In addition to the leadership void, there is no platform. When listening or reading candidates advertisements, the bullet points are confined to how the Democrats (or Republicans) have missed the mark or how a particular issue is askew. The Democrats get blamed for inflation, the border, Ukraine, energy policy, CRT, and a few other issues. They are an easy scapegoat. While Biden and the Democrat controlled bureaucracy have certainly not helped, and in many cases made it worse (e.g., the Border), it was not all peaches and cream before (e.g., education).
As a good case in point, here where I live, they are trying to pass gambling legislation including Lottery. This will be a huge money maker and instead of lowering taxes to offset this revenue boon, the “powers at be” (in our super majority Republican State) has decided to give ALL of the money raised through this legislation to Higher Education.
Really, not kidding.
Is anyone paying attention? Does anyone care? Many of these higher education institutions have huge endowments and for the ones that cry poor, please remember its costs have risen at rates far exceeding yearly inflation increases, for decades. Even “low cost” State schools are many thousands of dollars a semester and that does not include room and board. Higher Education is a model of inefficiency and bureaucracy. To provide it another source of revenue is absurd.
What about K-12 education that ranks at the bottom nationally? How about putting the money towards health care reform? How about building a few more prisons? Instead of raising the gas tax last year, how about putting Lottery money towards infrastructure? If all of these are too complicated, how about letting Lottery money flow into the General Fund and reduce taxes by a corresponding amount?
Why funnel it to a government program (and yes, Higher Education is a government program)?
People are not paying attention or simply don’t care. I don’t know what line must be crossed before people pay attention, but I hope we get there soon. States are passing Constitutional Carry laws at a lightening pace. It doesn’t seem coincidental that these laws, at least in this state, are being passed concurrently with other spending legislation. If you talk about Lottery spending, the topic will quickly pivot to gun laws, CRT in schools or some other “hot button” topic de jour.
At some point, working people will grow weary of supporting government programs that don’t improve society. Education must be more than a babysitter. Health care must be affordable. Crime must have deterrents. Hard work must be rewarded. Elected officials need an agenda, but until “We the People” demand it, they will continue to siphon money where they please. It seems reducing taxes is a last resort option instead of option number one. The goal appears to be to increase the number of people dependent on the government.
We need a different agenda.