When you vote November 4 and if youre smart, you will vote because it does matter, no matter how frustrated you are with the sitting Congress consider the next two years and the issues Congress will face. Keep in mind most of the tough issues of the last two years were kicked down the road by the boys and girls running for reelection and the gentleman in the White House, now to be tackled, its hoped, by the 114th Congress and all those new, fresh, eager lawmakers.
Vote smart, whether for an incumbent with the experience and seniority to get things done, or for the challenger who is the breath of fresh air and new creative thinking the institution so desperately needs. Avoid the party line vote; judge candidates on philosophy, positions, actions and experience not on the letter after their name or the size of their investment portfolio.
Here are just some of the key issues that will directly impact your quality of life, as well as that of your family and your friends:
The economy broadly will be sharp focus, and that means spending, taxation and all those things that can spur investment and hiring, or send corporate executives scurrying for their bunkers. Most on Capitol Hill admit sequestration was a budget gimmick that didnt work, especially when it comes to defense, and that spending control is rightly a result of sound fiscal planning, i.e. the federal budget. As for taxes, its more than just tax rates that need adjusting, its generating revenue once the corporate rate is cut closer to 25%, and personal rates are similarly adjusted. That means closing tax loopholes and eliminating what I call gimme tax breaks that have outlived their usefulness. The other part of the tax equation is inversion, namely removing incentives for companies to stash income and profits overseas and away from Uncle Sam.
Food safety will rear its head again if and likely when Congress decides to get involved in fixing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Just like the Affordable Care Act (ACA), FSMA is a great idea, its just being implemented strangely. The conversations behind the scenes between the Hill and just about any industry impacted by FSMA center on a startling lack of real benefit given the costs involved, and an FDA thats raised or lowered the art of Draconian rule-writing to an art form.
Energy policy must finally be addressed, and again Im talking broadly. First, Congress needs to actually agree on a national energy agenda, one that recognizes oil domestic or foreign will not disappear from the fuel list overnight. We need continued smart exploration and exploitation. As for the alternatives, love em or hate em, biofuels hold the promise as alternatives to fossil fuels of any stripe. However, should we be providing tax incentives? Is a federal mandate creating an arbitrary market for the use of such fuels the way to go? Or, is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) doing exactly what it was intended to do, fostering feedstock innovation, stimulating investment and increasing volumes?
When it comes to climate change whatever your definition of that phenomenon may be is the federal government the appropriate entity to protect us or help us adapt to a fickle Mother Nature? Is climate change better dealt with by corporate use of best green technologies, and for farmers, are voluntarily shifting cropping patterns and swapping out livestock species based on a new weather patterns the more efficient way?
On environmental protection, can we regulate ourselves to clean air and water? Are mandatory federal and arbitrary one-size-fits-all clean air, clean water and clean-anything rules the way to usher in a green revolution?
Immigration reform battles will likely begin in mid-December when President Obama takes expected executive action to fix parts of federal immigration law without Congress input. Will a GOP-controlled House, with an eye firmly fixed on the 2016 presidential race and remembering who voted for the sitting President, embrace the bipartisan reform bill? Recognizing there are 8-12 million undocumented workers in the U.S., most doing jobs our citizens wont, and without whom industries like agriculture simply cannot function, does it matter whether these folks gain legal status or embark on a 10-year trek to citizenship?
We need less all-or-nothing rhetoric, less table pounding and a lot less finger-pointing. If youre a lawmaker who doesnt care about being reelected, dont run in the first place. We need lawmakers who are in office, not for their personal aggrandizement, but because they believe they have something to contribute for the voters who elected them. Congress should not be a retirement village.
I only ask, plead, beg that you vote. No matter your political persuasion, its is critical you take advantage of a right much of the world envies. On November 4, get in the car or truck and make it your days priority to take the five or 10 minutes necessary to register your preference. Vote your heart, your gut and your mind.
The post Here’s how you should vote appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.