The biggest vote in Congress belongs to Sen. Joe Manchin. He’s become my idol as he is a true moderate. I cringe as I listen to the progressive talking heads thinking their support of Biden gives them a blank check to advance the entirety of the liberal agenda. It just isn’t so. The only mandate out of the last presidential election was Donald Trump had to go at all costs.
What was clear in Biden’s speech to the joint session was that he was trying to appease this strong element of his electorate while still trying to appear moderate. That was an impossible act as that wing of his party cannot stand on its own and that’s where the West Virginia senator becomes the kingpin.
Confucius’ words can apply to any period of time as they are all “interesting times.” Now is no different as the Democrats are barely holding off the extremists in their party, the Republicans are self-destructing as the hateful totalitarian wing of their party won’t go away. Just as Trump had to go, so do all the others that want everything their way with no concessions on anything. It may be a significant portion of republican voters but it will be a constantly unelectable element anywhere but the few states that have embraced them.
It is clear, to me at least, that the time has come to finally attend to our rusting old infrastructure. This sentiment is being echoed by several Republican legislators. Biden can count me in for that part. I’m not on board for a lot of the other stuff he is trying to call infrastructure. If there truly is a need for electric charging stations nationwide there is no reason that private industry can’t take up the endeavor. The government never had to build gas stations.
I do believe this country needs to separate passenger and freight rail lines and establish a nationwide high speed passenger train service. With the extreme effects of global warming it is essential that we can move masses of people to safer areas in a hurry. Relying on individual autos to do this has resulted in gridlock and fuel shortages. The last time I flew in an airplane it encountered a pocket of extreme weather air that they called turbulence. I’ve flown a lot in my lifetime and turbulence doesn’t last that long or convince me that I am about to die. It’s been years since that incident and I will no longer willingly get in an airplane. I would like another option.
I certainly am against the plan to pay for this effort. In lieu of raising taxes to pay for it I would do it a bit differently. I would eliminate all of the tax dodges and loopholes that allow these people to pay nothing so that they can pay the lower rate on 100% of their income. I have always loved the carrot and the stick approach to encouraging people to do what you want. In this vein I would create a new permanent class of bond that pays a full 1% over prime and its income is totally free from federal taxes. I would call this bond The Rebuild America Bond. By making this permanent it will provide a means to continual funds to maintain existing and pay for new projects without having a need for congress to act.
We finally have to stop holding our country’s welfare hostage to partisan politics. This would only be for the funding aspect of new construction as we still will need the ability to stop bridges to nowhere. This will be a big step in the right direction. This is not a new concept. We had “war bonds” when we needed to fund war. We have savings bonds to encourage people to save. We’ve even floated bonds to fund individual projects. We use pollution credits for industries as a means to manipulate them. Why not use the purchase of this new class of very favorable bonds to do the same thing?
In the past the two-party system has overcome partisan politics and managed to find a way to the middle in order to get things passed. Thanks in part to the internet and the conversion of news into opinion, the willingness to move to the middle seems to have become extinct.
A two-party system, by design, forces those of us in the middle to choose one or the other. I can no longer live with that. Siding with one party I ended up getting a highly biased Supreme Court. Siding with the other party I may end up getting huge new tax bills as they try to give everything away free.
Nothing is free. Somewhere along the line someone has to pay for it. It is time for the sane middle to become more vocal and claim a lane all of our own. I can think of no other way to avoid constantly handing our government over to one extreme or the other than to form a new moderate party.
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Steven Davidson writes from New Windsor. Reach him at email@example.com.