How Washington Can Fix the Economy
Let's face it, the economy is in bad shape and probably won't be getting better anytime soon. Sure we've improved since 2008, but it is becoming evident that our lowered GDP is the new norm. The unemployment rate is now statically above 8% and is not falling. There will be no quick fixes to our economic woes but rather a long grinding road to recovery.
It is the road we are unaccustomed to traveling. It is the road we have not seen in more than 80 years when great men and hard labor lead us back to prosperity. FDR and Truman knew what had to be done and they made the tough choices. They galvanized support and got it done. They were heroes.
Today, where have all our heroes gone? In the 1930s FDR inspired a nation, attacked unemployment with the New Deal, and culminated his Presidency, and life, by delivering us to the doorstep of victory against the greatest military threat then known to man.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan took office and by sheer force of his own will and charisma led us out of the then worst economic times this country had seen since the days of FDR. Oh, and by the way, he also ended the cold war.
But today where have those great men, our heroes, gone?
Not too long ago one U.S. President used an attack on our soil to start a ten year war with a country that had nothing to do with that attack. The war diverted trillions from our economy which, in large part, is why we are in the economic quagmire we find ourselves in today to say nothing of the greater tragedy of the lives lost in that war.
Enter our current President. Sure he was handed a mess when he took office, but he was elected on the promise of getting us out of it. The bleeding may have stopped, but the injury remains unhealed. Against this backdrop, virtually nothing has been done in the last two years from a real help-the-county legislative perspective. And he wants four more years? Why? So he can continue to tell us he's trying but Congress just doesn't want to play? What is going to change from the past few years to the next four that would lead us to believe he will get more, or something, done? And by the way, his party controlled Congress for the first two years of his presidency.
We need a hero.
But let us not simply lay this on the steps of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Congress is not doing their job, period. They are elected by the people, to act on behalf of the people. Yet what have they done to get America back to work? I don't care if the guy in the oval office may not sign what you put on his desk. You don't stop trying. Keep putting bills on his desk.
We need a hero.
Today we just have a bunch of career politicians making sure they get reelected by playing the blame game: I could not do this because that guy would not do that.
Do this for me. Go into work and tell your boss that you can't do my job and don't offer a reason. Just tell him or her that you can't do your job, because you think if you do, it will just get undone by someone else. What do you think your boss would do? Adios, right?
Well you're Congress's boss. You're the President's boss. Start acting like it. If they don't want to do their job send them packing. All of them.
Unfortunately, we don't have much in terms of an alternative: a former corporate raider who knows how to make money by putting people out of jobs and selling off the assets of their former company? Let's just hope that if he gets elected and his business strategy is employed he asks Governor Rick Perry to lead the downsizing team. Then we'll only be at risk of losing two out of three branches of the government.
We need a hero.
We need a President like FDR. We need a President like Ronald Regan. We need someone who will make the tough choices and when someone tries to block them call them out. What do I mean? We have over 8% unemployment in this country and we need a jobs act to get people back to work. Over 12 million people are out of work and they need help.
So what would I like to see? Something, anything.
First, the President needs a plan. Some manner to get people back to work. FDR created a public works project. Sounds good to me. He then needs to send it to Congress in the form of a sponsored bill by a democratic or republican representative. Then let them vote in down or stall it in committee. Fine. Same ol' same ol'.
But here's where he needs to shake it up to become a hero. The President should walk into the press room in the White House (it is much smaller then you would think if you have ever been there) and say to the media "Come on, we are taking a walk."
Grab some secret service and march a few blocks east up Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. House of Representatives. Allow anyone to join in the march. Tweet it out. The President should then demand that the House leaders come down right now, in front of God, the people in the march, and the millions watching live on CNN, and explain why they did not pass the bill and tell the American people what their plan is. You like reality TV? The lives of over 12 million Americans hanging in the balance does not get more real than that.
Call them out and put it on camera. Force people to state their positions. And then in front of the world no one can hide. Broadcast the whole thing. We'll know who's to blame.
And that's the funny thing about accountability, and public accountability, it can often lead to compromise. When you have to openly debate the issues and provide real solutions and not just rip apart the other party's plan, compromises can be struck.
If the blockers of the bill won't come out they're cowards. Not heroes. Heroes don't run from a fight. Especially a fight for those people they represent. If they can't come out and engage in debate--in front of all--they are ineffective. Vote them out.
This country was built on compromise. Historically, a little of that legacy died when Newt Gingrich led the Republican Revolution into Congress back in the 1990s. People stopped talking then. Compromise was no longer an option. Educated debate was replaced with vitriolic politics. And the American people--especially 12.8 million of them today--began to suffer.
If anyone calls the march political grandstanding there is a simple response: "At least I'm taking a stand. And here it is for every American to see. Join me and let's get this done." Wait out there for days. Weeks. Whatever it takes. Be our hero.
Mr. President and distinguished members of the U.S. House of Representatives you have a tremendous opportunity to effect real change, to be the heroes we hope you will be, to get us back to work. If the President won't march on Congress or Congress won't march on the White House you are all cowards. Do America a favor and step aside so a real hero can lead us back to prosperity.