Politics/Government What are your hopes for the next four years? Molly Bloom November 9, 2012, 5:00 AM Nov 9, 2012 48 comments Now that the presidential election is over, lawmakers and voters are looking ahead. Today’s Question: What are your hopes for the next four years? ‹ Older The election result in Minnesota: What does it all mean? Newer › Did Petraeus do the right thing by resigning? Browse by category Education Health Economy Politics/Government Culture Religion/Ethics Science/Technology Transportation Race/Gender Environment/Energy Security International affairs Immigration Media Military About the blogger Molly Bloom email@example.com Bob I hope that all Americans will reunite and share equally in bringing down our massive debt. Kurt I concur with Bob. Not particularly optimistic though. reggie I hope that we can talk about something other than politics for 3 1/2 of the next four years. (It won’t happen, but a guy’s gotta dream….) Lou My hope is that FOX news loses its audience and fades from existance, the TEA party loses any credibility it has left and ceases to be a factor in the political arena, and that the republican party returns control to the moderates so that the political dialogue in the country may be about realistic solutions to problems and not whether the President was born in Kenya. Gary F On the national level… I hope that future generations will cherish liberty and freedom and be willing to fight for it. I hope that Phase Two of the “Dismantling of America” as Thomas Sowell calls it is unsuccessful. On the state level….. I hope that our state government doesn’t use the force of law to make independent owner/operator daycare providers belong to a union against their will, a union that gives money to the party that is forcing unionization upon them. Tim Prosperity and peace. linda I hope that Republicans, Democrats and Independents will work together for the good of the country starting right now. No more sitting on hands refusing to compromise on anything. Problems have only grown and need attention right away. That goes for all levels of government. Duane I have very little confidence in the leadership on both the national and state level for the next two years and possible all four. On a national level we have Harry Reid, majority leader of the Senate, that has refused to allow some 30 or more jobs bill passed by the House to be brought to the floor this session. The only budget bill the Senate has considered is that of the President’s and it failed this session by a vote of 99 to 0. All three of the budget bills sent over by the House in the past three session, where the budget bills are supposed to originate, were NEVER allowed to be brought up on the floor. I am slightly more optimistic about the leadership on a state level. I believe they have a better understanding of their responsibilities. Ann Jobs, especially for those of us in our 50′s who have been cut by our companies and have always had low incomes.. We won’t have time to catch up economically and will need “entitlements” or be out on the street.Respect for conservative values. It would be nice if liberals would respect the opinions of people who still believe in traditional values–not Hollywood’s values.Shouldn’t the peope who are worried about global warming stop eating beef since cows are a big cause? Once again, it wasn’t mentioned in the long discussions the other day.Also, if people are really worried about obesity and health, why is pizza, beer, and pastry sold in gigantic amounts? Are people serious about the things that are discussed on MPR? Why weren’t we told about the attack by Iran before the elections? It would be nice if the media and legislators were honest. James Several hopes: - that my 3 college attending children graduate reasonably timely and find decent jobs - that my little company keeps thriving and growing - that one of the MN sports teams makes us proud - that politcs recedes into background mode and we collectively spend more time simply pursuing and enjoying the American Dream GregX A national codeethics licenese-to-practice for everyone in the financial sector. Elimination of the mortgage tax credit .. and all others credits in the federal tax code. Pegging of the Alternative minimum tax to an index – instead of a hard number. reduction in all marginal income tax rates. Establish that all savings/investment interest earnings are free for incomes upto 5X the federal poverty level. Increase collection of FICA on income up to $200,000. Establishment of national web-business sales tax at 1.5% . Reduction of the national military expenditure by 28%. Mandate a national WAR-SALES-TAX of 5% while any US military force is involved in any conflict exceeding 30 days. … to start with Mark There’s that Thucydides line about geopolitics that “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” that I think has defined the war on drugs. Many SA states appear emboldened by growth, having benefitted from alternative sources of investment (China) and perceive that their new prosperity is a consequence of Washington’s neglect rather than assistance. In the next 4 years I look forward to Latin American leaders being more vocal about us either ending prohibition or requiring that we generate steep demand reductions. I think there is a belief that the world is becoming sufficiently non-unipolar that they no longer need to suffer the consequences of US prohibition. Tony I hope for a pragmatic, centrist government who can compromise and serve the people. I hope for more statesmen (states-persons) and fewer partisans. I hope for less spin and more truth-telling. But most of all, I pray for