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Steps to saving our national ship from distress

Posted: August 30, 2008 9:54 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.

America's in crisis. With an out-of-control national budget deficit, plummeting support from many countries, a U.S. dollar with Third World-country clout, a war on terrorism that is costly and seemingly endless, a government that has at its core pork-barrel spending - is it any wonder we are in the mess we're in?

How do we turn this ship around and start the long process of recovery? It really isn't rocket science, but taking the first step in the journey requires recognizing some of the key problems:

n Budget deficit: We have to pass a balanced budget bill that on Day One demands by law that senators and representatives do not get paid for one day beyond the deadline on which a balanced budget is not passed.

n Energy independence: We have to extricate our nation from the extortion of the oil-exporting countries that hate everything we stand for

We have to undertake a national commitment to be 100 percent energy independent in a period of time that is not one day more than 10 years from today.

With the leadership and vision of President Kennedy, we successfully put a man on the moon in 10 years, and that goal was not even critical to our national survival.

Build more domestic gasoline refineries with the safety and pollution standards and technology that will protect our environment while assisting in making us energy independent.

Promote and reward solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, coal, nuclear and every other alternative energy with national and state governmental tax credits for developing and utilizing these alternatives.

Expand domestic oil and natural gas production to meet our current and future needs and run new refineries at their new and expanded capacities.

Lobbyists: All lobbyists shou outlawed with no exceptions. The free market will determine where our tax dollars should go without the pressure being applied from any special interest group.

Defense spending: We don't have to spend our country into oblivion being the world's policeman in every corner of the globe where a skirmish breaks out.

Global aid: We must stop being the "go-to-guy" for every government in the world at the expense of our citizens. We must be compassionate in assisting within reason.

But we have our own issues that need immediate attention if we are going to be around to help anyone in the future.

Entitlements: Stop stealing from Social Security and let that fund do what it was designed to do. Or even better, get the government out of this process, cut taxes and increase tax breaks for retirement savings and make people take more responsibility for their own retirement savings. If you don't save, you may be eating cat food meatloaf when you retire.

And like our other catastrophic social ills, we need to commit to a comprehensive overhaul of the health-care system that provides a health care plan for everyone without saddling employers entirely with that burden.

This may be a drastic oversimplification. I know we are faced with many impending crises, and I know I'm no Ben Stein, but it seems to me fixing these things would be a great start to fixing this leaking vessel.

Bob Simpson is a Santa Clarita resident. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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