Independent Lens

As a former Republican and Democrat and now Independent voter, I am more at liberty to judge for myself what seems to make sense to respond to global, national, regional and local issues.The rhetoric is ripe with contradictions, hypocrisies and, at times, falsehoods, so this independent lens permits me to see more clearly what is rational and right.

As an example, it amuses me when politicians say they are looking out for the interests of their children and grandchildren and do not want to pass along a debt burden. Yet, those same politicians do not seem as concerned about making decisions that are destroying our planet. If we don’t get the latter part right, the former part matters not. Global warming is here folks and it may be too late to do something about it. Yet, we have to try and we need to start now. The Republicans failure to embrace global warming as a problem is one of the main reasons I left the party.

Another contradiction relates to the belief by some that business need not be regulated. I have been in business for over thirty years and I can assure you firsthand that businesses need to be regulated. Businesses do not want to be regulated, but the consumers and shareholders need businesses to be regulated. If you do not believe me, take this simple test. When you think of the word “bank” the first word you think of next would not be “trust.” Yet, many confuse bureaucracy with regulation. We need the regulations, yet we could stand some more efficient governance. Abolishing the EPA, for example, would not be the smartest move this country could make, yet we should find workable ways to impose their regulations.

Speaking of contradictions, the “occupy” movement is on the right track, yet many who come down on the movement are actually arguing against their best interests. The income disparity in the US is atrocious. Many of our policies perpetuate poverty and with over 46 million Americans in poverty that means one out of every six people is impoverished. And, our middle class has dissipated. What I have seen is the “:haves” find it hard to walk in the shoes of the “have nots” and people don’t appreciate the vast number who have been downsized or whose hours have been reduced due to the economy or the result of poor decisions or stewardship at the top of companies.

A final contradiction to me relates to our US leadership who set in motion a deficit reduction commission whose end product was the Bowles-Simpson Plan. While not perfect, the Bowles-Simpson Plan is a terrific start and should have been embraced as a working plan. To me, this is the President’s biggest failing. He has done some good things, but his failure to push this is a huge mistake. Congress must accept we need to both increase tax revenue and cut spending to solve our deficit problem. We cannot cut our way out of it, as the math problem is too large.

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