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A 2016 Wish List After the Elections

Columnist Lisa Bigelow gazes four years into the future. Will her deepest patriotic wishes come true?

As I write this, it’s the last full day of campaigning before the election. National polls indicate that candidates Romney and President Obama are running neck and neck, although I have a feeling that not only will Romney win, he will win in a demi-landslide.  

But regardless of the vote tally outcome we all want the next four years to be safer, healthier and more prosperous for 100 percent of Americans, both at home and abroad. For me, and I hope for you, too, if those three goals are accomplished over the next term then it won’t much matter if a Democrat or a Republican leader achieved them.

We could all use a break from the struggling economy, the perilous state of world affairs and, frankly, the rank stench of uncompromising partisanship that has dominated the national political landscape since what feels like forever.

If I were president, I’d most want to accomplish these ends during the next four years:

Full employment through a streamlined and fair taxation system.  Everybody pays something, even if it’s a buck, and the highest earners pay the biggest share. Breaks for companies that manufacture here in the U.S. and stiff penalties for those who ship jobs overseas. And get rid of that damned 1040.

Bring our troops home. Foreign wars are expensive and often pointless. I don’t support announcing a timeline, but 2014 seems like an awfully long time from now. We got Bin Laden, so let’s let Afghanistan clean up their own mess…after all, how long do we need to continue fighting civil wars for other nations? Let them have their own 1776.

Stronger foreign policy. Protecting our overseas personnel adequately should be a must, not a lust. China should be a partner for a better world, not an adversary in trade. The situation in the Middle East has gotten worse, not better, since the Arab Spring. And energy independence will make us safer and more powerful than ever before.

Let’s stop pretending to be Europe and be America instead. In case you haven’t noticed, other than Germany, the economic situation across the pond stinks. Why? Unaffordable government-sponsored benefits. When tax rolls can’t keep up with politicians’ promises, trouble is sure to follow. Greece happens, people. 

Leave reproductive rights alone. Can you living in a time when abortion wasn’t legal or safe? Neither can I. And while in an ideal world my tax dollars wouldn’t subsidize birth control or abortion, the pragmatist inside me whispers that raising an unwanted child is a whole lot more difficult and costly than taking a pill every month. (I can feel the hate mail already. I know. I’m a traitor.)

Make bipartisanship more than just a talking point. The biggest problem in Washington is the failure to listen, communicate and compromise. Democrats need to concede serious revisions to our entitlement programs. Republicans need to lay off social issues like abortion and same sex marriage; revenue adjustments may be necessary as well. Let’s embrace the you get some, I get some deal-making ethos that business leaders everywhere know makes the world go ‘round.

Better emergency response to natural disasters here in the U.S. Sandy. Katrina. Irene. No power, no water, no food, no gas, no transportation, no school. For days and days and days. And in many cases, no FEMA financial coverage. Surely we can do better.

Pass a balanced budget amendment.  You have to do it with your checkbook to keep yourself solvent. Doesn’t Washington have to do it, too?

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Rich November 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM
(And get rid of that damned 1040.) Your comment does not make sense. How are you going to run the goverment with out individuals paying taxes??
Carol Nardini November 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I agree with most of what you said. However, whether you agree/like it not, govt. is the provider of last resort. I say single payer health care, and a few small fixes to Social Security would do the trick. We are the United States, all for one and one for all, and yes, we are our brother's and sister's keeper. Period.
Yooper November 07, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Precisely. We need equitable proposals, not slogans.
Yooper November 07, 2012 at 07:51 PM
"Pass a balanced budget amendment. You have to do it with your checkbook to keep yourself solvent. Doesn't Washington have to do it, too?" Another slogan that displays a lack of understanding. Government is NOT a business created for the purpose of making a profit. There are times when deficit spending is necessary and desirable and times when spending needs to be cut. Don't let Grover Norquist dictate our fiscal policy. Unfortunately talk radio today is still doing fear and hate. Oh wait, that's their (profitable) business model.
Lisa Bigelow November 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Hi Rich -- Thanks for reading. Several weeks ago Patch ran a column I wrote about modifying the income tax system. That explains it all. Lisa B.
Lisa Bigelow November 11, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Yooper. Please. This is common sense. You only need look across the Atlantic to see what happens when governments make promises they can't afford. And, by the way, guess who owns the most U.S. debt? China.

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