When are we going to focus on our own country?

Record Editorial

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 3:03am
  • Opinion

y wife says I worry too much about things I can’t control but I can’t be the only one frustrated with the direction this country is going. It’s time to vent a bit, which usually makes me feel better. You should all try it, maybe venting here if you disagree or venting at your elected officials if you agree.

Have you watched the news or read newspapers only to feel almost hopeless with regards to what’s happening? Am I alone in my anxiety over the current social and economic crisis happening right here at home? I seriously doubt it, and it’s time for our federal government from President Bush down to our local leaders to wake up and realize the true endangered species is us.

On the national level, the pictures of people in our own country suffering as a result of Hurricane Katrina are heartbreaking. We can send troops to all corners of the globe within hours but we can’t make sure our own residents have the basic necessities after a natural disaster. I was ashamed of our own country as I watched the pictures on the television and read newspaper articles on the Internet. Americans opened up their pocket books and hearts to help tsunami victims in Indonesia but we can’t even help ourselves. I also wonder how many of those countries are willing to step up to the plate and help the taxpayers that have helped them in the past? I hope our own federal legislators are taking note and return the focus of government to our own residents. Some will say this is a short-sighted approach but tell that to a father or mother who is desperately trying to help their family survive in New Orleans. The person that gets my vote in the next election will question so much spending abroad and think about funding projects right here at home.

And what about energy prices? Do the Republicans really want to hang their hat on an economy that is facing $4 a gallon gasoline? Regardless of what we drive and are willing to fork up for fuel, we are headed for double-digit inflation once again thanks to over zealous environmental regulations. I can absorb the cost of increasing fuel prices to a point. But so much of our economy depends on petroleum products that everything we need will increase in prices substantially over the next few months. I am not an economist, but if there is one out there who can assure me that our current fuel prices won’t affect other prices, I am open to listening.

From my little hole in the wall in Snoqualmie I am guessing Alan Greenspan will be useless in dealing with inflation. He won’t be able to raise interest rates for fear of stalling the economy, but if he doesn’t he will have to deal with double-digit inflation. Hey Alan, the economy is already stalling. As a working person, I am already putting off large purchases so I can ride out the storm and I have heard from many friends that they are being a bit more conservative in their purchasing as well.

Of course, someone will suggest we need to pay more taxes to accomplish what we are asking. At the federal level, our elected officials really need to figure out a way to do what we want with the large amount of taxes we pay now. Maybe they can set up a tax credit where, when our final tax bill comes in April, we can pay a portion to the Red Cross. At least we would know our money is being used to benefit someone who really needs it and we can even specify where we want it used; in our own country, for example.

Maybe I’m feeling the effects of a mid-life crisis. After all, as of this writing I just turned 43. But maybe I am more worried that the American Dream is dying – that dream of owning a home, doing a little better than your parents and being able to provide for your family.

The concerns don’t stop at the national level but trickle down to the local level. What are we doing locally to help people thrive and prosper while still being concerned about our environment?

I personally feel very grateful for everything we have in this community but I see our way of life threatened, not by a terrorist in some Third World country but by our own lack of compassion for the American Dream.

I admit the message was venting, but on a happier note I have to say to the voters of this Valley who stepped up and said yes to improvements to our school facilities, wow. You are an amazing group of people and the results of your desire to see our children have the best is evident in each new facility from Cascade View Elementary School in Snoqualmie to the athletic complex at Mount Si. This is an example of our money helping us locally and we should all be proud.

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