Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Making the USA a better place

I was asked the following question: Jeremy Hannon if you became President, what would you do to make The United States a better place?  What is your plan to make that happen?

What a huge question!  There are many things that I would do, each with its own implementation plan.  All, however are rooted in a few ideals.

  • The government must be empowered by the people - not the government permitting the people to act.
  • A government must be open, transparent, and be truthful
  • The way the government spends and manages money must fundamentally change.  Budgeting should reflect common sense and operate more like a business and allocate money where it is needed to accomplish tasks that are needed.   Currently we just increase a department's budget each year and assume they needed and wisely spent the money from last year and will continue to have the same need in the following year.
  • The federal government is the best place and is best equipped to handle some things - but those things are very few.  The governmental choices should be as close to the people as  possible.
Now I could get into the plans to change the way the executive branch manages itself and those agencies and services it oversees.  I could go into the plan to reduce some agencies to their core services and stop the "government sprawl" and their increasing encroachment into our daily lives.  I feel that there is, however, a more fundamental question here.

When the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was penned it had the phrase "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Property".  Private property was an important concept to the founding fathers, but they wanted something even broader and more inspiring so it was changed to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness".  I think we need to reach for these higher ideals and broader inspiration.

The best way to make the United States a better place is to set an example.  Our leaders, all of which are human (last time I checked), need to realize they have been placed in a position of authority and need to lead by example themselves.  Each one needs to strive to live their life as if others were looking to them for guidance.  Each one needs to strive to be better for all.  Each one needs to strive to look at the big picture and leave their world just a little bit better.

Some of you may be thinking this is too "touchy-feely", but actually this is about work ethic and how we run the government.  Putting this attitude in place would make great strides in a more efficient government - one that responds to the people and wastes less.  For this to work, however, this attitude must come from the top.

For many years people have looked at a leader's qualifications, those things on paper, to determine who to vote for in the big position of President.  Morals, etc. were not a factor.  This has consequences for every position under the President, and to that of the whole country.  I believe that at this point in our nation's history we need a President that is from the common people, and can lead by example themselves, to change the attitude in the government, in this nation, and in how other nations perceive use.

In short, the best way to make America better is not in the numerous policies, reduction in taxes, and improving the environment for business and jobs to thrive -- all of which I would do.  The government is not one person, but the tone and direction is set by that one person.  The best way is to simply set a good example, and teach other leaders in the government to do the same.

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