As we listen to the constant stream of cliches that come out of the political class in Washington, rarely do we find anything within those cliches that truly answers a real question or addresses a real issue. It is the same posturing and the same demagoguery all of the time.
Thus, rather than continuously hope for progress and answers from our politicians, let’s simplify the task. Since they cannot formulate the right questions and right answers to our major issues, consider the following questions, in no particular order, that many of us would like to have addressed in a finite time, in a finite manner, without malice towards any other American, and in a way that eventually starts us down the path to solutions.
– Why do we continue to pay for and station tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Europe as a protection screen for western Europe? Isn’t the Iron Curtain down and and an invasion from Soviet bloc armies highly unlikely? In these times of budget constraints, shouldn’t we finally declare victory over communism, bring home the troops and save tens of billions of dollars a year?
– Why do we continue to pay for and station tens of thousands of troops in South Korea, fifty eight years after the Korean conflict ended? Can’t South Korea defend itself since it now has one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world and requires mandatory military service of its young people? Shouldn’t we finally declare victory, let the South Koreans defend themselves, bring home the troops, and save billions of dollars a year?
– Why do we still have troops stationed in Iraq? Wasn’t President Obama supposed to bring them home on a much quicker timetable than the Bush administration set up? Wasn’t that one of the primary reasons for voting for Obama in the first place?
– Why don’t ever see caskets bearing the remains of U.S. servicemen who died in Iraq or Afghanistan fighting any more? Wasn’t that a big controversy when Bush was President, the need to see what we were dong to our armed forces? Why is that no longer a priority with the Democrats and the main stream media?
– Why hasn’t the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay been closed down yet? Wasn’t that a primary reason to vote for Obama, his passion to close the prison and remove it as a recruiting tool for terrorists around the world? Why is it still operating if it was that important during the 2008 Presidential campaign?
– Why is gasoline about to go over $4.00 a gallon again, with some experts predicting it will go to $5.00 this summer? It cannot be Libya since Libya supplies only 2% of the world’s oil and virtually none of the 2% comes to the Untied States.
– Why hasn’t the political class, decades after the oil crises of the 1970s and decades after the formation of the Energy Department, come up with a coherent, efficient, and cost saving national energy policy and program so that $4.00 a gallon for gas scenarios never happen again?
– Why hasn’t the political class sealed the border with Mexico, 25 years after Congress ordered the Pentagon to seal the border within 45 days?
– Why do Federal politicians get paid during a government shutdown and why do Federal politicians get automatic annual pay raises regardless of how well or how badly they perform in office?
– Why do new Federal employees get a traditional pension program when hired but the vast majority of other Americans, who fund that pension program through their taxes, no longer have the opportunity to get the same benefit that they finance?
– Why does the Federal government only include people who are actively looking for a job in their unemployment calculation? Even if you get so discouraged that you stop looking for a job, aren’t you still “unemployed?” Is it to make the political class look better when unemployment numbers are released?
– Why does the government calculate both “core inflation” (i.e.without food and gasoline) and “total inflation” estimates every month? Don’t they understand that regardless of how they estimate inflation, most American households still have to use gasoline and eat food regardless of price increases?
– Why do we continue to fight the losing battle in the “war on drugs?” When will the political class finally come up with a coherent and effective policy and strategy on this scourge that actually addresses the growing threat of the Mexican drug cartels and the human plight of those Americans addicted to drugs?
– Why does our public education system still stink, while being the most expensive education system in the world? Why is U.S. public education a national embarrassment despite the establishment of the Department of Education three decades ago and the existence of a blueprint to fix the situation that President Reagan’s education commission produced in 1983, “A Nation At Risk?” Hasn’t the risk grown greater 28 years after the problem was identified?
– Why does President Obama still want to fund the Headstart program when his own Health and Human Services Department published a report last year that proved it was ineffective in making our younger kids any smarter than those that were not in the Headstart program?
– Why do we continue to stick our neck, our national focus, and national resources into the affairs of other countries, e.g.. Libya, while our strongest economic competitors, China, India, South Korea, etc., continue to focus on building up their economies to our national economic detriment?
– Why do we continue to allow corporations, unions, PACs, and other groups of people to contribute obscene amounts of money to election campaigns which always end up overwhelming the needs and best decisions for ordinary Americans? Our founding fathers insisted on freedom of speech for individual Americans, not companies, unions, etc.
– Why do we not have term limits on Federal politicians in order to constantly flow through new people with fresh, new ideas through the legislative process, people that might actually have lived outside of the Beltway and understand the reality of life in America? Why can’t we get rid of career politicians that do not know reality outside of the D.C. Beltway, whose reality is only their financial ties to lobbyists and campaign contributors?
– Why do not have a coherent and effective immigration policy that would regulate the flow of new immigrants into this country, immigrants that can positively contribute to American society in many different ways?
– Why do mega-millionaires in Congress continue to draw a salary that is minuscule to the size of their personal wealth? If serving your country is such a noble calling, then serving it and not getting paid because you are rich beyond most Americans’ dreams is an even nobler calling.
– If American companies have to adhere to strict accounting and financial standards, as laid out in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, why isn’t the Federal government, the largest financial entity in the country also subject to the same oversight and accountability since we know that the Federal bureaucracy easily wastes up to $100 billion a year through fraud and mismanagement?
