America the broken |

America the broken

I am writing this to hopefully get my generation (I was born in 1953) to consider the America we are leaving for our children.

The debt and the broken political system are the two most striking broken parts that I see. We have a $17 trillion debt and counting, that is being left to the next generations. Our spending-to-revenue intake is out of control; and the first order of business is the spending side.

I think our top priority is to reign in our military spending. America spends as much on our military as the rest of the world’s militaries combined.

We need to spend that much because of the mission of “world’s policeman” that our politicians have given our military.

You get the government you elect, and if you care more about who won “Dancing with the Stars” instead of who won the election, America is sunk.

We must give our military a different and smaller mission. We have 662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries. I don’t believe we can financially support this mission.

Our revenue is decreasing proportionally because of the demise of our middle class.

Having the Federal Reserve printing money at $80 billion a month, like a banana republic, combined with a U.S. $40 billion a month trade deficit is killing the middle class.

When I was a kid, one good blue collar job could comfortably support a family. Now it takes two, and even that is fast becoming inadequate.

Whatever America’s problems and solutions, nothing is going to change under our broken political system.

I see little difference between our two major parties, except to whom they pander.

There will be no major solutions suggested by anybody “in charge” until the obscene amount of money disappears from the political scene.

Special interests and the entertainment industry have corrupted our political system at the federal and state level by making it too expensive to have a realistic chance in an election.

President Obama spent $1 billion in 2011 to keep his $400,000-a-year job. He had to raise about $4.8 million a week in his first term to get re-elected. A congressional representative who spends about $2 million to get elected needs to raise about $19,000 a week to keep his job.

Whom do you think they are beholden to, the people or the donors?

We have tried to limit the money they raise to no avail; we should look instead to where they are spending the money. Money has always been a part of the picture, but when John Kennedy debated Richard Nixon on television in 1960, the die was cast for major change.

The majority of the money raised now goes to television advertising, which could be affected by a radical solution.

The federal government licenses the television stations and already makes them do public service announcements for free. They should do free ads for politicians running for office.

Being a free-market guy, this pains me greatly to say this.

Working out the new system would be hard but necessary to get the entertainment industry out of politics.

It would then take less money to run for office, so the politicians would focus on the people instead of the donors.

I believe this would also decrease the power of the special interest groups.

If our country keeps on this same path, there will be no America in the future for my grandkids.

I will not be alive to see this happen, but I believe it will happen in my kids’ lifetime.

Greed and corruption have always been a part of politics but being a student of American history, Americans have been passionate about their politics up until now.

You get the government you elect, and if you care more about who won “Dancing with the Stars” instead of who won the election, America is sunk.

Most people don’t care because they don’t think their vote matters.

We elect new representatives and nothing changes.

I believe getting the large sums of money out of politics will get people interested again.

My dad always said that greed was killing America, and now I see that he was right.

Gary Smith lives in Grass Valley.

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