The biggest problem facing Americans? According to a Gallup poll, for the second year in a row, it’s our government.
Maybe I should say “the government.” Few think it represents us. Which is sort of a big problem for a representative government.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump says our leaders are “stupid.” Were that the case, it’d be easier to correct. The reality is worse.
We have an ethical problem in government. Those entrusted to represent us represent, instead, themselves. And their cronies. And special interests.
Charged with creating a level playing field where we can all succeed through hard work, our elected officialdom have tilted that field. Oh, they’re doing just swell. The rest of us? Not so well.
Elected officials from Washington to state capitols have hiked up their pay, finagled perks, per diems and other bennies, and rewarded themselves with lavish pensions. Meanwhile, most Americans lack even a 401K to help save for retirement, much less a pension beyond a meager (and politician-imperiled) Social Security safety net.
Let’s end pensions for politicians, nudging them to return to our world. And let’s change the rules so they work serving the public, not for private gain.
Can we count on our elected representatives to rectify their ethical lapses? Not on your life. We need to do it ourselves, using ballot initiatives to put ethics first.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.