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Franklin knew wisdom of change

The ingenious and wise Benjamin Franklin once said: “For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.”

Ah, but could our current politicians have but half the measure of wisdom expressed in this thought.

Instead both Democrats and Republicans strut and fret their hour upon the stage offering platitudes in place of reasoning, posturing in place of consideration, and certainty when inquiry would be better.

Our politicians speak in absolute terms of convictions destined to fail, but nonetheless recited as though handed down to them in stone from the mountain.

Democrats, in the face of serious debt, still seem oblivious to the reality that policies have to change as funding allows.

And though democrats will always support the social safety net, they must accept that Social Security must adapt to the massive movement of Baby Boomers into retirement.

Social Security must either raise the income deduction cap, allowing 6.2 percent to be withheld from all wages, or establish means testing for future retirees.

Medicare and Medicaid will, sooner or later, have to do what private for profit insurers do, deny procedures too cost expensive and too minimally life extending to make financial sense.

And though the democrats seem unable to see waste in government, that must change.

The congress should conduct program reviews for effectiveness and overlap on every federally funded effort, for taxpayers deserve to know their taxes are spent wisely.

Finally, democrats, as well as Republicans must recognize that our tax codes have too many loopholes and too many rules and regulations to go forward without correction.

Republicans need the wisdom of Franklin to re-examine their anti-tax posture. Our revenues are too low and our corporate welfare must be ended not mended.

As billionaire Warren Buffet has said and written in many ways: Tax us rich guys more…we pay too little.

Buffet is right, the richest Americans can and must afford making a contribution to improving the economy by reducing the deficit. No group can be exempt from helping the nation recover.

And Republicans must stop claiming all regulations are bad…they are not.

The bankers pay politicians a lot to allow them to operate without rules, but that brought us the banking collapse.

When the entire industry turns into a giant casino, the rules have become too lax.

And Republicans have to stop avoiding the jobs issue altogether that is not just unseemly, it is bad for the nation to have half the elected officials rooting for economic failure in order to win the next election.

Most importantly Republicans have to reduce business anxiety over government uncertainty, since the only genuine uncertainty is if republicans win the White House in 2012.

The Republicans should let business know now that even should they win the 2012 elections, sensible and reasonable regulations will still exist to insure our foods are safe, our products not dangerous, and our banks not be risk locations for any activity they undertake.

Franklin was right, we are all better to set aside our locked in positions and open our prospects to new solutions that end the stalemate in Washington.

Franklin also said: “Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”

Let’s grow America together.

Jim Crawford is retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.