"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."
- Mark Twain -
It seems like the mantra of both political parties for several years now has been 'give no ground'. As a result, both Republicans and Democrats have refused to cooperate with each other.
As the old slave said in the Mark Twain essay, "Corn-Pone Opinions", we get our opinions from where we get our corn pone.
Another way to say it is that it's hard to think on an empty belly.
Well, one thing has to get resolved, and get resolved now, and that's the national debt.
If you take a look at what's happened in Greece and Spain, it's easy to see why this issue is of such imminent importance. Those nations had the European Union to bail them out. The US, though, has to go it alone and solve its own debt problems.
Here's some possible ways we could do it:
n Scrap health-care reform. It didn't work, and things are only going to get worse.
n Contain health-care costs. Make criminal charges apply to health-care providers who deliberately pad hospital bills with unnecessary charges. And those people who go to the emergency room with a cold? Send them home and tell them to buy a jar of Vicks.
n End the wars. Bin Laden is dead. Bring our troops home.
n Settle the Palestinian homeland question. The US should work with other UN Nations to establish permanent and stable Palestinian statehood. This issue is at the core of why the Arab world hates the US.
n Make people work for their welfare. Anyone who gets food stamps or any other federal state or federal assistance should work for it. If they have kids and can't afford daycare, no problem. Someone receiving food stamps or other assistance can take care of their kids.
n Take away the penalties for businesses. In Iowa, we have a hideously high commercial property tax. That's anti-business. Let's promote business by lowering the tax.
n Promote Buy American. American companies who move overseas should pay a 100 percent duty to ship their products back to the US. That money should go to train displaced workers.
n Make college free. Have students pay for it with sweat equity. The University of the Ozarks near Branson is a stellar example of how it could work.
These are just some thoughts. Agree or disagree with them, if you like. But we think they might be a place to start.
Because criminy sakes, we have to start somewhere.