Remember those rancorous town hall meetings prior to the mid-term elections? Politicians in Washington DC are out of touch. But some of the newbies coming to Congress are bringing good ideas with them and are open to ideas. Farm girl Missouri Representative-elect Vicky Hartzler is a good example. She and her husband also own a farm equipment company as well being as farmers. Her background is like her constituents -they’re from small towns, small schools, small farms and small businesses.
“We work hard, love our kids, go to church on Sundays and hunt on the weekends. We just want the government to leave us alone.”
Here are some ideas that make sense:
- Allow competition for health care services. If you know what a visit to a doctor or a procedure will cost ahead of time, you can compare and make choices.
- Build incentives into unemployment (and other) benefits from the start. Taper unemployment benefits (and welfare and other programs where applicable) instead of just extending them forever! Start recipients with 6 months of benefits, then no benefits for 3 months. If they’re unsuccessful in finding work after 3 months, they can apply next for 4 months’ benefits, then off the next 3 months, etc. Anyone turning down work is off completely.
- Get rid of tenure in public schools and federal & state funded colleges. Colleges serve the people who work there more than the students. That’s why tuition has increased exponentially over wages.
- Give new state & federal workers a choice: higher contributions or lower pension & health benefits.
- Send fewer federal dollars to local governments. Let the states figure out how to find major money saving efficiencies. Like individuals, the states cannot always have their hand out.
- Draw down rainy-day funds and quit creating new ones.
- No more fleet vehicles for anyone. Civilian workers drive their own cars to and from work and so should everyone.
- Freeze or reduce pay & budgets across the board. Who in the real world gets automatic pay raises every year? No sacred cows. This means getting some control over unions.
Ever check your credit card bill aghast at how you could have spent so much? It’s easy; little by little, dollar by dollar. It all adds up. Our government and each of us needs to learn the difference between want and need.