Let’s be practical on issues of the day

One of the challenges in our current political construct is we are debating issues from the ends and not the middle. The ends represent extreme points of view who show less a willingness to compromise, some even within their own party. Yet, if we strive to discuss the issues and their complex causes from the middle, we will find more agreement and can get things done. Mind you, there is no perfect legislation, but oftentimes legislation and reasonable oversight is needed to govern and debating from the extremes stands in the way.

With an eye toward being practical, let me make a few observations that would enable better governance and get our national leaders back on better footing. This approach would also apply to state and local governance as well.

Immigration: Truth be told, if we deported everyone that some want us to, our economy would be harmed. Hard working immigrants and illegal aliens are not replacing Americans in jobs. They tend to be doing jobs that Americans do not want. If you truly want to stop illegal immigration, stop hiring them and that goes for our more conservative friends who are doing some hiring, too. Since we are not prepared to do so, then we need to work out a reasonable path forward. I would begin with the Senate Bill which was passed on a bipartisan basis twenty months ago.

Guns: Americans are killing too many Americans. Further, Americans are committing suicide at a rampant rate, by far the greatest reason for gun deaths in America (about two-thirds of annual gun deaths). The NRA represents gun sellers and not gun owners. Their voice has been heard. Now, let’s listen to parents and act like adults. Americans favor background checks on all transactions. We favor more elongated waiting periods. The police has recommended codifying bullets to better solve crimes. We should at least do these things as well as addressing other issues, but let’s start from the middle.

Jobs and economy: Some do not care to take notice, but the economy has been on the rebound and job and wage growth have been occurring. This is in contrast to other countries who are in or may fall back into recession. Now, we need to continue to retrain and develop people for new careers as we have a skills gap. Efforts have been under way within our community college systems with federal, state and local investment. Let’s further those efforts. Let’s also invest in our infrastructure and new renewable energy. We have needs and jobs in renewable energy are growing at a fast clip. There are almost twice as many solar energy jobs than coal energy jobs in the US and the sun shines in every state.

Trade agreements mean more economic growth: This is a path forward that has always been a growth enabler. An economic advisor to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton noted this similarity between the two. President Obama has also been pushing trade in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe which is excellent policy. And, with their 11 million people and proximity, the US Chamber of Commerce has regarded favorably lifting the embargo with Cuba, which is as large as an US state.

Health care: Let me reiterate a message that continues to get drowned out by those who want to drown it out. The Affordable Care Act is showing some success from multiple measures. And, this success is in spite of the self-inflicted and opposition winds in the sails. What is not being said enough, is it could even be more successful if the remaining states expand Medicaid. In my view, the ACA is actually aiding the economy, which is contrary to opposition rhetoric. Why do I say this? With more people covered, they are using health care services more. These healthcare spends coupled with their ability to use other dollars for other goods and services is spurring the economy. So, rather beat on their chest to satisfy the extreme views, our legislators should listen to Americans and improve the ACA.

I could mention others issues, but these five areas will help us continue down a better path. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard, but I would pay attention to those are willing to listen. If someone is too busy shouting at the end, they will not hear you. Let’s govern from the middle.

7 thoughts on “Let’s be practical on issues of the day

    • Agreed. When you are ostracized for compromising that does not bode well. Yet, there is hope that the only legislation that is likely to reach the President’s desk will need a number of moderate Dems, to make up for the extreme right who won’t support compromise. Thanks for your comment.

  1. Note to Readers: I have commented before you could pick up any paper any day and find a gun death story. I have noticed the last few months, it is rare when it only one death. Today, there were at least four, with the saddest one where a three year old shot his grandfather, when one bullet was left in the chamber. Last week, there was a two year old who got a gun out of her mother’s purse in a store and shot her. Beyond the tragedy, it unfortunate for all of us as these stories are no longer surprising. The surprising part is our leaders will not only do nothing about it, some will actually pass laws to make it worse. But, this is the America we live in, where the right to own a gun which can kill someone is more important than the right of another just to stay alive.

  2. I like your post and the concept you advocated. Working from the middle is where constructive compromise resides. However, I do disagree with support of the Trade bill and fast tracking the TPP bill that Obama supports. There are too many loopholes that benefit big business and mega-corporations at the expense of individual countries and individuals. No country laws covering labor, for example, can differ from whats in the TPP. And countries can be sued if their laws or requirements are different than the TPP. This is not a good trade proposal, and I feel it should be killed by Congress.

    Otherwise, you nailed it!!!

    • Thanks for your comments. I will need to study this bill further. My larger point is opening up trade is a key mission of our president, irrespective of who it is.

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