I’ve noticed my ability to pontificate has increased with age. Since, at the same time, I believe I have some things to say, I’ll ignore this dangerous combination. Pushing on through the twin perils of giving birth to boring text and unproven assertions, I decided to use my new skills to probe the next decade. No matter where I begin, the probe hits the barrier of political polarization just under the surface. The sharp divide along class lines and ideology that has arisen with Obama’s reign is not as dangerous to our way of life as the fissures leading to the Civil War or the War Between the States. Nomenclature is the responsibility of the reader.
It is nowhere close. Calls for class warfare and the redistribution of wealth will not lead to a clash of arms. The more reasonable and largest segment of our political spectrum is the Center. Who are tired of the ideological cries that ‘the sky is falling’ from the extreme left and right wings. President Obama is not an evil entity. He is merely an inept man clinging to a discarded ideology. With different life experiences, he might have made a fair to middling President. So far he has not done irreparable harm. Any pragmatic experienced leader/manager can get us back on track for his replacement will have a great force to assist him or her govern in 2012 or 2016.
The Center, consisting of moderates and pragmatists, can rally all Americans in the name of national survival. The financial crisis will focus our attention on the need to drastically cut spending and balance the national budget, leading to a much smaller national government. The Center knows the lessons of history. Keynesian economics, that believes government spending, even of borrowed money, can stimulate the national economy has never worked. Not for FDR and not for Obama. Americans have always been willing to make sacrifices in the name of national security and the well-being of the next generation. No fear, in the next four to eight years, the threat from irresponsible spending and borrowing will be clear to all. Well, maybe the ideologues on the far left will still debate using their own facts. But they will truly be voices in the wilderness.
Along with fiscal responsibility, an overhaul of the tax budget is necessary. A tax code that is understandable, progressive in nature, and drastically reduces the over 40% who pay no income taxes will alleviate the impact of the strident calls for class warfare and the anti-business rhetoric emanating from the Administration. Term limits on Congress are necessary to improve their responsiveness to the people they represent. Three terms for a Senator and five for House members seems both fair and pragmatic.
The next decade will bring a crisis in national defense. Probably very early in the decade. Again the citizens will rally behind the need for a strong military. The conflict with Islam militants will not go away until moderate followers of Islam put their own house in order. Their past record does not lead to much hope. Again the Center knows that peace comes through strength. Respect is a stronger force for influence in world politics than striving to be liked. The dangers of a nuclear Iran, a rogue Pakistan, an unmistakable growing militarism in China, a probable increasing radicalization of Islam, especially in the Middle East and a democracy killing leadership in Russia will motivate us to make the sacrifices necessary to defend our country and our friends. These threats will clearly expose The UN for what is has become, a forum for discussion of popular causes. At times nice to have, but not worth the disproportionate share of American dollars.
The next decade will see the United States become a major supplier of oil and natural gas and their derivative products. We are moving that way now. As soon as the fossil fuel hating bureaucracy is changed for a less ideological and more pragmatic regime our production of fuel will jump ahead. At the same time responsible investment in alternative sources of energy will be market driven with seed money from the national budget when necessary.
The free wheeling days of the Federal Reserve will come to an end. The printing of money and the unnatural fixing of interest rates will require more than the deliberations of a group of experts meeting in secrecy. Another experiment that will run its course in the next ten years is the national control of education. It has not worked. The result has been a dumbing down of the educational system and the creation of the self-serving Teachers Union that has made a sham out of collective bargaining and failed to teach the nation’s children. The Department of Education will be abolished and replaced by a very small Presidential Advisory Council. The primary role of educating our children will be delegated to the States.
Two more important changes will occur. A centrist government and those who elected it, will wonder if the government having more union members than the private sector is a good thing. The government union members have no skin in the game and really no one with whom to conduct collective bargaining. Certainly the government bureaucrats on the other side of the table have no skin in the game. In the private sector where real collective bargaining takes place as long as the government stays out of it are moving toward having a real stake in the company they work for. That’s a good thing. My last look into the future is in the area of medical care. Any government elected by the Center has to take on medical care of the people. There are pragmatic solutions. Using the forces of the market place to the extent possible is a starting point. Any system that allows patients to deal with their doctors and to have a say in the cost of their treatment will have an impact on pricing.
Obviously you cannot do justice to the next decade in a thousand words. But we all need to think about this coming election and concentrate on the real issues at stake. If not now, it will get harder and more dangerous later. It is time to begin.
Thank you to those who have read this.