Honest Differences and Political Ones

March 1, 2005 -- As individuals with God given free will, honest differences of opinion can occur over the smallest of issues and even evoke a heated debate or more.  Are you nodding your head with a knowing smile of experience?


Yep, it means there is usually at least one person who considers another’s “small” issue important enough that causes the other to think . . . “What’s the big deal?” and possibly follow-up with a statement that only adds fuel to the other person’s mindset.  Still, these differences are usually settled quickly when honest intent is involved. (It reminds me of a good marriage too.  Smiling again?)


Well, there is nothing to smile about when the same thing happens in congress, as there never seems to be small differences when an issue can be used to help shape the next election.  And over the last 12 years or so, I think both the Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of playing political football to the point that some leaders in both parties are really forgetting about what is best for the people who elected them . . . not who is lobbying them.


We, the voters, are guilty for letting this happen too. I really wonder how many of us pay close enough attention to notice what is really going on . . . then voice our concerns / feelings to our representatives.  Imagine the silent majority making their voices heard outside of the voting booth.  One would think more compromise would occur, including during an election year.


Just look at the debate over how to “fix” social security.  Why should any of the decisions to keep social security viable be based on the upcoming congressional elections in 2006 or the next Presidential election in 2008?  Yet, that is how I perceive it regardless of what side of the mouth an explanation comes from.


Even role reversals have occurred on some points relating to social security . . . Now, why would a politician do a 180 degree position change?  It sure doesn't pass my smell test.  Nor should it be about which way the wind is blowing . . . Hmmm . . . election year posturing, again!


And while I have my concerns at 50 something, I want my children and grandchildren to have the ability to have more options with social security.  I sure would have liked options when I was their age a few years ago.


The time to do something seems right too . . . as President Bush has indicated that he is open to what must be done.  Yes, he still wants to allow younger people the “conservative” investment option of a small percentage of their social security tax obligation.  However, he hasn’t shut the door on what must be done to protect those who are in their 50’s and nearer to retirement.  (I think most politicians are in agreement about what to do with those already receiving social security.)


Cynically speaking… It is time to stop punting the social security ball down the field strictly for political gain.  It is time to be leaders and not worrying about fumbling one’s political edge.


David G. Bancroft
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