By Jackie Gingrich Cushman
I filled up my tank today, and gas was over $4 per gallon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual inflation rate in July was 5.4%, with the cost of energy up 23.8%. The current U.S. debt is over $80,000 per person, a 15% increase in a little over a year. Our southern border is a sieve, with over 210,000 border stops this past month, five times the number last July.
But our problems are not only domestic.
President Joe Biden, flying to and from Camp David by helicopter, shielded from social media, cable TV and the internet, seems to be living in a world of make-believe. This was evident in his speech this Monday regarding the tragic situation in Afghanistan.
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Biden defended his move to end wars that never end, but never addressed his administration’s failure to get American citizens and our allies out of Kabul before it was seized by the Taliban. Instead, Biden wound up sending in more of our military forces, under the guise that this had been planned all along. This defies common sense.
We have seen this week what we don’t want America to be; inept, bungling, soft, misguided and unprepared. We can do better, and we must.
We’ve gotten accustomed to a big, bloated, ineffective government; a military more focused on social issues than military readiness; crime spikes driven by maligning and defunding the police; and government intervention that makes job creation so hard that the economy will stall. Common sense tells us there is no such thing as government money, just current and future taxpayer payments to the government.
It’s time for us to get tough with ourselves and with our fellow citizens. We must do better and be better, and I have faith that we can.
It’s time for Americans to join hands with other Americans, be friends, or at least friendly, and work together, regardless of party. To ask not what our government can give to us, but what we can do together to help our fellow Americans.
It’s time for us to rediscover our national values, our morale and our common sense.
Our values are based on a love of freedom, which is reflected in our Declaration of Independence. We freed ourselves from a monarch and declared that we the people are in charge of government. Then, every generation or so, we must remind the government who is in charge. It’s us. Once we start moving, our morale will improve.
America means freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of enterprise. If we have been reminded of anything this week, it’s that freedom is rare, it’s special and it’s fragile. Just ask the women and girls in Afghanistan.
See, Washington is a backward town. Everything that seems up is down and everything that seems down is up. In the real world, outside Washington, we know that adding taxes and regulations increases prices and lowers demand. Everyday consumers don’t buy as much when prices of products increase; this is not rocket science — this is common sense. Common sense tells us that making small businesses easier for people to run and making it easier to produce more products leads to more economic growth.
We know from experience that, when you extend unemployment benefits, it’s hard to find entry-level workers. Now, common sense also tells us that an entry-level job is not a job one should hold forever — it’s an entry into the workplace from which one can move up.
There is much progress our country needs to make, and we could get much done for the benefit of all, IF we decide to work together instead of trying to tear each other apart. Just imagine what we could accomplish together: real family income going up, the poverty rate going down, children being educated, entrepreneurship booming and research and new technology increasing.
Imagine a strong foreign policy in pursuit of peace, with the ability to defeat our enemies and protect our allies. We could gain respect for our country abroad, be a staunch friend to our allies and a beacon of hope for the world.
I want to protect something precious, but I need your help. We’ve got work to do — together.
The only way to ensure our freedom endures is for we the people to limit government. That’s because, left to its own devices, government will multiply exponentially and become even more ineffective. Yes, it’s possible.
While our current challenges may seem insurmountable to some people, I know better. Like everything, countries go through cycles. It’s up to us to determine whether we are going to spiral down or cycle up. If we remember our values, believe in ourselves and regain our common sense, the future will always be ours. I have faith in America. We can do better, and together I know we will.
To find out more about Jackie Gingrich Cushman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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