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Your Views: Cultural change needed to reform nations capital
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Washington can only be changed from the inside — a cultural change is needed.

Many immigrants come to the United States from countries where everyone except the elite are relatively equal: They’re poor. They come here expecting an opportunity to use their God-given talents to live the American (human) dream. The U.S. was the best country in the world!

But no longer. We’re now the seventh most competitive nation, not first.

Our government has a cultural problem. The national debt, failing economy, unemployment, unsuccessful spending binges, entitlements, waste and fraud, excessive laws and regulations and overcompensation of government employees have been ignored for decades. We need a political organization based on the traditional American principles of individual rights and responsibilities, duty to serve, entrepreneurial freedom without government interference, proper regulation of monopolies and intergovernmental checks and balances.

“Of the people, by the people, for the people.” Some means of achieving fiscal control and cultural change:

Repeal Obamacare. Health care should be restructured by the states. Real competition will help keep costs down with a menu of coverage choices. Pick the items you want covered, none mandated by government.

Build the pipeline from Canada. Start drilling in federal lands. Energy replacement for oil and coal must be developed, while not inhibiting the current search and use of oil and natural gas and coal.

Freeze benefits of Social Security at current levels. Means test the need for that income. Develop another structure for future investment.

Reverse job outsourcing to foreign, modern slave-labor nations.

Redefine and discipline ethics in government. Corruption must cease. No gifts of any kind to public employees. They can meet lobbyists during working hours at government facilities.

Sell off assets and disband unconstitutional or unnecessary organizations: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Education Department (not an enumerated power; states should take control; Post Office, to contract out their services or sell it; let Amtrak survive on its own or sell it; means test Medicare and Medicaid. Use the income to pay down the debt.

All able bodied welfare recipients work for their payments at “shovel ready” projects.

Cut federal compensation to match private sector levels over five years.

Discontinue all corporate tax breaks, subsidies or credits and cut the corporate tax rate to a level which leads the world.

All regulations that favor specific businesses within an industry over others should be abolished. They stifle competition.

All new regulation and executive orders that affect the private sector negatively must be approved by Congress within 90 days.

A balanced annual budget. Include 5 percent as payment toward the national debt. Make the law require a passed budget before funds can be released.

Repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of senators). Senators should represent the states as intended.

Only real leadership can accomplish change in the culture of government. One of the parties’ platforms must reflect an effort at cultural change in government.

Alan Malm

Regional events