Blogs » Politcs Plus » Do your homework..Then challange the candidates

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Have you noticed how talking points are being taken for a political stance without being challenged? What does a candidate mean by wanting a smaller government? What will he/she cut and still have a functional smaller government? We should ask them for specific cuts and it's bearing on the bottom line. How many departments, employees, and department heads will be eliminated? We should ask them for the amount of savings these cuts will bring in but more importantly they should be able to provide documented proof. On the local level most of the rhetoric comes from ideology because usually they don't have enough data to support their case. Don't get me wrong that's a good mindset to have, a worthy goal, but it is normally used as a talking point. In our recent state primary Debra Medina ran on a platform of replacing the property tax as a source of revenue with a larger sales tax. She never produced any documents to say how she came to that conclusion. On the national front, every Republican candidate will use that line only to find that it's much easier said, than done.i.e. Ronald Reagan ran on that line, yet he actually grew government; just like President Obama said he would close Guantánamo Bay in one year.

Then there are those that want to cut all government spending except defense and the entitlements to reduce the deficit. Come up with some actual numbers to show how we can do that. A study by the Peterson Institute estimates that we would have to eliminate all our spending and raise income tax brackets to about 70% to cover the $43 million Social Security and health care debt. We are not going to do that, nor can we borrow that much. We do have remedies but it would take something like a VAT but it would take a brave politician to even mention it. Walter Mondale comes to mind, but he lost 49 of 50 states by not ruling out, raising taxes. On the other side, Congressman Paul Ryan wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare but he only has nine cosponsors. The congressman wants to exempt those 55 years and older but the GOP didn't follow President George W. Bush, when he tried to do it. It's going to take a strong leader to convince most of Americans, that we are all going to have to sacrifice and take bold steps get out of this financial mess that has been accumulating. I don't know if we have that person… Anyone can cut and paste gloom and doom predictions from now until 20 years and beyond but where are the compromises, ideals, and solutions needed to compete with our global competitors? It certainly isn’t name-calling, status quo, the blame game, and repeating the same mistakes of the past, hoping they will work this time.

I think it's appalling that our representatives will not think twice about lying before they write an OP-ED in a major publication or while answering a pundit's question. It's become the norm. It’s also appalling that one Senator can hold up unemployment checks for 200,000 recipients, just because he can. It's not that our representatives are stupid (some are) but they seem to be beholden to lobbyist and uninformed constituents. Many constituents are uninformed because their representatives are afraid to educate them on the issues, procedures, roadblocks, and the realities of voting for, or against a major piece of legislation. We will have our differences but our legislators have to govern, or we will not be able to compete in this global economy. Gridlock and status quo is not the answer and we are just as much to blame as the representatives and government. We need to ask the right questions and do our homework before we pull that lever and expect our leaders to abide by our wishes..