peace. In the US we have teens who have never known a time when the United States was at peace. If we pull back from foreign wars and needless defense spending, we can balance the budget and pay for our priorities. Jim G I hope Americans will rediscover the art of negotiation, compromise, or horse-trading- whatever you want to call it. Let’s bury the notion that compromise is a dirty word. If that is possible, then I would like these issues addressed. Rebuild our economy by increasing manufacturing as a percentage of GDP. We’ll need retraining options for our displaced workers. Establish long range policies to rebuild the middle class. Increase Pell Grants by a factor of 10 or better yet provide universal public university 2 & 4 year degrees to those making satisfactory progress. These are just a couple of ideas, but we’ll need a national discussion on how to rebuild the middle class. We must improve economic mobility for those currently unable to change their circumstances. Re-establish the tax rates for the richest income earners to those paid during the Clinton years. Help the middle class home owners renegotiate with their banks to lower principal and interests rates to those currently available. This will enable owners to stay in their homes and stabilize the housing market. People are still losing their homes today in 2012. Regulate Wall Street banks with the goal of reducing the chances of another bubble. Prosecute scofflaws and put them in prison. Remove the caps on all payroll taxes: Medicare and Social Security, so that the richest pay the same percentage of their income as a middle class income earner. In other words save both of these programs for the next 50 years. Restrict mortgage deductions to one primary residence. If you can afford a 2nd or 3rd home, pay the market price. Bear @ Gary F “I hope that our state government doesn’t use the force of law to make independent owner/operator daycare providers belong to a union against their will, a union that gives money to the party that is forcing unionization upon them.” I share your concern but the reality is, Dayton is so in the hip pocket of the SEIU and AFT and indebted to them for his election by a slim margin, he has to pass the law or risk loosing their support and the next election. Unionizing independent day care providers makes absolutely no sense. And the it’s for the kids arguement, NOT, its for the unions and no one else. If passed into law this could be the defining event in his defeat in two years. Snaab A second to much of what GregX said, but with more. On a federal level, an end to the completely untenable war on drugs. Now that two states legalized marijuana, the government is obligated to recognize the tide is turning, and prohibition cannot be continued. Though I am not a fan of the Tenth, in this case, states must have the authority to regulate on their own, without fear of reprisal from the DEA. Hope that the Supreme Court grants cert to challenging DOMA, and begins to take bites out of this silly notion that gay marriage does not enjoy protection, and upholds the precepts of the Fourteenth Amendment (Equal Protection Clause) On the state level, tax the rich, oh wait, that would be socialism. Using any increased revenue to shore up infrastructure. Reducing the barriers for entry on manufacturing, especially with regard to renewable energy. Stop building stadiums for the private sector (I guess I’m too late on this one). david Personally I’m hoping to pay off get the debt the housing crash and this years medical expenses cost me. Should be able to do it in just under 3 if nothing gets added on. Then i can start earnestly chipping away at student loans and saving again. Not holding breath for any fixes for the mortgage mess. Its way to late to do any good for me. Would like to see the wall street scum held accountable though, and some real oversight brought to those crooks. People need to demand it though. Start moving your money to credit unions and companies that have shown real ethics. And if your mortgage is over 20% underwater walk. Gut the home and go. That house wont be worth what you can buy it for in the time it takes to rebuild your credit and save up for a new one. If more people stop believing the bank’s lies that sticking it out is the “right thing to do” and a foreclosure is so devastating the banks will be forced to start doing the right thing and fixing the problems they caused when THEY caused the bubble. Lance I hope we become less shallow, less entranced by fame and power, and more enthralled by ideas of substance. I hope we get out of the Middle East without starting WW III. I hope everyone who is able to work is able to find a job. I hope we don’t get crushed by our national debt. I hope we balance the federal budget. I hope we broaden the tax base so that everyone with a job is upset when the government spends too much. I hope people learn to think for themselves rather than blindly follow and parrot back what they’ve been told. I hope we learn from history. I hope we think more than one quarter into the future. I hope children grow up with a mother and a father in a loving relationship in the same house. I hope our politicians stop dividing our nation by income level, skin color and gender in order to deflect from their inability to do their jobs. Wally I admit I don’t have the time to waste reading many of the rants here. But THANKS LANCE. I much appreciate your sentiments. Though I doubt most will happen. So I hope I could earn a nickel for each time I hear “fiscal cliff” spoken by the newsheads in the coming weeks, and then I could buy enough commodities–food, fuel, precious metals etc.