Letter: Congress must show courage to take charge, reclaim country

To the editor:

There are four things a courageous Congress could do that would make America really great and prosperous for all of our people. These are not liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. The first three are best practices that have been proven in the modern world and are pragmatic, not ideological. The fourth is a world-wide challenge for all democracies.

  1. Provide stability and a future for workers displaced by technology and transfer. The corporate imperative to reduce costs by investing in technology and cheaper labor markets needs to be matched by investment for the displaced workers.

Congress should require a partnership and investment by industry and government to retrain and relocate, if necessary, every worker displaced by company restructuring.

The free market of Adam Smith does not work both ways. It favors industry and relegates labor to the dustbin. It is government’s responsibility to keep the playing field level for its citizens, not just for the companies.

  • Provide a uniform health care system that will significantly reduce costs for employers, individuals and the government itself. Americans deserve top notch, economical health care as good as Australia, Germany or Norway.Congress should establish Medicare for everyone with negotiated fees for every aspect of health care, including pharmaceuticals, equipment and supplies.

    Medicare is not socialized medicine! American workers and employers should not be funding the profiteering, lobbying, advertising and layered administration of an industry that is definitely not restrained by the free-market.

  • Provide a fair tax and budgeting system for the federal government to properly underwrite the commitments for services and investments and to properly negotiate the budgetary trade-offs necessary from year to year. Congress should reinstate the provisions of the 1983 Internal Revenue Code, with brackets adjusted for inflation, and use that as a starting point to simplify individual returns.Congress should also repeal all forms of Omnibus legislation and restore the process of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 without the escape hatches of reconciliation or continuing resolution.

    The country deserves a Congress that responsibly governs and meets its own deadlines in between elections, represents all of its constituents, not just the large donors, and does not abandon the details to their staffs so they can do fund-raising.

  • Provide maximum constitutionally-acceptable constraints on the influence of big money in the political process which overwhelms the voices of the people. Congress should mandate complete and immediate disclosure of the sources of all donations to any political action committee, campaign or exploratory committee or political commentary organization or individual.

Congress should proactively address the threat to our representative democracy by propaganda and fake-news disseminated by the internet, television and radio and protected by outdated legal definitions and guidelines.

How do we get to a courageous Congress? Right now corporations and big investors virtually own every level of our government –- federal, state and local, including the Supreme Court who made corporations equal to We the People. The only thing they do not own is our individual votes.

If you believe that giving the rich more money will create more jobs, or that economic growth will lift everyone out of poverty, then they own your vote as well.

Corporate mergers and growth push everybody down -– small business, independent contractors, workers jobs and wages –- because they invest their growth in labor-reducing technology, overseas facilities, executive bonuses and special dividends to stockholders, not your jobs and local communities.

Business is vital to America, but the one-sidedness of big business should not dictate every aspect of our lives as it now does. We the People need to nominate and back candidates who are not funded by the corporate-funded PAC’s and high-sounding committees that front for the big money.

We have to take back Congress from the business world and level the playing field for ordinary people. We can’t do that if we keep swallowing their propaganda on the radio, internet and television. We can’t do that if we keep supporting political parties that cater to the corporate and big investor donors. It will be a long, tough fight if we want to take back our country.

Donald Smith