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My Turn--The State on the Union Address You Won't See On TV
By Mike Scott
My fellow Americans, this is the State of the Union Address you won’t hear on television this week.
state of our union is broken. Forces inside and outside our country are
trying to destroy our nation, and we’re too wrapped in self-interest
and political correctness to do anything about it. We’d rather bicker
among ourselves about who is right and who is wrong, and heaven forbid
we might do or say something offend the people that want to destroy the
Our Senators and Representatives in Washington seem to
be only interested in furthering their own careers through vote-buying
programs. Perhaps the newly elected Republican majority will do
something about that, but if the GOP had actually addressed the
problems the country faced the last time they held power, we may have
avoided this recession and the runaway Congress we’ve had over the past
But let’s be fair and balanced. Both parties have a
long history of kicking the can down the road when it comes to making
tough decisions. We have spent ourselves into near bankruptcy, and we
owe the Chinese gazillions of dollars. And our solution? Print more
money, so the money we have is worth less, and call it “quantitative
easing”. A more honest description would be to say we’re causing
Few Washington politicians want to talk about what
almost every family and business have had to do in the past few
years--that is cut costs. Not a decrease in the amount of the planned
increase, we need real cuts. Spend 90 cents this year when we spent $1
dollar last year. And realize those cuts will inevitably affect
Personally, I’d like to go out to dinner more,
and have a newer car, and take lots of trips. But we go out about once
a week, and our newest vehicle is a 1998 Dodge Caravan with nearly
200,000 miles. Real families can make the choices. Washington should be
able to, too.
To say that we cannot cut the federal budget is to
doom our nation to more years of recession. Surely there is enough
waste, fraud and abuse that we can go after while we review every
federal program and decide what we can afford and what we have to
reduce or eliminate. We as a nation cannot cut our way out of the
current deficit, but we can make a heck of dent in it.
need income, and we need a federal tax policy that makes sense, and is
truly fair, not arbitrary. If a top marginal tax rate of 35% is good,
wouldn’t 45% be better. And 75% percent is even better than that. Heck,
the people paying those rates are rich anyhow, right?
progressive income tax rates make sense, maybe we should issue Income
ID cards to everyone, so that retailers could charge progressive rates
for their merchandise. If you make $20,000, a gallon of milk will cost
three dollars. If you make $100,000, that same gallon of milk in the
same store would cost five dollars.
(I hope I didn’t just give Washington an idea!)
we need real tax reform so everyone pays a fair share of taxes. That
might include a federal sales tax, but it should also include a fair,
flat tax rate for everyone.
We need an energy policy that
addresses the needs of today as well as the goals of tomorrow. Green
energy is great, but today we drive cars and trucks that burn gasoline,
and we’ve tied the hands of American oil companies and blocked them
from using American resources. We cannot afford the predicted $4-5 per
gallon gas, and few can afford the new electric cars, even if there
were enough being made for everyone. All the while, we continue to send
huge sums of money to some not-so-friendly people overseas in exchange
for crude oil.
Unemployment remains high, and some estimates put
the real figure, including those who have given up looking for work,
near 18 percent nationally. The policies of both political parties are
at fault. From Reagan to Clinton to Bush to Obama, we’ve let other
nations whittle at our manufacturing base and encouraged American
companies to send jobs overseas. Our nation is no longer a
manufacturing leader. Instead, we import too much. As a result, we’ve
lost countless jobs to other countries. Whether it’s auto parts made in
the USA, then exported to Mexico for assembly, and then re-imported, or
all the cheap stuff we buy from China, we import too much.
Exactly what did the politicians think would happen when they voted for NAFTA and other “free-trade” deals?
before you big union types say, “I told you so”, you have to recognize
that the costs of salary, benefits and pensions plans you’ve demanded
have, to some extent, forced business to seek cheaper labor. When
General Motors paid more in employee costs than for the steel and parts
in their vehicles, someone should have seen that they couldn’t sustain
that forever. Most people cannot afford a car expensive enough to cover
those costs, so GM sold cars at a loss. And look how that worked out
But I think the biggest problem the country faces today is
that we don’t know what we stand for anymore. Where is our national
moral compass these days?
As Americans, is it okay with us
that our president, Barack Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner,
just held a state dinner for the president of China, who is currently
holding the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner in prison? And at that
dinner, is it okay with us that a Chinese pianist played an
anti-American propaganda tune widely recognized in China?
okay with us that we’re fighting wars around the world without a clear
definition of what winning means? The values system of our enemies is
so far removed from our own, we might as well be fighting aliens from
another planet. Sure, we can bomb them back to the Stone Age, but since
they’re hiding in caves already, what would be the point?
okay that we routinely ignore the Constitution, allowing un-elected
courts and bureaucrats to make decisions our elected leaders should be
Is it okay that we continue to take money from people who
have earned it, and redistribute that money to those who have not,
regardless of how noble the cause or real the need?
Ask yourself, what does America stand for today?
first president, George Washington, said, “Government is not reason; it
is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and
a fearful master.”
My friends, there is a revolution coming. It
can be a revolution where real freedom prosperity bless the United
States again. Or it can be a revolution where our country continues to
stagnate and fail.
The power to chose which revolutionary path we take lies, as always, in the hands of the people.
up and speak boldly about the need for real change. Demand that
government cut spending and reduce taxes. Demand that the Constitution
is followed, and if changes are needed, follow the amendment process.
that your representatives make the tough decisions, not put them off
and pass the costs on to another generation. If they don’t do what you
want, let them know about. But keep in mind they have been elected to
act on all their constituents’ behalf, not just yours.
the do the people’s business in the open, not hiding, or pushing
through legislation at midnight or attached to some other unrelated
bill. And no more of “We’ll have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.”
Elect new people to office. Representatives who have been in
Washington for 20, 30 or even 50 years have become representatives of
Washington, not of their original districts. It could take a
Constitutional Amendment to require term limits, but remember that
voters have the power every election.
Get involved, at any level
you can--attend a public meeting or call or write your city, county,
state or federal representatives with any issue that concerns you.
Remember, they work for you, not the other way around. If you can, step
up and run for office. Don’t leave it up to others.
all, find out for yourself what’s going on. Don’t just count on Rush
Limbaugh or Chris Mathews to tell you what’s happening and what to
think about it. Include both points of view in a larger body of news
sources to get a more well rounded picture.
America is a
one-of-a-kind place, and for too long we’ve taken our freedoms and
liberties for granted. When the American people once again stand up and
take control of their government, then, and only then, we can again
say: “The state of our union is strong.”
Let’s make today that day.