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Walter's Thoughts

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Independent Democrat?

At an event I was at recently, someone posed the question "What does Independent Democrat mean, anyway?"

I launched into a brief discussion of how beliefs and political parties no longer align well with what many people I run into believe. There are fiscal conservatives in both parties, those who believe in broader and narrower scope for government action in both parties, and those who believe in fundamental liberties in both parties. There are many who believe in fiscal responsibility coupled with government actions enhancing opportunity. There is a focus on "one side" or the "other side" winning, not how we solve the problems we face together.

As I reflected later, however, I'm not sure that I really answered the question in a meaningful way. What do I mean when I label myself as an "Independent Democrat" in this campaign?

Common sense tax policy

This is a great baselinescenario blog about why relatively small increases in taxes make a big difference: http://baselinescenario.com/2011/10/11/bathtubs-for-beginners/?utm_sourc....

We should let the Bush (and now Obama) tax cuts expire, and enact fundamental changes in the tax code to enhance fairness.

...over ten years. Over ten years????

I've been busy – I work for a living – so this is a little delayed.

How many times in listening to the news related to budgetary and fiscal matters have you heard someone say "leading to a savings (or shortfall) of [inserts huge number of trillions of dollars of your choosing here] over the next 10 years! Meanwhile, Congress has failed to enact a budget for the next fiscal year that begins this month, instead choosing to continue government operations under a short-term continuing resolution.

"Waste, Fraud and Abuse"

We hear these words all too often, even when the speaker can't identify particulars that make a difference.

In http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/opinion/sunday/runaway-spending-on-war..., referring to the report of the Commission on Wartime Contracting some aspects — constituting between 15% and 29% of expenditures — are actually identified in detail:

A True Conservative, Great American

I was reminded today of Dwight Eisenhower. A master of war, during peacetime he exemplified American ideals and principles. How far we have strayed. An excerpt from his farewell address (http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/dwightdeisenhowerfarewell.html):

Amen To This

Paul Krugman eloquently expresses how I feel about President Bush's response to the events of September 11, 2011. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/more-about-the-911-anniversary/

A Start

The plan proposed by President Obama, while inadequate, is a step in the right direction, and should be passed by Congress. The macroeconomic lessons of the Great Depression are all too clear, and are being ignored.

At the same time, we must turn our attention to strategic considerations: how do we best facilitate growth in the U.S. economy, while over the longer term balancing government revenues with spending.

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