–to survive when the Democraps and Republicfools plunge us over that cliff. Regnar James I hope: -The soon to happen economic depression will force political change. -My children will be strong and make wise decisions. -My skills are sharp and my aim is accurate. -My garden and hunting skills will be producing enough food to keep me from starving. ∑ DTOM CarlS The same as always: that I and anyone else willing to live fairly within society will have a happy and prosperous life. No political bent needed or wanted to taint my vision. jockamo Obama to resign? I heard Obama say that he doesn’t want America’s children to be burdened with huge government debt. So, therefore, his only rational choice is to resign the presidency. HarHarHar Lawrence I honestly hope that the American people will start to have very serious conversations about racism, sexism, agism, economic class, and homophobia. Let’s be clear about a couple of things. In THIS race to the White House, we’ve literally heard (mostly Republicans) Americans say some troubling things, i.e. gays are immoral, blacks and government workers are dependent on the government, latinos are illegally voting, the young are irresponsible and are being brainwashed by socialist academic professors, the President is everything under the sun and yet there isn’t a shred of proof to any of the allegations, and my personal favorite offered up by Mitt Romney himself, “we can’t find women to fill high level cabinet positions without grabbing a binder with profiles of high calibur women in it. It’s great Obama won, but all of these things should trouble us a great deal. Its as if the pro-Civil War South has come back alive and well and we’re all just tiptoeing around it. We need to address these things right now. I hope we can do that in these next 4 years. Linda in Plymouth HOPE to see is the question? Hope vs action as we have seen for 4 years of climbing economic downfall? I hope Congress will force the truth , truths that even MPR will not address. For example, this truth that was hid from us before the election day. Just days before the election, it was discovered that nearly the entire Benghazi massacre was recorded by overhead drones. In addition, it has been reported that Administration emails prove Security and assistance to the Embassy WERE DENIED. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta were busy throwing each other under a bus; but they are now sighing in relief because the election pushed their screw up out of the headlines. OBAMA’S INDIFFERENCE KILLED 4 PEOPLE IN BENGHAZI. WE WANT THE BENGHAZI TAPES RELEASED! IToday General Patraeus-CIA director resigns out of the blue sky resigns. media knew Obama didn’t want him to run for VP for the GOP,against Biden. Patraeus was the most honored and honest General_ generals don’t resign because of a faked affair. This is the same tactic that got Obama elected in Illinois_ they smeared and set up the contenders so there was no one left to run against him. That is how the DFL ran their campaign , all smears and lies..calling Romney responsible for someone’s wife dying was too much. Chicago politics. You see then how that HOPE is working for you when gasoline goes to $6.00 a gallon and electricity doubles by March and food prices rise another 20% Kristi I hope we can try for SIngle Payer Healthcare in Minnesota! Luke Weinhagen At the federal level – Gridlock. Gridlock in government is a feature, not a bug. Not a popular sentiment, I know. Why do we have checks and balances built in to our government? If the goal is compromise and unity, why have a system with built in road blocks? The wheels should turn slowly. It was specifically designed that way. Unless there is overwhelming support, nation wide, no change should be implemented. The system was set up from the get go to impede change. Take a look at the Federalist Papers, #10, to get an idea of what the founders intended here. Our culture, society and technology change so fast. A large, powerful government can never keep up. The more we involve government in these areas the faster it becomes cumbersome. It gets too large to be agile enough to change as the world changes around it. We see this now all the time. Our founders understood this. They were students of history and saw clearly that no government that tries to can keep up with the times. They formed a government that was small. Small enough that changes in culture, society and technology would have little to no impact. The checks and balances, and even the gridlock we bemoan, were built into our system to keep government separate from these changes. They saw that the simplest way to isolate government from these changes was to keep government away from these aspects of our country’s progress. As we have discovered, simple is not easy. So for the next four years: Gridlock, resulting in shrinkage. Forcing decision making to go back to the states, where we actually have some say. Melody I hope that the intelligence and tolerance that have been exhibited by youth and found in urban areas continues to spread to rural areas…that we stop thinking like a bunch of selfish, ignorant rednecks. I come from a rural area, and want to go back, but am hesitant due to the typical mindset. I guess I’ll have to go to a college town; at least most of the youth of this country have the right idea about what it takes to build a future. They are not stuck on trying to recreate the past. Steve the Cynic Hope is the larval stage of disappointment. Gordon near Two Harbors It’s not what I “hope” happens–it’s what MUST happen. 1. Avoid going off “fiscal cliff” in January. 