Getting Our Nation Back to Working

Editor, News-Register:

A recent viewing of the movie “Lincoln” has brought several things to light for me and that is what better presidents and congressmen we had in those times when the country was on the verge of collapse with Civil War.

President Lincoln’s 13th Amendment passed in the Senate, but faced certain defeat in the House. Through painstaking efforts by Lincoln and Republican members of the House, and by whatever means necessary, the House narrowly approved the 13th Amendment, which permanently freed four million slaves. The total destruction of the South and huge losses of life on both sides forced the Confederate government to surrender to the Union. Lincoln was a great president.

Another great president was General George Washington, who led an undermanned, ill-equipped sometimes hungry and shoeless army, who weren’t even totally paid until an act of Congress paid the soldiers after the war. Washington’s resourcefulness and genius as a leader helped defeat the British, a superpower at that time. He was later elected as America’s first president.

I’ll mention one more president and then I’ll get to my point. Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s only president to serve more than two terms, created Social Security and WPA, putting millions of people who were on welfare, unemployment, and just plain old out of work, back to work. FDR was managing a world of war and rebuilding a country at the same time.

My point is we should be learning from Lincoln, Washington and FDR. It takes guts to make the tough decisions. Today we have 54 million people on public assistance of some sort. The United States is $17 trillion in debt. The U.S. government employs millions of people; it needs to be cut in half. We can’t have people working for Uncle Sam and getting paid better than 90 percent of taxpayers. We have all had to make concessions in the private sector; so should the government employees.

We also need prison reform. Any individual incarcerated for any length of time should have to pay for their incarceration once they are released. Give them a payment book to make scheduled payments. If they refuse to make the payments, then it will be deducted at a later date from their Social Security check. Why should the tax payer pay for their crimes?

As far as the national debt goes, you can’t cut enough programs to fix the $17 trillion debt. What we need to do is rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. We need to build a modern high-speed rail system connecting the entire country in every city. In most cases, you could build this alongside of the Interstate highways or above the highways. It would take years to build and employ millions of people paying taxes. We could sell stock in this rail system to help fund it. When completed it would create millions of more jobs. The rail system must be totally American-made, so we’ll have to build factories to make stuff for the rail system.

After we complete the rail system, we should turn our attention to the moon, set up a moon base and start exploring; find a way to make it habitable. From exploring the moon, we’ll gain knowledge and many inventions will be created, just like when we first launched into space.

If you don’t like any of these ideas, we could continue to keep a third of the country on public assistance.

Jeff Whitehouse