The problems we face were foreseen for decades.
For decades, Congress has let foreseeable problems grow until they reached a crisis point. They left no time for reasonable debate. Instead of outlining the facts and the options, they endlessly repeat the same futile rhetorical points. They claim to be reasonable, while each accuses the other, accurately, of being intractably ideological. Meanwhile, they work for the lobbyists who support their campaigns more than they do for their constituents.
The solutions were simple before the festered into a crisis stage.
We have known about the coming problems with Social Security since the first baby boomers came along in 1947. We knew about the coming health problems of the aging boomers when Medicare was passed in 1965. We have known about the problems of the debt, deficit, debt limit, and over-spending for decades — read the back issues of your newspaper.
The silence of the moderate majority has ended with the creation of No Labels.
The silence has ended. Over the last two years, an exciting new social movement has grown from a few people talking to over 600,000 members. No Labels is composed of Republicans, Democrats and independents. We have produced a 12-point plan to decrease gridlock in Congress. No Labels has also created an 11-point process plan to make the presidency more effective. With the sequester looming, Washington is still deadlocked. If they don't work together to solve the problem, we risk a recession.
One No Labels proposal has already had a hearing in the Senate: If Congress does not pass a budget and appropriation bills on schedule, members of Congress forgo pay until they are passed. Another proposal is that if the Senate does not take up a presidential nominee within 90 days, that nominee is automatically approved. The other proposals are also not expensive, easy to implement, and would help break gridlock.
To solve problems, No Labels wants President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders to stop the rhetoric and agree on the same set of facts, govern for the future, not the next election, put country before party and live up to the obligations of leadership and work together to solve problems.
Check out No Labels (www.nolabels.org) for the plans to end gridlock. See the progress that we have made so far. Learn about the members of Congress who have signed on and learn about the important convention in New York to be held on Jan. 14.
Numbers count. Check us out and sign up. Contribute if you can. Enjoy weekly teleconferences with people like John Kerry and Jon Huntsman. Get the inside story of why Washington is gridlocked. Be a part of the solution.
Arnold Sherman, Hampstead