Demand an Action Plan
As more people enter various election races, listen to their platforms and pay attention to what they have done, how they make their living and most importantly, how they will solve what they identify as the most important issues. Where I live, we just got another addition to the race and while she is a political outsider, relatively speaking, she lives off the government teat. Her business, and I have no idea what it is, supplies defense and education activities (pursuant to a tidbit I heard on a radio show). For all I know, she sells paper, but the conflict seems clear. How is someone whose business flourishes based on dollars spent by the government going to be objective about how my tax dollars are spent? She is not the only candidate who has this conflict. We need less government spending, not more. If my business relies on government contracts, it dilutes my objectivity. It is not a criticism, it is human nature.
The candidates need to make clear where their priorities lie. What do they want to fix, or try to fix, and how do they intend on doing it? What is the sales pitch for the proposed legislation? How will they convince their peers that what they suggest is a good idea? How will they respond to the critics?
You don’t hear any of this, but why not? They are fearful of alienating any voter group. If you want to cut entitlements, the low income demographic may scream. Want to change education, teachers, administrators and many parents will howl. Suggest subsidies may be problematic, and every industry will denounce you. The substantive change that is required to fix this country will not be supported by special interest or status quo candidates. The people need to back the candidate(s) who show a willingness to push change. Special Interest groups (e.g. teachers union) have no desire for substantive change. Until a population, a group of people, clearly express a desire to support candidates that special interest and industry abhor, nothing happens.
Remember, these candidates are in sales. They are selling you on electing them. I heard a congressional candidate on the radio this week and he danced around how he would balance the need for his district’s federal money addiction (my description, not his) with reducing the federal debt. In his defense, it was a better response than some, but we need cuts in the federal budget; the trimming days are long gone. This is part of the problem, government overspending has become such a huge problem, to get it corrected will be painful. The economists will argue that cuts can be done over a longer period to minimize the damage, but to drag it out only extends the pain, problems and habits.
Don’t get distracted by headlines, focus on the upcoming elections. We have numerous problems that have been created and perpetuated by both Republicans and Democrats, don’t let either side tell you otherwise. When you can, press the candidates and ask them to provide a clear agenda. What will you cut to balance the budget? What special interest will you damage: Defense, Education, Medicaid, or some other? Don’t let them hedge. If they don’t have specific plans than why are the going and how long will they stay? If they say until the job is done, that often translates into a desire to be a career politician. We don’t need any of those.