Let's get away from the partisan obstruction and debate going around in endless circles on the various zero-sum, across-the-board, all-or-nothing health care schemes that the partisan ideologues keep pitching to us. It is getting us nowhere and the grassroots demands progress. There is common ground on Health Care where we all know there are do-able legislative fixes that can be made right now. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Farmers and rural communities have dealt with a sag in commodities pricing and an explosion of small farm bankruptcies for over a decade. Rural downtowns across the American agricultural heartland have been steadily declining. We must address this fundamental challenge to our nation and the economy by bringing federal focus back to these communities that are the backbone of the nation. With work on rural and agricultural infrastructure and focused efforts to better link family farms and our inland communities to regional and international trade, we can get the ball rolling. Let’s invest in improving the economic development potential of rural community centers, enhance the nation's cross-region and cross-country freight rail networks, and address our nation's ongoing responsibility to renew the trillions of dollars’ worthof shared agricultural assets. These investments in 2021 will have critical long term impact on opportunities for farmers, and on quality of life of rural communities throughout the nation. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
If we can’t thrive together as neighbors, we can’t move forward...any of us…it’s as simple as that. When entire communities feel their pursuit of peace and prosperity in daily life is NOT enhanced by interactions with those who are sworn to protect and serve them, then we have an broken public safety model -- and we need to fix it. So tune out the grandstanding and instead let’s rationally discuss our expectations for community protection. We need a model that can be delivered justly and equitably in every American neighborhood. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Far from facing funding cuts in the next round of budget cuts that we know will be coming down the road in 2021, Congress needs to further expand on "the Hanford model" of partnership between private sector and public sector resources in addressing our nation's toughest environmental challenges. Not only has this project reaped extraordinary progress in mitigating risk for Central Washington and the nation, it has become an example of just how much can be accomplished through a partnership between industry innovators and government regulators. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
We can all agree that shrewd federal investment in small business and grassroots entrepreneurship at the neighborhood level can provide rocket fuel for community economies. So let’s start in January 2021 unleashing local ingenuity and workplace innovation in rural towns and small cities. We know the tools that work -- lets stop arguing and start putting these ideas to work! DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
We all know there's lots to do on infrastructure. We also know that, well executed, infrastructure investment stimulates local economies, transforms everyday quality of life, and grows construction, technical, agricultural, and professional jobs like nothing else. As the nation rolls into infrastructure as a national priority in 2021, let's make sure projects that serve rural towns and small cities like those in Central Washington and throughout the nation between the coasts receive equal priority in Congress. So what are we waiting for? DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Offer Americans knowledge and opportunity, and we will thrive. There is widespread consensus that as the U.S. economy evolves, Americans in all industries and professions will regularly require new skills and perspectives to effectively compete globally. So let's fund federal programs right now that can offer every adult from 18 to 118 the opportunity to empower themselves and jump start their futures with easily accessible 21st Century workplace and career learning. Let's be the first nation in human history to make adult professional development a universal opportunity for citizens in 2021 just as we pioneered the concept of free childhood public education in the 1800s. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Covid-19 has given us a lot to learn from (instead of wasting time bickering over). So let's engage the many resources of federal government to now scan the horizon so we can better meet these kinds of challenges and opportunities in our future. By winter of 2021 let's see that federal content experts across disciplines and departments have come together to create reliable banks of knowledge and supply-chain contingencies covering a wide range of potential scenarios of significant national mobilization. There's no time to dither on this. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
