Monthly Archives: June 2013

What is our purpose?

What is our purpose in life?  God wants us to have a wonderful life on earth, but an integral part of that is serving others just as others serve us.  In short, it’s love all around, in all directions—sincere, genuine kind, compassionate love.  All of humankind is more alike than we’re different.  We must recognize that, especially because that is an essential part of building peace in our world.

Lessons from History

About a year ago, I visited the World War II Museum with my close friends Leon and Jocelyn Connelly.  This was my second time at the museum, and thoroughly enjoyed the superb production of Beyond all Boundaries, a brand new 4-D film presented on a 120-foot wide “immersive screen.”  Tom Hanks was executive producer of this moving work, which takes viewers right into the action, from Pearl Harbor to the final battle of the war.

Being reminded of the courage and wisdom of the Greatest Generation, I began contemplating the state of our nation today.  The current financial crises all over the world demand that we go beyond all boundaries to solve the problems.  In his book, The Debt Bomb, Senator Coburn (Thomas Allen “Tom” Coburn, M.D, R-OK) suggested solutions for the United States.  And if we take his advice, I think Europe and Japan will follow.

So far in our planet’s history, no government has endured.  Even the powerful Roman Empire eventually collapsed.  We will, too, without amazing innovation in government.  We did amazing things in WWII.  We can handle this, if we have the will and the understanding.

I agree with Senator Coburn that the reason we haven’t bounced back from the “Great Recession” is our huge national debt and other obligations, primarily entitlements, and especially Medicare and Medicaid.  How we proceed from here will determine our economic well-being, as well as whether we become a second-class power in the world.  So, we all must do our best—veterans, elected officials and everyone else—to take this challenge and win, as we did in WWII.

A message to our political leaders and others

Our nation needs desperately to unite.  We’re two years away from any election and if we avoid hyperinflation and/or a worldwide depression by acting, I predict the voters will tend to vote for incumbents.

But if we don’t act at this great opportunity and simply point fingers, financial disaster is on the near-term horizon.  This must not be window dressing.  We must address the gnawing problem of federal expenditures exceeding revenues.  And we must be realistic about whether raising taxes actually helps us fiscally.

Rhetoric should not prevail.  Truth and cooperation are direly needed from one and all.  This is not a boxing match or a fight.  Instead, we should search, with courage, for truth with the realization that this moment may not come again.  The United States is not immune to a currency crisis.

Everything should be on the table.  Real tax reform in the nature of a flat tax would be a wonderful idea.  It should be simple and understandable.  All our taxes should be in one flat tax, and loopholes should be plugged.  Actually, a flat tax may increase taxes on the wealthy.  This idea that a higher rate is more isn’t what our fiscal situation deeply needs, regardless of the politics of it.  We need growth, spending decreases, tax reform, entitlement reform and an attitude and methodology that are kind.

The role of the federal government should be smaller in terms of laws, regulations, taxes and other complications that have caused government to enlarge for far too long.

We must engender growth or too many people will be unemployed, under-employed and not looking for work because of the lack of opportunities and skills that don’t match the job market.  We must open the doors wide for talented people from around the world to fill jobs and start companies, all of which creates other jobs throughout our economy.

And we must conceive of a simple, fair and rapid way of bringing persons who have been here illegally for many years to begin the process of becoming citizens.  I don’t mean accepting criminals or other undesirables, but upstanding people who will help our country to progress.  We are a nation of immigrants and we must not let one terrible act on 9/11 freeze our welcome mat for good people from around the world who will enrich our country and help our growth.

I ask that Republicans acknowledge the personal rights of women over their own bodies on the basis of what we’re supposed to believe—personal freedom.  And I realize having the government pay for abortions, birth control pills and such is abhorrent to many.  But the reality of it is that we face a $1+ trillion deficit, which is daunting, and that should be the issue.  We, as a party, should get out of all perceived anti-women issues.  Now I invite all Republicans to hold whatever views they may about such issues, but the party itself should completely disallow all such issues.  The nation is very much at risk financially.

The Greatest Generation and many others have fought and sacrificed for our country.  We must realize that the national debt is our biggest security threat.  We have to understand that now is the time to act, and that includes the Executive Branch of government.

Democracy at Stake

One of my favorite writers, Peggy Noonan,  had another insightful article in a recent edition of “The Wall Street Journal.”
    She again addresses the flagrant abuses of the IRS, hounding political enemies of the Obama Administration in the years leading up to the 2012 elections.  This is a very serious state of affairs that must not stand.  Our very democracy is at stake.  If approximately fifty percent of the country lives in fear of the IRS, what kind of freedom is that?  I urge you to read the full article in the Opinion section of that fine newspaper.
    Also on an Opinion page of the same paper points out how our weak president once said Assad must go and now is proposing a peace talk including that “killer” (my word).

From Abject Poverty to Prosperity

 I just read an exciting article in The Economist (June 1): called, “Towards the End of Poverty.”  It explains how nearly 1 billion people have been raised out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2010.  Most of these were in China.  It concludes that capitalism and free trade were the main drivers in this success.
    That’s the good news.  The toughest part is still ahead with the challenges in India and Africa.  Growth and free trade can help bring that last billion out of abject, life-threatening poverty.  India and Africa must get away from monopolies and restrictive practices and the rest of the world should allow free, fair trade with these areas.
    Abject poverty must be defeated worldwide because it is the right thing to do and also because it benefits us all to have a more prosperous world.  Love thy neighbor as thyself.  We are all world citizens.  Let’s make our one world a place we can all appreciate with gratitude and thanksgiving.