Priority Issues - My Thoughts

October 9, 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Here are some of my thoughts on a list of priority issues. We are going to have an election in about 3 weeks. If Republicans can win 6 additional Senate seats, that could change the political dynamics in this town. We need to shake things up. Sen. Harry Reid, Democratic leader of the Senate, has refused to let the Senate vote on a long list of important issues because he has not wanted to put his party members in the uncomfortable position of taking a stand on anything. But isn’t that we elected them for?

A bipartisan group was working on tax reform, which we desperately need. But, he didn’t let them vote. There was a bill to build the Keystone Pipeline. No vote. Even President Obama wanted the Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority. We need that if we are going to write trade agreements with Europe and the Pacific. But – No vote. Bipartisan curbs on the EPA water rule and anti-coal regulations might have passed. No vote. Those are just a few examples on the list of issues that need to be dealt with.

Maybe next year we will have a real budget and not be living off of a continuing resolution. Immigration reform needs attention. I know it is a very difficult problem; however, it cannot be solved by sweeping it under the rug. We still have a very serious debt problem. We are 17 trillion dollars in debt. Our debt level compared to the size of our economy is higher than it was at the end of World War II. Granted, it isn’t going up as fast as it has been in recent years, but – it is set to explode after 2017 as more people retire and health costs escalate. What are we doing about it? Nothing. Just pass those burdens on to our children and grandchildren.

Are we going to sit down after this election and tackle some of these problems? President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress did that in his second term. They passed welfare reform and balanced the budget.

We are also distracted by the Middle East. I know the Middle East is on fire, but we can’t keep fighting international wars. Rome is burning. That’s us. If our economy is to lead the world, we need to take care of business here at home. I feel better now that I got all of that off my chest.

That’s it for this week. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C