2. Reform government finances by getting rid of duplicate government services and payment/services to people who really don’t need it, and modifying the tax code so that EVERYBODY pays something, and the wealthy pay somewhat more. 3. Get rid of idiotic tax breaks/loopholes like mortgage interest deductions, and limit the 1000 dollar tax credit per child to a maximum of 2000 dollars per family. 4. Re-examine the defense budget and get rid of all the crap the military doesn’t want or need. Defense industries workers are basically government employees, because those companies could not exist without government funding. 5. Require welfare mothers to identify the father(s) of their children and force those fathers to financially support their children–even if it requires make-work programs by the government. 6. Eliminate the upper income limit for social security taxes (this would save social security). 7. Continue/expand tax breaks/subsidies to the solar and wind companies to make America the number one supplier of this technology. (We’ve done the same for oil/coal companies for decades). 8. Reduce the annual immigration quota to 100,000, so America does not become the land of teaming masses that our ancestors escaped. 315 million already too many… 9. Allow the folks already here illegally to remain, and allow them to pay in-state college tuition. Do everything possible so that those folks become high achieving, America-loyal citizens. 10. Hold anyone in the media who spreads false information/propaganda liable for treason, and repeal the criminal, “Citizens United” ruling by the Supreme Court. Emery When we perceive a president as having a mandate, we are making a claim about what the American people meant when they cast their votes. To be a little too obvious: there is no “mandate” box to check on electoral ballots. You just vote for a candidate. Legislative success will come if Mr Obama is skillful politically and is able to wrangle support from key legislators at key moments in the process. No elected leader, including the president, is uniquely privileged to say what an election means. That goes for bloggers, journalists and other political actors too. It’s time to move beyond the vacuous mandate talk and get going with good old-fashioned politics. jockamo Mandate? With barely a hair over 50% of the vote? And the other guy got 48%? That’s no mandate. It’s the luck of a major storm, and the media ignorance of presidential incompetence. Any more of that kind of “mandate” and B.O. would be king of Kenya…….. HarHarHar Linda in Plymouth I will hope the DFL changes for the better. We are now a society divided between the makers and the takers, and the takers are on a campaign of theft and revenge. We have a President who takes dangerous pride in his hatred for “middle classness” as Jeremiah Wright taught him to believe. We have a President who culminated his campaign with a ghetto singer rapping about hoes and bitches, about drug-ridden and broken families, as if all those cruelties were good. This is not a normal, decent America. David P I hope the delusional-paranoid trolls that fill this site get help. Or at least some fresh ideas. georges Already we have liberal craziness on the rampage…… Marty, and others, claim they will legalize gay marriage. The lefty kooks say they can now stop the wolf hunt. Some vow to bring back the voting rights for 12 year olds bill……. Barack Obama says he is open to compromise, as long as any compromise does not stop him from spending more and more and more and……ah……..MORE………..to pay off his people and make himself seem like a major god……….and, of course, transfer the wealth of the middle class to his BFFs, the ultra wealthy. He has not given up his Jerimiah Wright type hate for European Americans, but he keeps it hidden…….most of the time. Yes, the Dems are already showing adherence to their Party Motto: Extremism in Defense of our pockets being full of Other Peoples Money is no vice……To hell with the economy, we get ours everyday straight from the Public Treasury! Har(so)Har(sad)Har Tom /With barely a hair over 50% of the vote? And the other guy got 48%?/ Another troll sounding like Dick Morris who recently stated: “I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama squeaker.” His prediction was a 325 vote Romney “landslide”, but what we got instead was a 332 vote Obama “squeaker”. A President has a mandate if those who oppose his policies hesitate to do so openly because they fear the electorate that conferred it. jockamo Fear? To oppose? Openly? Looks like somebody is in favor of a Dictator in America……. ……goosesteppin’ in the New World. HarHarHar Steve the Cynic The things people believe! Sheesh! Rich President Obama’s sweep of the so-called swing states–along with the ousting of the most radical Republicans–would have been hailed as a trouncing had the other team won. The icing on my personal cake is the voters rejection of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Rep. Allen West (R-FL). The Republicans adopted the Tea Party when they were down in 2009 and the Tea Party looked like a way to win. Now that the Tea Party looks like a way to lose, I don’t think they’ll be tolerated for long. Republicans are nothing if not ruthless. jockamo There was a time (the 1960s), when liberals understood the principle of Free Speech as the need to speak out against the tyranny of Government….. Now, the liberals ARE the government, therefore they see no viable Free Speech needed in America….. But it is needed…..now more than ever. The tyranny of the self-important small minds is the worst tyranny of all……. Just because you can get away with it on the primative tribes, telling them, Just vote