– If every American and every American company is subject to EPA rules and laws, why isn’t the biggest polluter in the country, the Defense Department, also subjected to the same scrutiny?
– Why is the Federal political class so unable to cut spending in the multitude of areas that would affect very few ordinary Americans? Could it be because it would affect military contractors, corporate welfare recipients, lobbyists, and incumbent campaign donations?
– Why do gay Americans not have the exact same rights in this country as straight Americans? Aren’t they Americans also?
– Why does the Patriot Act even exist in a country that should pride itself on freedom and liberty?
– Why should rich Americans such as Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Warren Buffet and most hedge fund managers still receive a Social Security check? They can afford to live without that check while many Americans cannot afford to live without one, a possibility that could happen unless true, effective, and honest Social Security reform is implemented.
– Why isn’t the retirement age raised to 70 for those more affluent Americans that can afford to wait? Isn’t it better to have those with the financial resources to do without for a few years in order to save the system for those less fortunate?
– Why aren’t all members of Congress and the executive branch required to take and pass a course on basic economics so they would at least know or have some appreciation how stupid their policies were before they are enacted?
– Why do the Democrats still allow the “Super Delegate” process to exist, a process that could usurp the freedom and wishes of millions of Democrats who vote in primary elections and caucuses?
– Why do we still have an electoral college process, a process that values the votes of some American citizens much more highly than other citizens?
– Why do we only have the candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties at Presidential debates, shouldn’t we have any candidate present that holds a mathematical chance of winning?
– Why do we still allow politicians to gerrymander their own Congressional districts, usually ensuring their re-election time after time? Shouldn’t the process be turned over to an independent process that makes sane, rational districting decisions?
– Why do taxpayers still foot a large part of the bill for the Democrats and Republicans to have their Presidential conventions?
– Why do we still have an embargo against the island of Cuba? Five decades after Castro came to power, five decades after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, five decades after the Cuban missile crisis, can we finally grow up and drop the embargo?
– Why do we still allow Congressional earmarks, which are nothing more than thinly disguised ways for incumbent politicians to pay out taxpayer money in return for campaign donations?
– Why do we still allow our politicians to use Federal tax money to build bike paths, do feasibility studies for indoor race tracks, build a Paper Industry Hall of Fame, research fish waste in Alaska, and other such nonsense in their home districts?
– Why has Health and Human Services had to issue over 1,000 waivers to Obama Care requirements in just the first year if this was such a great piece of legislation?
– Why does President Obama think that developing, discussing, explaining, and televising his NCAA basketball March Madness picks is such a good use of his time when he has to oversee three military actions in the Middle East, an imminent government shutdown, record high national debt, and a nation bitterly divided against itself?
– Why does the political class continually focus on the “Bush tax cuts for the rich” at the expense of everything else? The Republicans worry that the Washington political class will spend $1.42 for every dollar it receives and that is why they are against tax increases. The Democrats worry that richer Americans might actually spend their own money on things they want, not what the Democrats want.
Since the Bush tax cuts are a spit in the ocean of our national debt, why not create a virtual lock box so that money from the reinstated Bush tax cuts never reaches the political class? Instead, the money goes directly into a Treasury account whose sole purpose is to buy back U.S. debt to reduce our national debt. Get this issue out of the way in this manner and move on to real debt reduction issues for once.
– Why does the Federal government and the political class that operates it never seem to have any contingency plans in place to handle emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill? Don’t we pay enough in taxes to get some protection preparation from the government ahead of time?
– Why is Tax Freedom Day so late in this country, normally sometime early in the second quarter? Doesn’t the political class realize that there can be no personal freedom without economic freedom and a late Tax Freedom Day like we currently have is not conducive to freedom?
– Why have state governments and state politicians been so negligent or ignorant when it came to foreseeing how their rampant, wasteful spending would eventually come back to potentially bankrupt their respective states?
– Why did no one from Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Authority, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Senate committees on housing and banking, the House of Representatives committees on banking and housing, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Securities and Exchange Commission foresee the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression until it hit them flat in the face?
– Why is Barney Franks allowed to receive campaign donations from the very banks his House committee was responsible for overseeing and why was Chris Dodd allowed to receive campaign donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government entities his Senate committee was responsible for overseeing?
– Why do politicians focus on irrelevant matters such as the noise volume of television commercials, the need for a better college football playoff system, iPhone and Android apps that tell users where local police speed traps are likely to be, and other such nonsense when all of the far more important questions listed above are unanswered?
– Why do we not have a process that would allow voters to remove politicians from standing Congressional committees for dereliction of duty? For example, in a perfect world, any politician sitting on a House or Senate Intelligence committee should have been removed from their post on September 12, 2001. Any politician sitting on a committee that oversaw FEMA should have been removed from their post within days after Hurricane Katrina hit.
– Why are we cursed to be ruled, not served by these types of politicians, politicians that would not know leadership even if it walked up and introduced itself. Politicians that have not answered any of these questons or solved any major problems, decades after the problems were identified. Politicians that see staying in office as more important than serving while in office. Why, why, why?