I'm doing this off the cuff so bear with me on any typos :-)
I want to use my day to talk about how we, as citizens, can make government work better. Everyone has a different expertise so I'd like people to weigh-in and make my ideas better, throw them out for a better alternative or offer your own in areas I don't cover.
While I agree that these needs to be more regulations, I think it needs to happen in a particular way that minimizes the role of government and politicans to creating incentives and oversight, and allows for the private sector to take more of a lead role. I think each industry should establish ethical committees made up of its leaders to create its own standards that they agree to abide by. That way the experts in each industry can do what they know is best and keep each other accountable. Second, I think the Congress should establish a policy that stipulates that various audit firms will conduct random audits on all industries. The random nature allows for it not to be too intrusive to the point of stagnating business, but provides enough fear that people act right. In addition, companies should be given a time frame to get themselves in compliance. That way the government and businesses are being proactive instead of reactive. Lastly, I'd prefer the industry committee members have term limits, multiple audit firms engaged in regulation w/o working with the same companies for more than a specified number of years, and some way to make this a non-partisan effort. I think one issues that sends things down hill is the comfort and temptation to collude when relationships are built and sustained. That's why there has to be term limits, randomness, and non-partisanship. That's how we deal with human nature. I don't think this requires a new government department. I'd rather it be a new initiative that can be lead privately w/ gov having a seat at the table.
I think one of the major issues we deal with regarding politics is trust. Having worked in an education and service capacity my whole career, save the failed attempt at playing ball :-), I can honestly say that I love what I do and I do it for the love (clearly), not the money (there is none). I think ethics reform is very necessary. In my job, there are strict regulations on gifts, information sharing and anything that could compromise the integrity of my work. In that way, I think the gov should run the same. While C. Dodd and B. Frank have been very vocal in this bailout mess, my understanding is they played a role is us getting in this mess to begin with. Whether they are or not, they can't expect us to trust them when they're taking tens sometimes hundreds of thousands dollars from the likes of fannie and freddie. In the same way that I shouldn't be trusted if one of our TV partners gave me gifts and one day they end up with all the best games for a season. Leaders have an even greater obligation to be transparent and free from the appearance of foul play. Politicians need to become servants again and I think Washington has become a place where they become rich first and serve second. That needs to be fixed and right away. There is too much at stake right now for Americans to continue not trusting its gov because we need citizens to be more involved regardless of who wins.
Read the following:
1) I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
2) I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
3) I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
4) I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
5) I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.
6) I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
7) I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
8) I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
1) We believe that the promise of America is equal opportunity for all and special privilege for none.
2) We believe that economic growth generated in the private sector is the prerequisite for opportunity, and that government's role is to promote growth and to equip Americans with the tools they need to prosper in the New Economy.
3) We believe that government programs should be grounded in the values most Americans share: work, family, personal responsibility, individual liberty, faith, tolerance, and inclusion.
4) We believe in community; that we can achieve our individual destinies only if we share a commitment to our national destiny.
5) We believe in an ethic of mutual responsibility in which government has an obligation to create opportunity for citizens, but citizens have an obligation to give something back to the commonwealth.
6) We believe America has a responsibility to lead the world toward greater political and economic freedom.
7) We believe that as advocates of activist government, we need to reinvent government so that it is both more responsive and more accountable to those it serves and to the taxpayers who pay for it.
These are the ideals of our two political parties. It shouldn't be hard to figure out which is which. I shared that because I don't think many of us disagree with either side. I consider myself a moderate because I believe the differences are not in the ideals but in the execution. I don't believe we have to be either or but both and. I watch mostly CNN, and Glenn Beck on Headline News mostly. I try to watch Fox and MSNBC but they're both too extreme for me. I try because I want to understand the point but it gets lost in the partisanship. Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs are equal opportunity IMO so I can at least understand both sides.
Its sad to me that news is so opinionate now. They're just as bad as the politicians. That comes back to my point of trust. If we can't trust our media to be objective and hold our politicians accountable, we lose the very essence of the role they're supposed to play. And on the politicians end its sad to me that during the debate, neither candidate could say that the economy would get worse before it gets better. We all know that to be true, but saying so could lose them the elections. In an ideal world, we as citizens would demand to hear the truth and not support partisan news outfits. If we want to trust gov again, we have to force the issue. We can't expect it to just happen out of the kindness of their hearts. That's our personal responsibility and a way we can contribute to making our country better. Now I know that pie in the sky (i'm an idealist) but I believe if we know where we want to go, we at least know its possible and can work toward it.