We Boomers pretty much embody the nexus for the nation’s most pressing ills that must be made well if America is to once again be great. As far-reaching as that sounds, it couldn’t be more true.
Using myself as an example, I am:
- a business owner;
- a mother of young adults in the work world;
- a person who is nearing retirement;
- a caretaker for elderly parents, and;
- a person who is part of the generation that called for an end pollution and corporate bad behavior
These correlate to the following ills already identified as most pressing by voters and pundits alike (in order of appearance above):
- Taxes and global trade laws
- Job creation; adequate healthcare
- Social Security & Medicare; retirement account capacity
- ditto; plus Healthcare
- Clean energy/energy efficiency
So, here is my guidance to our young and idealistic President Elect – the top 6 things to be handled in the first 100 days from a Boomer’s perspective:
- Economy: Ensure the proper handling of the immediate steps needed to begin meaningful economic recovery by seeking/receiving ideas from economists, not politicians, from both ends of the “how-to-fix-this” spectrum, then doing what falls in the middle-ground
- Healthcare: any form of “universal healthcare” is at best a long way off in this country (rightly or wrongly…) and at worst not going to happen at all in this country; ensure a first step response that will at least mitigate the outrageous costs of healthcare/health insurance, thus providing immediate relief that will go far to create a healthier populace (on which, after all, all else is dependent)
- Taxes: Immediately roll back or eliminate tax breaks for companies that cheat (off shore bank accounts to avoid taxes, for example), steal (eliminate jobs here in the US so their CEO’s can grab hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation), and pollute without care for the planetary result but to increase their bottom-line; rework the tax code to eliminate huge tax loopholes for those making over a certain amount (your cut-off of $250,000 is fine) so they are paying a fair ratio of income tax to income
- Social Security/Medicare: SS – move the cap at which SS deductions are taken, from the current $89K to $250K; Medicare – immediately establish a department that investigates/handles only Medicare fraud, as I can tell you from first hand experience that what we’re doing now is completely inadequate, and the money being greedily siphoned from this excellent program could pay for it and the department’s salaries, possibly 2X over
- NAFTA: do not eliminate this treaty, instead make it more effective and even-handed for all countries involved (including ours….)
- Job Creation through Clean Energy Sources (value added…Energy Independence): In addition to the aspects of #’s 3 & 5 above that will result in the creation of a certain amount of jobs, immediately invest in alternative energy projects and the job training needed to prepare unemployed/soon to be unemployed folks from last century industries, for those jobs.
And your foundation for all of this: Be unwavering on your determination that ideology will not trump reality, particularly within your own party.
My fellow Boomers and I were around in the heady days of the 60’s/70’s that America (if not the world…) is in process of reliving. Unfortunately, we became “the Man” we so distrusted; we became the polluters and resource wasters we so derided; in essence, we got lost from our ideals, too busy making a living to remember the importance of sustaining life.
Do not get lost once in the Oval Office. Keep your grounding. Make sure that you and the youth you so inspire, don’t stop living your ideals as we did.
Build on our historic successes and don’t repeat our failures. Then, maybe this time around America can finish what it started.