Monday, May 01, 2017
Yesterday was my chance to question the first 100 days of the Trump administration - such as it is. The balance of powers built into our Constitution spreads the work of governing among the three - in theory equal- branches of government. The legislative branch is also a part of the fact that little if anything is happening.
I am disappointed, no make that angry, with the leadership of both political parties. Both parties are locked into obstructionist mindsets, if it is not their idea, it must be a bad idea. If the other side suggests it, they must oppose it.
The result is a government that fails to fix problems. Everyone agrees that our immigration laws are a mess, the laws have been for years - and Congress keeps failing to act. Our budgets are passed at the last minute, always in a compromise to prevent a disaster. Our tax code is so complex no one, and really mean no one, really understands all of it. It has been for years. And Congress repeatedly fails to address the tax code. We change tax rates, but the extreme complexity of the system remains unchanged. Minor fixes would assure the solvency of Social Security - and no one wants tell the American tax payers, that a modest (about 1% increase) in the tax rate will be needed to pay the benefits promised to retirees who have paid into the system for 40 to 50 years by the time they reach retirement age. There is not enough fraud, waste or corruption in Social Security to make up for the fact that it is slightly under funded.
It is time to set political parties aside and move to the middle. Trump ran as an outsider. I was disappointed when he was elected, my only glimmer of hope was that he would be independent of party leadership. I was hoping that he would surround himself with the best and the brightest - without regard to political affiliation. That he would lead from the middle. There are moderates in both political parties that are capable of hearing reason. I keep hoping Trump will start to replace the partisan hacks, with people that will help him practice the art of the deal, in governance. That he will drain the swamp of people enriching themselves first and the country last (starting with getting some of his family out of the picture - Ivanka - really?)
Is there hope?