It seems that everyone is talking about what to do now, whether it be the newly elected Republicans in Congress, the Tea Party crowd, the Democrats, the guy down the street, or your friends from college. The answer is pretty simple, put your big boy pants or big girl pants on and get to work. If you are Congress then start doing the things you said you were going to do, since the Pledge was pretty fricking low bar, then do it. The Tea Party continue to keep the pressure on until we turn Washington around, which won't be completely done until after at least the 2016 election. Turning the ship of state takes years for any lasting change to truly occur, so thankfully the damage done over the last two if properly dismantled should have very little overall affect other than serving as a warning sign to future generations to stop treating the presidential elections like voting for high school class president.
We must stay vigilant during the lame duck session, but really any bill written can be repealed by another. I say we work on stabilizing the playing field for business and let them know they can start hiring again. We need to put an end to unfair trade that prevents us from competing in world markets, while letting China flood our markets. There are ways to stop the flood and put Americans back to work, by simply using the tools available to us thanks to our "friends" at the WTO. If you are in a trade deficit then you can raise tariffs to reduce the deficit, until trade is actually fair. We do this and lower corporate tax rates, we make it worthwhile to start making stuff in America again. This is not rocket science, but it is tough medicine for tough times because all those cheap products at Walmart are going to start costing more before the jobs arrive. Hopefully, we can offset that by the cut in corporate tax and stop monkeying with regulations. If stabilizing the economy and returning jobs to America seem like loser plans then you are in the wrong business.
The new Congress needs to play hard ball with the President and send him a budget that freezes federal spending at 2008 levels (not great, but a start) and demand a 10% reduction in the federal workforce or a 10% pay cut for all federal workers. If the President or the Senate balk then send them the next one for 15% and then next for 20%. If you want to reduce government then do it and have some stones about it. Don't worry about the next election, worry about doing what you promised. You show the country that you are dead serious about getting government spending under control and reducing the size of it the people will come to you. I know this will be foreign to most of the career politicians to actually do what they were elected to do, you will have to just have to trust me on this one. The public does not mind paying taxes, but they hate paying taxes and seeing their money pissed away by corrupt politicians and overpaid government workers, both of which give piss poor service for the money they are paid.
As for the rest of us, we need to first keep the pressure on, but secondly we need to look at ways to support and help where ever we can. We are all in this together and we sink or swim as a nation by our individual efforts to support the whole. We need to encourage our elected officials to make hard choices and reward those who do. We need to call out those who don't. We need to do our homework and let our representatives know what they need to be doing. I know this hasn't always been successful in the past, but across the nation there are 680 newly elected republican representatives and they need to be reminded of who they work for so they don't lose their minds. We need to help each other and ourselves where we can and do the things we know are right, like saving some money and paying off our own debt. I know that this won't spur our consumer economy, but it is going to take time to get America working again, so lets not keep sending what we do have to the Middle East and China.
I know I am an isolationist and you are correct, but those that do have should help those who don't and keep things moving the best that they can. Go through your closet and donate your old clothes, go out to eat at a restaurant that you can afford, donate your time to help some one else, and just keep keeping on until this mess starts to clear up. There is always the hope of a new dawn, but you have to work to make it through the night.