Our government is dysfunctional.
Our president is a not-very-smart egomaniac and would-be dictator whose main goal (and skill) seems to be publicizing himself.
Although President Trump claims to be a great negotiator, all his big international moves to date have failed to achieve anything positive — pulling out of NAFTA, TPP, The Paris Climate accord, UNESCO and the Iran nuclear deal while threatening to pull out of NATO and the World Trade Organization. His rating among European allies is 24%. (Barack Obama’s was 48%.)
We still have (marginally) the world’s largest GDP and the world’s largest — and expanding — deficit. For you and I that would soon mean bankruptcy court.
What can we do to get back to #1? (In addition to voting Trump out.)
1. Decrease the influence and cost of the military industrial complex. Why? Because we spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined, even though protected by two very large oceans. Do we really need forces in 150 foreign countries when China has just one foreign base? How much more good could we have done with the roughly $1 trillion and 6,800 lives wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan to date? How much greater would we be if the estimated 1 million plus disabled veterans were at full strength? It is estimated that the 2020 budget for our military plus veterans care, CIA and other items not shown in the defense budget exceeds $1 trillion.
2. Bring our health care system up to a par with Europe. Currently, it costs twice as much, covers less, and results in our life expectancy being 31st in the world — a full four years less than Japan. Ditto our education system, where we rank 17th.
3. Modify our election system so that the biggest spender doesn’t win 96% of the time and, in exchange, their biggest donors get favorable treatment. For example, back out the law change that allows super pacs to spend unlimited amounts — more than $1 billion in 2016. Don’t you ever wonder why our large corporations like Amazon and Apple manage to pay zero taxes while making huge profits? Or that our highest earning business executives pay the lowest tax rates in the western world?
4. Bring our infrastructure up to date. Currently, we rank 10th in the world.
Our politicians are only interested in “winning.” Compromise is a dirty word. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t even bring up bills for discussion unless they support his distorted view of the world. As a result, Obamacare is the only meaningful bi-partisan legislation passed in recent years. Congress’s approval rating hasn’t hit 30% in 20 years (it’s currently 20%) — yet we still reelect 95% of them. Money, not ideas, are the main reason.
Wake up America and elect politicians with ideas. Don’t just follow the party line. Politicians who will really make America great again, not just spout it as a slogan..
Frank Fish, Park City, was born to a working-class family in England, studied mathematics in college, was a Fulbright Scholar and worked as an information systems consultant in the U.S., U.K., Italy and France before retiring.