drug addiction newsweek: A Report Card on This Generation’s American Politicians

As the first decade of this century comes to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to look back over the past twenty years to see how this generation’s politicians have managed the affairs of the Federal government and the country. Twenty years is a good measure since it a reasonable amount of time (not too short to see emerging trends, not too long to be irrelevant), it covers a time period when the Democrats and Republicans each controlled the White House for ten years, it covers a time frame when both parties either controlled parts of Congress or had split control, and the actions taken by these politicians will impact the nation for years to come.

Given this back drop, how did our so-called leaders perform relative to the vital issues facing the country? Unfortunately, the final report card is not pretty:

– Social Security is hurtling towards insolvency with no rational plan in the works to fix it.

– Medicare is hurtling towards insolvency with no rational plan in the works to fix it.

– Our public education system fails to adequately education vast numbers of our children while consuming more and more resources.

– We still have no rational national energy plan, which has caused us to become more and more dependent on the whims and energy pricing of foreign countries.

– We have not figured out how to manage the issue of drug addiction that has led to the evolution of a violent narco state just south of our border and left many our citizens that want to kick their drug habit untreated

– Our borders are still not secure, resulting in over 10 million illegal aliens in the country with a high probability that some of the 10 million are bent on terrorism aims.

– We are fighting two wars that have drained our Treasury, resulting in over 34,000 Americans being killed or wounded, but has not destroyed the terrorism threat that it set out to do.

– We continue to deny basic rights to the American gay and lesbian community, whether it is the right to marry or the right and privilege to serve in our armed forces.

– While the political class has passed a massive health care reform law, this law is likely to fail while substantially adding to the national deficit.

– Speaking of national deficit, we now have an outrageous national debt of over $ 13 TRILLION, burdening every American household with over $ 100,000 worth of government debt.

– Government reaction to national disasters such as 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, etc., while heroic at the individual level, have been inefficient, ineffective, and expensive at the government bureaucracy level.

– Government entities responsible for the banking and housing industries (e.g. Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, Senate and House of Representatives committees, etc.) failed miserably in foreseeing and managing the economic disaster of the past few years, with confirmed reports that some SEC employees, at all levels of management, spent most of their working days surfing the Internet for downloadable pornography.

– Not to be outdone by the SEC employees, Gulf of Mexico Interior Department employees have also been found to be spending much of their working time surfing for Internet pornography while ignoring safety issues that eventually caused the BP oil spill disaster.

– Through the gerrymandering of Congressional districts, the expansion of earmark volumes, manipulating the primary election system, and the passing ineffective campaign reform financing laws that allow big corporate, union, and PAC contributors to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans, this political class has rigged our voting processes to ensure that the incumbents are always re-elected despite their in office performance.

– Despite massive bureaucracies concerned about consumer safety, failed government processes to foresee the Toyota safety problems and the failed over sight of stopping the import of lead and cadmium laced toy products, probably resulted in American fatalities.

– Moral and ethical behavior have not been a strong point of this generation’s political class, whether it was outright/convicted corruption (Traficant, Cunningham, Ryan, Rostenkowski), alleged corruption (Rangel, Walters, and possibly a dozen others), or alleged immoral corruption (Spitzer, MacGreevey, Edwards, Clinton, Foley, Ryan, Sanford, Ensign).

– Intelligent political dissent has degenerated into name calling with those opposed to the invasion of Iraq as unpatriotic, those opposed to Obama Care being likened to racists of the civil rights era or being called un-American, knuckle dragging Neanderthals, or terrorists.

– Never has the country been so divided with politicians using the differences in cultural, racial, sexual, religious, or geographic orientations to “energize their base” while belittling other Americans that may have legitimate, differing views.

– Unfortunately, given the above report card, I think we would all have to give the political class a failing grade for their performance over the past twenty years (despite the fact that they reward themselves with automatic pay raises every year). Wherever you land on the above issues, it is pretty obvious that no real progress and, in many cases, no real effort, has been made in successfully resolving these issues.

The focus of our politicians has been very simple: to get elected and stay elected, using whatever financial and government resources (e.g. earmarks) they can get their political hands on or demonizing one group of Americans (gay vs. straight, pro life vs. pro choice, red state vs. blue state, one race vs. another race, poor vs. rich) in order to get the support of another group. Nowhere in this list of political priorities do you see the solving of issues or the uniting of the country as important to the American political class.

And this is not only the Democrats’ fault and it is not only the Republicans’ fault. It is the fault of all politicians and the American voters who allow both parties to separate and divide us against ourselves while they continue their failing performance relative to the problems facing the nation today.

The time has come to move beyond this petty and ineffective leadership we have endured for the past twenty years. We need to enact some very specific and urgent steps and intiatives as soon as possible. These steps include downsizing government functions to be smaller in number, smaller in size, and more effective in serving. These steps include campaign finance reform to take the overpowering allure and temptation of money out of the election process. These steps include political accountability (including term limits) so that politicians actually behave ethically and morally, and become focused on problem solving and not solely their re-election. These steps include national, independent efforts to fix our schools, our drug problem, our energy problem, and our health care problem, independent in the sense that politicians and lobbyists are excluding from the problem solving process.

Otherwise, twenty years from now, our kids will still be undereducated, our national debt will be insurmountable, government functions will be more dysfunctional, politicians will be more entrenched, more corrupt, and less likely than even now to solve important issues, and the freedoms and liberties we should be enjoying, as guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights will be just distant memories.

A recent article in Newsweek magazine rated the top countries in the world in which to live. Twenty years ago, the United States would have been the hands down winner. Our economy was strong, the communist threat was ending, we were probably the freest nation in the world. We were the economic, cultural, military, moral, and athletic powerhouse of the world. Today, according to the Newsweek article, we rank 11th out of the best places to live in the world. While other nations’ actions have probably accounted for a lot of their improvement on this list, we should still hold our political class accountable for not improving our country and our lives as quickly as the rest of the world. From first to 11th in twenty years. Imagine where we will rank in another twenty years if we allow this generation of politicians to propagate further.

Walter “Bruno” Korschek is the author of the book, “Love My Country, Loathe My Government – Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class.” It is available at http://www.loathemygovernment.com and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Our daily dialog on freedom in American can be joined at http://www.loathemygovernment.blogspot.com.

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Newsweek 4th October 2009 – Hello, and welcome to our week’s roundup of the most important news stories. This week: Roman Polanski Royal Navy HMS Iron Duke Big Brother RAF leaflet dropping Drunken parents snubbed JK Rowling refused award Ken Livingston moans about appearing on Eastenders Women who smoke while pregnant Air traffic computer problem Swine flu on the increase Gandhi gets his own pen These stories are genuinely based on the real news, very little of the real news needs exaggeration to be amusing Thanks for watching


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