I am, I admit, a registered Democrat. This is for three reasons. First, I agree with many of the classic Democrat views of social issues. Second, I generally disagree with Republicans. Third, and most importantly, I like being able to vote in a primary. However, my primary political loyalty is to the United States. As such, I will side with the Republicans should they do what is best for the general good. Now that they have control of the House, I would like to see them focus on the general good.
One thing I would like to see the Republicans do is re-evaluate the Bush era tax cuts. To be specific, the tax cuts for the majority of Americans should be left in place. However, the tax cuts for the extremely wealthy should be reduced. After all, we are in a time of crisis and it seems reasonable to call on those with so much more to give a a bit more back to the country that has enabled them to become fabulously wealthy.
I would also like to see a reform of campaign finances. The current system is focused on gathering money from special interest groups, corporations, and such. This system leads to serious problems ranging from keeping the politicians constantly on the money hunt as well as making them beholden to those who be holding the money bags. Of course, the current system favors the current politicians and hence change seems unlikely.
I would actually like to see the health care legislation reviewed once more. To be honest, I am not sure what is in all those pages and I think it would be a good idea to review them. I suspect that there are some things in there that need fixing or change. I am, however, in favor of health care reform. While we do have the best health care that money can buy, many people simply cannot buy this care.
I am, which might shock some folks, a fiscal conservative. Until I got married (and later divorced) I was a cash on the counter person. After all, going into debt (or into a deficit) has a multitude of negative consequences. While federal spending is not perfectly analogous to personal spending, the basic principles do seem to apply. As such, it would be an excellent idea to reduce spending and cut the deficit.
My concern, of course, is that the Republicans will cut education and social spending while protecting the sacred corporate and defense cows. As such, I have little hope of any meaningful deficit reduction.
Speaking of defense, I would like to see a proper evaluation of our intelligence and defense strategy. Our current model seems to be to dump cash on problems without a clear and focused overall strategy. We are also stupidly obsessed with tiny foes such as the minuscule terrorist groups. We should, rather, focus on those who have armies, tanks, planes, and significant political and economic clout. In short, while we piddle away with Al Qaeda and their ilk we are allowing China, India and other countries surge ahead on the world stage. As should be obvious, I am not against defense or using our power in the world to ensure our safety. I am against squandering our power, piddling away our resources, and serving the short term selfish interests of contractors at the expense of the general and enduring good.
While I have a huge wish list remaining, I’ll close with a final hope. The Republicans and Tea Party folks talk a good game about getting government off our back. I do agree with that sentiment: I prefer having the government off my back, too. However, I want the government to have my back when it comes to things like pollution, dangerous products, and so on. But, getting back to my original focus, I would like to see the Republicans make good on all their small government and freedom talk.
Of course, getting government off our back does seem to directly contradict their social agenda-which is largely about getting government on our backs about things the Republicans don’t like. But, I think they should have the chance to put their laws where their big freedom mouths are (of course, their mouths are big enough so that they can say “liberty” with one side while demanding intrusive government impositions with the other). So, for example, they can lift the federal laws against pot, they can stop talking about opposing Roe vs. Wade, they can shut up about their defense of marriage proposals (talk about getting big government into the bedroom), and so on. It is time to put up or shut up about getting government off our backs.