Paul Myrick

When you hear the words “Founding Fathers,” what do you envision? Do you see the ideal and almost mythical versions of those men from history books in school? Or instead do you see a more realistic view? Hopefully you see something far different than our current elected leaders.

I have always enjoyed reading about the men and women that shaped our country. The more I read, the more I realize how flawed they were. Rather than making me think less of them, it actually helps me relate to them. We can now choose to focus on their many mistakes or we can focus on their accomplishments. They created our system of government but I believe they never intended for things to be as they are today.

Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers in 1787: “Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.” Such a simple concept but one that we failed to see happening before our eyes.

Our society has slowly but surely stopped being informed and involved in our own government, which is no different than handing over the keys.

When did being a politician become a career choice? Let’s take a look at our senate as an example. Consider that during the very first congress, senators only received a per diem of $6.00. This was meant to cover their travel and housing costs, as well as make up for any lost income from their jobs they were away from (yes, they had real jobs then). Back then, being an elected official was viewed as a hardship and something to be done with a sense of duty or service.

Fast forward to 2020 and our senators are being paid $174,000 per year plus multiple benefits. If you go to www.senate.gov you can look at salary/benefit information as well as budget/spending amounts which will likely make you sick. I won’t bore you by listing it here but I encourage you to look at it yourself. The whole thing is confusing and filled with overlapping expense descriptions. Our government seems to love a confused public.

Ask yourself these questions: Would we be better off without “career politicians” paid extremely well by our tax dollars, with healthcare and pensions paid for by our tax dollars and who all seem to amass considerable wealth during or soon after their time in office?

Would you rather see term limits imposed? Would you rather see our elected officials on the same healthcare and retirement systems we are on? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then ask yourself what you can do about it.

Lucky for us, we have the power to influence our leaders. If the majority of us write emails and/or letters telling our leaders how we feel, they will have no choice but to listen. Then, if they fail to act (which is likely) we have the power to vote them out of office and replace them with a candidate that supports our ideals.

Thomas Jefferson said: “The public debt is the greatest of dangers to be feared by a republican government.”

I happen to agree with him. The United States of America has been by far the most generous nation to ever exist. We give billions of dollars to other countries each year on top of the hundreds of billions we spend each year domestically taking care of the elderly, those unable or unwilling to work and, in many cases, those who are not even citizens of our country.

There is always a debate raging about many of the entitlement programs in our country as well as whether or not we should allow more immigrants in. I am not writing in support of or against any program. I am writing to promote thought about our national debt.

If America’s economy collapses … where will the money come from for all those programs? Ever since Nixon took completely took us off the gold standard in 1971, there literally is nothing backing up our currency except the “full faith and credit of the U.S. government,” which should make us all very nervous.

I believe it is time to force our officials to balance our budget or not be paid themselves. We also need to get our “politicians” to pass legislation stating that any legislation, past, present or future must also apply to them.

If we can do these two things, we would be on the right track to improvement. I sincerely hope this is something we can all agree on, no matter which political party we support. If we all trade angry words and violent protests for peaceful debate and utilization of the ballot box, we will get much more accomplished.

Remember this, career politicians love a divided public. The establishment on both sides have purposely divided us and stoked our fears to keep us divided and distracted from the fact that they never actually get anything done for us.

Let’s get them back to doing the people’s work or send them packing.

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