Miller: It’s up to us to hold our government accountable
Special to the Tribune
It’s January, the time for Americans to make resolutions and buy memberships to gyms. We throw away our cigarettes by the thousands and vow to fit into those pants that are two sizes too small. It’s all got me thinking, if the people of America are willing to tackle self-improvement, then what sort of New Year’s resolutions should America’s government make? Here are a few of the top pledges for 2014 that I think both sides of the political aisle need to improve on:
Stop smoking. The American people are choking on the special interest, secondhand smoke cloud hovering over Capitol Hill. It’s time to put down your special interest cigarettes, Washington! You have smoked enough of lobbyist’s theoretical tobacco to give all of Congress and the White House emphysema by now. Special interest groups are so busy handing out their addictive substances, namely money and power, that they don’t care who they hurt in the process. At this point, every senator, congressman, and president is addicted. Candidates are literally dependent on these groups to get them elected. Once elected, officials are enslaved by the promises they made to these groups to get elected in the first place and the addictive cycle continues. It’s time for the American people to stage an intervention. Like any other drug, the only way to help our elected officials quit this addictive cycle is with tough love. If a candidate loses enough voters because of the special interests they are beholding to, that candidate just might kick the habit.
Cut the fat. Stand in front of the mirror, Washington! You could stand to lose a few pounds and I don’t mean more workout sessions at the multi-million dollar gym Congress built for themselves. It’s high time for every federal agency and program to trim the fat off of their over-stuffed, corpulent budgets. Every elected official should be biking, hiking and jogging their way to a leaner budget in 2014. American taxpayers are tired of being used and abused like an ATM machine in Beverly Hills. The average taxpayer is living paycheck to paycheck in the era of million-dollar government agency “work parties” and gigantic bonuses for ineffective idiots. We are breaking under the weight of our own debt. Too many overlapping programs and too little oversight has created a top heavy environment where the real needs of our country are rarely met with competence and efficiency. If every senator and congressman hopped on the treadmill of the average taxpayer and saw things from our financial perspective, this country would be a healthier place.
Take out the trash. If 2013 was the year of the political scandal, then let’s make 2014 the year of taking out the trash. Nobody doubts that politicians have quite a few skeletons in their closets, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to pull out a dustpan and get to work. Last year Americans were forced to endure everything from the National Security Agency bugging their phones to the Internal Revenue Service targeting them for their politics. Sadly, there were probably quite a few scandals that were simply swept under the rug before voters noticed the dirt. As long as there is politics there will always be political scandals, but voters have the opportunity this year to plug in a vacuum and tidy up the mess. Americans should vote for the cleanest candidates we can find and keep a close eye on how “transparent” their actions really are. There is no maid service that will clean up the mess for us, we’re going to have to do that for ourselves.
Learn from lessons of the past. Well, 2013 has certainly been a banner year for that. Scandals, tragedies, and triumphs are all influential teachers, but history is the best teacher of all. History tells us that a limited government provides the most freedom with the least possibility of deception and corruption. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more power the government has to interfere, intervene, and intercept our lives, the more power it takes away from “We the People.” Our forefathers created a Constitution and a government that was meant to learn from the mistakes of the past. Today’s government must resolve to learn from everything our forefathers have done and then humbly follow their lead.
My final resolution is for all Americans. We must resolve to control what we can, our votes, our integrity, our choices, our voices and pray for God’s help with the rest.
— Tiffany Miller is a Tahoe resident and mother. Visit her website at http://mycrayonbox.org.