cannot repay.