Friday, May 13, 2011

Open Letter to Our Leaders: How America Can Get It's Groove Back!

Dear Mr President, Madam Secretary, Congress persons & Senators,

Thank you for all your good work on our behalf. I've been consistently voting in every election since my 18th birthday and I follow your careers with interest. This is indeed a challenging time to be a leader, and I admire your courage in tackling one of the greatest crisis in American history.

That said, I think it's time to stand up to those influence peddlers and lobbyists in DC that insist on chipping away at our public programs (Not funding NPR is low and hateful, but not as hateful as cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. That was the only choice I had as a young woman. No PP meant no pap smear, no breast exam, no information. Don't even get me started on privatising Medicare!) while we overlook the big money items that should be discussed.

Here's a short list of some budget worthy items for cutting:

1) Cut all subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies. I own stock in 2 major oil companies who've both reported trillions of dollars in profits, but still they gouge me at the pump and cry for govt handouts! Stop oil company welfare checks! I'll still make a dividend, they'll still make a profit. Why aren't we buying gas from Canada? Why aren't we using the oil pumped out of the Gulf of Mexico from the 1000's of (unregulated) oil derricks I saw there when I flew over the Louisiana coast in a small plane last October? I say again: Stop oil company welfare checks!

2) End tax cuts for the uber-rich. If they're too stupid to figure out how to filter their money through corporations, or let a good accountant deal with their money let them pay like I do.

3) There are trillions of dollars worth of surplus military planes and hardware sitting out in the desert corroding in the sunshine. My tax dollars paid for that wasted metal. Why doesn't the govt sell or refurbish or recycle those planes? Furthermore, if we insist on being the worlds policemen, we should get paid for that service or bring our troops home to deal with things in the US. The National Guard did amazing things post Katerina, they belong here. If the world needs us they know where we are. Besides, Osama is dead, focus! End the patriot act now.

4) End the subsidising of multi-national agribusiness to grow corn which they then make into corn syrup and put into EVERYTHING, making us an overweight, unhealthy nation. Instead, why not subsidise American farmers to grow legalized marijuana? Scientists and engineers would be put to work developing different plants for different uses. Sustainable Hemp fibre makes cloth, paper, rope, roofing material, and when used by cancer and other medical patients it relaxes them, stimulates their appetite and is less damaging to the liver than pharmaceuticals. Regulate it, package and tax it and treat it like medicine, wine or beer. It will create jobs in all sectors, ease the national use of pharmaceuticals and take another bullet out of the drug cartels assault on America. It's common sense to observe that prohibition only works to make gangsters rich. It wastes law enforcement time that could be better spent serving the community to eradicate real crime.

5) End federal subsidies and tax breaks for companies that move their manufacturing to foreign nations, or outsource jobs. How about subsidies, low interest loans and tax advantages to businesses that move to Illinois? Our governors tactics make IL an inhospitable location to do business. Frankly, it's got me looking at other states. When I go to the gas pump in MS it reads $3.85/gal, Back home in Chicago it's $4.25 at most stations. There's no excuse for that
How can we be our best when we're constantly stressed, see our hard earned money slipping away? We are encouraged by our media to point fingers at each other, as though somehow this is all our fault! That we Americans are somehow to blame for the folly of our leaders and the greed of our bankers. I think my ideas would be a balm on our collective soul. These are positive moves we can make painlessly that won't hurt but will actually stimulate the economy, create jobs and give us our groove back.