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I’m certain that by now every householder in Iowa is morbidly affected by the weekly avalanches of political begging by both principal parties that already have more money than the mint. What I look for are signs that the winner knows what to do over an equally clueless opponent. One message almost is a mantra — Defeat Trump!

The Democrats needn’t worry about defeating Trump. He is defeating himself with every “tweet” or off-hand remark. So, what are the Democrats’ solutions? The main one is outright socialism from a treasury bereft of cash or even plans for overcoming our insolvency. The Republicans response is as always: The rich need more money and the poor need less help. They ignore they have donned a shroud of heartlessness. In the long run, neither party should win in 2020.

Recently, candidates (mostly Democrats) have been asked, “What’s your big idea?” The responses prove they haven’t had a new idea since Franklin Roosevelt. Their main ideas all involve paying off voters with rivers of cash that don’t exist. With all the threats, both foreign and domestic fulminating 24/7, you’d think somebody would lay out a program, however weak, to restore health and direction to that which our forefathers left us. I have responded to some of these funding pleas with lists of our problems, threats, and more lassitude along with ideas on how to overcome these deficiencies. Their responses haven’t been hard to count — zero, zilch, nada! The current crop of politicians love our money but wish we wouldn’t burden them with facts or original ideas.

If from 2020 to 2024 either party restores the IRS’ budget and collects all of the money due to the federal government, and reverse via constitutional convention the horrible damage underway from the Supreme Court’s abominable decision in the Citizens United case, it would seem like pumping oxygen to all levels of government. Previously I have listed simple decisions Congress could make to restore confidence that our democracy will survive. We aren’t going to reverse the ravages of global warming overnight, but Congress could restore our ability to alter it over the next century. We could restore the Social Security fund to robust health by taking the cap off deductions so everybody pays all year. The top 26 multi-billionaires could restore the fund in a few years. A companion proviso could be jail terms for any politicians wanting to loot the fund for loose cash. I know that goes against the grain of die-hard Republicans, but how many of them turn down Social Security payments?

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There are some social programs with merit, but others are being proposed that simply are trash and shouldn’t see daylight. Still, we are being bombarded with “solutions” that make headlines but actually reflect dreariness and lack of foresight. For instance, one candidate wants to pay every citizen a monthly stipend from the federal treasury. Pass that and look for a population explosion! Free college! Just try to find that “right” in our Constitution. I’ve always thought pay should be balanced with value derived.

When you come right down to it, doesn’t one party’s plethora of candidates reflect a lack of leadership? Is the whole country supposed to shut down while the House majority leader “gets even” for real or imagined slights? Just once could we have majority leaders in both houses who are working on real plans for establishing programs, raising money, appointing managers and getting the word out to state governments defining their responsibilities?

All of the preceding raises the question, “What can we do to straighten out our country?” Right off the bat look for candidates with managerial experience and make them outline how they will organize huge chunks of our government to accomplish missions vital to national well-being and safety. Said organizations will have to be seven layers deep for an organization as huge as our federal government.

If we fail our due diligence — bedlam in Congress.

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Stanley Smith is a former Cedar Falls City Council member.

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