Published in the Concerned Center Citizens Review September, 2019
By Joseph Batory
The 2020 Presidential Election is approaching and the president along with some of the candidates running against him are already jockeying for political advantages using self-serving rhetoric and personal attacks. Amidst this type of electioneering, the key issues facing America need to be addressed:
Protect The Environment: The recent National Climate Assessment Report developed by 300 world class scientists has issued a clear warning that the earth is continuing to warm because of human-created fossil fuel emissions. These scientists concluded that ignoring the problem will produce more dangerous climate-related disasters including killer hurricanes, floods, droughts, extreme precipitation, forest fires, and intense heat waves. Ignoring measures to reduce climate change is a recipe for disaster. Additionally, before he departed his position as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt spent 16 months destroying a dozen EPA regulations that prevent pollution and environmental hazards. Responsible government needs to confront these realities.
Improve and Enhance the Affordable Health Care Act: Many elected officials have vilified President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. However, the reality is that after multiple political failures to expand medical care across America over decades, President Obama is the one who finally succeeded. The Affordable Care Act has now produced health coverage for 20 million additional Americans. It has protected 100+ million citizens with pre-existing conditions. And it allows young adults to stay on parent plans until 26. Improving and building onto that accomplishment makes much more sense than trying to destroy or reinvent The Affordable Health Care Act.
Legislate New Gun Control Measures: The latest episodes of mass killings were followed by numerous political hypocrites offering empty “thoughts and prayers.” But what is really needed is Congressional action to curtail this American epidemic of killing. The United States is 4.4 percent of the global population with ownership of 42 percent of the world’s guns.
Better Foreign Policy Needed: North Korea has now resumed missile testing. Human rights abuses in North Korea and China are still rampant. The USA relationship with Iran is a disaster. Russian meddling in the last election via Vladimir Putin’s orders has been well-documented and more is assured. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been given a free pass on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And the State Department is now full of absent or “acting” officials. The world is more dangerous than ever.
Create A More Equal America: The USA’s disgraceful poverty rate has evoked little concern as a campaign issue. Yet the latest U.S. Census indicates that about 40 million Americans live in poverty. One in five American children live in poverty, the highest rate among all developed nations. And 500,000 homeless sleep on the streets every night. How can politicians keep ignoring this reality?
Enhance Education for All: This is the “lost issue” among our politicians. Many of our economic competitors have already prioritized heavy investments in universal Pre-K education for all children in their countries. These nations understand far better than the USA that universal Pre-K will yield future economic as well as societal benefits.
Control the Deficit: The USA federal budget deficit will be $1.1 trillion in FY 2020. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the 2017 tax giveaway to corporations and the rich will add $1.9 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade. This is not responsible government.