Independent Voters View | The Way Forward Jan 2010
Well, here we are its January 2010, ten months to go before the mid-term elections; and the hard left agenda in health care reform, cap and trade, and economic “stimulus” have come to a screeching halt. This, all due to the Independent Voters of Massachusetts speaking clearly and unequivocally with their votes to end the 60 vote majority in the US Senate enjoyed by the Democrats. Yet it remains to be seen if the President or Congress in general has truly understood the message sent; so I will lay out a way here for both the president and congress to get things done and maybe, just maybe get some independent support in the coming year.
Health Care Insurance Reform
I have been to several health care Town Hall Meetings in the past year, and have commented before on the current legislation. Time after time I have heard both Republicans and Democrats say that they agree on 80% of what is in both the House and Senate versions. All right then here is your chance get this 80% done by say July, let the other 20% become a part of the debate for the pending election season. If you do so, you will get a clear message in November on how to proceed. I would caution both Repubs and the Dems, do not be obstructionist or obfuscate the issues on this, we can identify it and will not tolerate it.
Just to review things that make sense to us in this area; lets make some regulatory adjustments to industry practices like eliminating the pre-existing condition clause. Let remove the Anti-Trust exemption and allow true portability nationwide, after all my car insurance is, why not my health insurance? The Federal Employee Health Benefit Program is nation wide why not anyone else’s? Lets help out those who need it through Tax Credits, for these now competitive products. Let’s work out some cost control solutions on Medicare and Medicaid through more competitive bidding to provide supplies and services. Let’s imagine the discount we may be able to get on say a billion or two medical sponges (4 X 4 in Gauze pad), that you currently reimburse 4 or 5 Dollars for that I can get at the drugstore for about .19 cents apiece. That is just one example I’m sure there are more. Lets find ways to pay for positive and cost effective medical outcomes instead of just treatment. I am certain solutions are there if you work together to find them.
Cap and Trade Energy Policy
The current proposals are political claptrap and foolishness in the first degree. Once again most of us independents have very real concerns about our environment. We recognize the common sense of reducing carbon emissions etc. However, creating a carbon trading system will only line the pockets of the people you let trade them amongst the users. Seems a get rich quick scheme for some yet to be designated group that the Dems are beholding to.
Instead lets look at some ways we can be come energy independent, and create jobs in the meantime. Big Ideas, that the government can lead the way on by providing incentives and limited funding for are, National Natural Gas Pipeline distribution system, coupled with truck, bus, and train conversion to natural gas technology. The Technology to do this is already available and cost effective. Get some tax incentives going, We have a 900 year supply of nat Gas that we can now get out of the ground. ULets start using it, it is 30-60 % cleaner than Oil and Coal.
Oil independence, with side drilling technology we have at our disposal ways to make oil extraction less expensive and more environmentally friendly, Lets get the rigs up and start tapping the continental; shelf from Florida to Maine, California to Alaska, and the great Midwest – rocky mountain shale. You want to see this happen in a hurry? Guarantee a floor price for domestic oil of $50 per barrel and prohibit it’s exportation. Once again there are many good ideas out there lets start anew and look for the ways to bring more Nuclear, Solar, and Wind on line as well. Along with electrical or fuel cell technology for cars; think incentives not taxes.
Jobs, Spending, and Taxes
Another iteration of the slow motion stimulus bill will be all it takes to throw you folks out on your ears come November. The fact of the matter is, and it has been repeated over and over again in history, if you want to help create good lasting jobs, help small business and industry create them through tax incentives; not by special taxes on the profits of the banks we need to loan money to the folks that create jobs. We will have your back if you make hard decisions about controlling spending, through limiting governmental growth. After all belt tightening is something all of us voters understand all to well; and please explain to the public how you managed a 5% cost of living increase when our social security retirees get none?
If you just got to have a fix and do some spending how about increasing funding for the VA hospitals and clinics? Most folks would see the good in that. If you just have to do some pork; how bout fixing some bridges around the country? We could use about 10 Billion a year for the next 15 years or so on that. If you really, really want to think big how about building a NationalNationBuilding / Disaster Response Corps, similar to the Army Reserves, Were people train part time and are subject to periodic deployments to places like Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, etc.. You could start by issuing ‘Hip Pocket Orders’ for Military retirees, and build it from there.
A special Note Honorable Mr Reid and Ms Pelosi;
You have dug yourselves and your caucuses a pretty deep hole. I doubt you will be able to extricate yourselves but there is time to ensure your party maintains (albeit smaller) majority in November. That is simply to work for positive change that the American voter can accept as reasonable and necessary. If you can reach far enough right to include the likes of me who are a bit right of center, you may well have a chance. Put the CSPAN cameras to work as well open all committees (except national security and intel meetings) to the unblinking scrutiny of the American Voting Public.
Honorable Messer’s McConnell and Boehner
If you want top be successful in November, I would suggest you give Independent Voters a positive reason for change or retention for that matter. You had better start putting ideas forward that solve problems instead of just sniping at the ones that are out there. Some of your members know how to do that. I would suggest you start using them to give the positive example your party has lacked for the last six years, you might want to consider revisiting the Contract with America and updating it for the times. You must also recognize and acknowledge upfront that Gridlock is not what you seek but common sense solutions.
Sir, Three times now since your election the Independent Voters in three ‘Blue” States have spoken. They have spoken with a resounding clarity that the Big Government Programs are not what the American Public wants. We are still a nation of what others have called “Rugged Individualists” that want our government to assure the peace, protect our citizens, defend our borders, and assure equal opportunity (not results). We will assure our results through our own blood, sweat, and tears if you will but get and keep government the heck out of the way.
In any organization most folks will give a new manager a year to learn his footing and begin getting results. Yours is up today. I would suggest in a positive way, that you now face a great opportunity to excel and even give some credence to the views you expressed in “The Audacity of Hope”. You can with leadership with in your party lead them to the well of compromise and production. You can with leadership truly reach out to the other side and incorporate their good ideas. You can through leadership, stop apologizing for us and start leading us to victory in our wars and in the economic struggles we face. You sir were not elected to run two car companies, two mortgage banks, of to bash the stock market. You sir were hired to lead and I would suggest you would be wise to do so beginning now. Insist on physical responsibility, limit the growth in government spending, and cut unnecessary government programs now. Start now with the things we all can agree on and lead from the front. Independent Voters don’t want a leader that says do this; this is what’s best for you! Independent Voters want a leader that says “Here is where we are going Follow Me!”
I encourage comments from all points of View, For this particular Article I ask that in the spirit of Teamwork and Independent Thought that you keep them respectful, whatever your point of view.
Also this is far from a comprehensive list, So I open this Arena of Ideas to all who can offer any ideas for moving forward in 2010. Here's the Ring throw your hat in there and we'll dance around the brim...