for us, we will give you everything, don’t try it with your intellectual superiors, as we will just laugh at you and put you in your place (crib)……… Leftists love to be Dictators whenever the opportunity arises. Trouble is, they have no sustainable ideas, so must resort to power. Government power…… Remember….. We have met the enemy, and he is us (government)…. There is nothing as vicious as a liberal with power. He will seek to force everyone to be just like him, and torture those who won’t knuckle under….. Bring it on, kiddies…… Har Kurt @Melody Hmmm. I, too was born and raised in a rural area. It was a great place to grow up and has much to recommend it. Most of the people I knew were generous and yes, tolerant. They looked out for each other even in the absence of a Government mandate to do so. Imagine that. I suppose there were a few, as you say, “rednecks”. I have also lived in The city-married a New Yorker in fact. Most of the people I met there were also generous and tolerant. And……some were pretentious snobs who thought themselves superior to those clearly not as sophisticated as themselves( as demonstrated by where they lived and who they voted for). Bigotry is everywhere. Jack The questions that need to be answered are fundamental, and they are the questions that we have been avoiding for 30-50 years (depending on who’s counting) by raising spending without raising taxes, relying on bursts of wealth creation when we can and debt when we can’t. The questions that need to be answered are: 1. How large should the federal government be? 2. How large an economic transfer should be made from working people to the elderly? Is the government acting simply to reduce poverty, or to accomplish some other objective through universal entitlements? 3. How much should individuals be forced to share in the cost of health care for others? How much should an individual have to pay before the government helps pay their health care bills? 4. What are the things that the federal government does that it doesn’t really need to do? Which programs, subsidies and tax breaks can be eliminated? 5. Should the United States continue to play the role of global hegemon? Are we prepared to accept the alternative? Come to a consensus on those 5 issues, and balancing the budget is a matter of simple math. But that’s the problem, of course. There is a wide disagreement on many of these issues, amongst politicians and amongst 300 million Americans. jockamo In the 60s I knew a guy who was a marvelous speaker……. He organized and was the main speaker at most of the anti-war rallies. I always liked to hear him speak, as he was very good at it. One day, I heard someone say, “Hey, Jockamo!” I looked around, but didn’t recognize anyone. The voice was familiar, but…… “Hey, Jockamo! It’s me.” said a guy in a fancy suit. I couldn’t place him. He did look kind of, known, but……maybe with some hair…….. It was him (the hair was still there, tied back in a tight tail, clean and well combed, too). He told me how he had been approached by the Mayor, or the Governor, or somebody representing them, and they gave him a big position, with a big title, Community Liaison/Organizer, something like that, and they were paying him 30K a year (big bucks back then) and he had an office and a desk and everything now that he was a big government wheel………. I quit listening to him, as I was absorbing the lesson. The government was buying the opposition. No doubt about it. And, the anti-war movement soon died dead away. I don’t like gray cars. When we were in grade school, they showed us films from the USSR and Red China. The people were invariably wearing drab gray uniforms. Regular people, not the army, although the army probably wore gray also. I hated gray. It was depressing, and meant bondage and slavery and tyranny by the government. To this day, I will not have a gray car, or gray furniture, or gray anything. I call gray things Early Communism. Needless to say, I don’t like gray elephants. Or gray donkeys, either………… Emery You do know this is the internet, where you’ve chosen to share comments? It’s not the Algonquin round table. Brevity is the soul of wit WS scott My hope in the next coming years is that we as a nation will put as much emphasis on industrial and economical opportunities as we put towards recreational opportunities. What is wrong with large factories working 3 shifts making something. And everyone making good wages. These small so called green jobs, do not put much green in the wallets of as many people as they should and never will. John My hope is that my gun doesn’t jam when the rouge gangs come to the door when the dollar collapses next year. Bill I hope my family doesn’t get sick and have to go to the doctor under Obama Care. We will strive to be healthier because under this system the alternative is death. David Frum What is happening now, and it’s disturbing, is that the conservative entertainment complex has sold the idea that conservatives are the real majority in America. That claim has been exposed as false. They are leading their viewers toward alienation and rejection. David The repealing of the prohibition of Hemp/cannabis and the end of the “War on Drugs”. Have productive coalision meetings/talks/debates with the top 3 to 15 third party candidates. As well as utilize “Institute for the Renewal of Economic Life” (IREL) and Richard Kotlarz. Have all goal to teach kids the basics of mindfulness and loving kindness meditation and massage by the time they’re 8 years old. Continue encouraging training all true life in the manner most suited for the individual’s constitutional nature. Have some real press conferences.