We don't have the luxury to be stubbornly partisan in addressing this area any longer. Too much is riding on progress we must make early in 2021 on border security, past immigration process mismanagement, resolving the citizenship status of "hidden" long-term residents, and re-visioning the future path to American citizenship. Everything must be on the table: security, basic fairness, future community "capacity," and all economic variables. This is both an issue of 21st Century community sustainability and our core values as a nation. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Let's invest in federal programs beginning in January 2021 that help local and state governments facilitate citizen action that will produce positive sustainability impacts right now. Because, like it or not, the U.S. Government has little capacity in the 2020s world to quickly and effectively legislate our way toward comprehensive long term balances between the economic productivity and widespread prosperity we all want, and the global environmental sustainability we must achieve over the next twenty years. That is reality. But we also know that we have to start somewhere and we need to get going right now. Click below to see workable and affordable ideas for federal investments that can get us started at the grassroots. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Not only are taxes still inevitable in our lives, but yet another reality of the post-Covid "new normal" is that government revenue streams will need to become torrents in the near future if we are to emerge from the current crisis intact as a nation. So it's high time we stop pandering for votes and work seriously to make taxation in the United States clearer, fairer, and more universally applicable (in the sense that everyone and every institution participates equitably and appropriately in keeping the wheels of national government rolling). DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
No society in the history of mankind has accomplished more progress in improving its performance on environmental impact and workplace safety than the United States has since 1970. What most Americans have forgotten (thanks to constant misinformation and pointless bickering by partisans and pundits) is that working partnerships between industry innovators and government regulators is what made all of this historic progress possible in Clean Air, Clean Water, and workplace safety performance in the United States. And the same has been true of positive changes that smart legislation has paved the way toward in many others areas of industry and commerce as well. We need Congress to act in 2021 to lead the way in renewing this approach to regulations affecting our businesses and jobs. We need to ditch the antagonism on both sides that partisans and activists have brought to the regulatory process over the last 10 years. As opposed to the "more regulation" or "less regulatory burden" that you hear partisans and pundits shrieking about, what we need -- in helping to foster better environmental performance, consumer protection, financial credibility, and worker safety -- is more progress-oriented partnership between industry innovators and government watchdogs.
Should we balance the Federal budget? If you said yes, then how? What must we give up to do it? What do we gain if we do it? What could we lose if we don't? If we need to balance the Federal Budget, what specifically should we sacrifice in federal spending to solve the budget dilemma we have been facing since the late 1990s? A serious (and sincere) representative in Congress must start answering this question with "we must achieve shrewder budgeting (and ultimately less federal spending) in all areas beginning in 2021," and finish with "and we must stimulate increased revenues from all sources." That's the extent of possible answers. So from Day One in 2021, let's get real on this important issue together. Let's get started finding ways to trim all expenditures in wise proportions across the board over the next 5 years while raising revenues equitably over the next decade; and most importantly let's do this without curtailing opportunities for family and business prosperity at the grassroots. DIVE DEEPER to see how independent thinking can make a difference on this issue.
Gerrymandering is undemocratic and virtually guarantees the headlock that party politics and dark money have established on our political system. It has created districts in which it is less important that geographic neighbors with similar concerns and needs are grouped together than it is for state party bosses to keep partisan dynamics locked in stone forever. It is one of the main reasons that politicians have stopped even pretending to represent all the citizens in their district and now just focus on placating allied media pundits and VIP donors in their own party, just to keep their re-election train perpetually rolling. Now even the TV and radio news pundits participate in this charade by locking us all into our political tribes with their constant campaigning and misinformation; telling us what we should think at every turn. There is one easy fix. For decades, direct marketing analysts and even junk mailers have had the computer-based tools to put together equitable, geo-spatially dispersed population groupings based only on patterns of where people live in a state. We should use these objective non-partisan methods to establish logical voting districts beginning in the 2020s. Just give the people unbiased information on the issues and let them vote as neighbors.
Then let the chips fall where they may.
In 2021 we need to explore ways to bring back some form of mandatory, away-from-home National Service Experience for all post-high-school-graduate 18-year-olds. Investing now in a national service initiative that offers a diverse menu of 6-weeks to 1-year learning/training/service opportunities to every young American will radically transform both our economy and our culture. This program will transform the path to adulthood and productive citizenship for youth while going a long way toward helping get our communities back on the same page when it comes to how we all understand and share an appreciation for what it means and what it requires to be an American citizen.