BY SHARON MARTIN
God save us from politicians who think they can save us. We don’t need to be saved; we need to be included in the solutions to our problems. And it starts with conversation.
Pollsters and pundits are asking a lot of questions, but they have missed some important ones:
Why does America have the highest rate of incarceration in the world? Are the people in America more lawless than those in other countries? Is the war on drugs working? If it isn’t, what would it take to make the change from incarceration to drug treatment for addicts?
How would the average taxpayer be affected by a tax on those who earn more than $1 million a year? What are the documented effects of higher taxes on top wage earners?
What if we levied Social Security and Medicare fees on the first $200,000 in income? Would it insure that Medicare and Social Security would be available to those who have paid a lifetime of premiums? What affect would it have on high-income households?
Small businesses employ about half of all U.S. workers, according to government statistics. If we passed a universal health insurance bill so that small business owners didn’t have to struggle with rising health care premiums, could they hire more people?
What affect would access to preventive care for all Americans have on productivity?
Do doctors and nurses support the Affordable Care Act?
Should insurance company employees rather than medical professionals determine what treatments a patient can get?
Do high stakes tests improve student learning? Current statistics seem to suggest that they don’t, but they are highly profitable for a few companies. Do we have the will and the courage to change a system that doesn’t work?
Should teachers be part of the education reform conversation?
Do you know of any families who have been hurt by stricter regulations on banks and credit card companies? How about too little oversight?
Candidates, give the American people a little credit. We don’t need stump speeches and nifty one-liners. And we certainly don’t need a savior.
What we need is a listener-in-chief. That begins with the right questions from voters and honest answers from you.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer