Have elected leaders of The United States dug us into a hole that we can't get out of?
What has to be done before it's too late? There are so many things that need to be fixed. What are your thoughts or ideas?
Cut spending and tax the extremely wealthy. I know that is very controversial but you know what? This is everyone's country. Call me crazy... But If I was in the top 1%, I'd give as much as I could back into the country that I was born into.
Also, stop throwing people in jail for small crimes - it is a waste of taxpayers' money. Roughly $37 billion a year goes to prisons.
I've known a number of elected federal officials. They all but invariably go to Washington with the best of intentions faithfully of representing their constituents and changing the way things are done. Once there, they find that is an unrealistic viewpoint. Those who keep their souls leave and go home, those who lose them join the merry band of pirates who constitute the US national state.
Your question is off base. Elected officials are the smallest part of the problem. The small "c" constitution of that aforesaid national state consists primarily of institutions, including government, corporate and nonprofit. Those are the ones controlling decisions and policy.
There is nothing you or I can do to change that system. It is far too entrenched, advanced and powerful to accept reform. Elections no longer matter. Whether or Obama or Romney won the last one would make a difference only at the inconsequential margins, where the pols tinker to keep the people buried in the illusion that there is truly some hope for recovery, just through the next election. They are interested in nothing else.
Even to ask this question is to say you still have faith in the US national system. Forgive me for being so blunt, but you need to get past that illusion.
Even though what Attikos says is true, it is true for any government which currently exists, has ever existed or will ever exist; it is a constant in life like the constant threat of violence in society or the danger in driving your car from place to place. it is unbiquitous.
Consequently, his observation forms a baseline from which we must try to progress, to do better. For America, that start was with the Constitution, with a big C, and the responsibility it set upon the shoulders of the citizens for which the government exists. As both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson well knew and espoused, for this form of government to be successful, the People must be virtuous in exercising their responsibility toward their government.
So, in this long winded answer to your question, no, the elected leaders haven't gotten us into this pickle, it is the people who elected them and let government get in the shape it is in that must take the responsibility.
We could certainly get out of the spending hole, but not if we keep voting for free stuff. Ie Democrats.
I think the Bridge to Nowhere was a Republican project. The only time the majority of conservatives (there are actually a couple of exceptions) don't want "free stuff" in one form or another is in their rhetoric; the difference is who it goes to.
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