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Commentary by Congressman Lester Wolff (Ret)

Regardless of how you approach the “cliffhanger” , it all comes down to politics and how to overcome political intransigence and those doomsday obstructionist naysayers to achieve a solution for the real problems of jobs , the deficit .long and short term solutions and political survival . We have had enough of those “elected and self elected “whose crystal balls have shattered and are now Humpty Dumptys .

 It is with “tongue in cheek”,( or maybe not “tongue in cheek”), that I offer up as an immediate solution A proposal by the President to couple his program of tax reform with a return to “earmarks” on a grand scale. Yes, many might say this is a hair brained idea but “who is there among you that shall cast the first stone “.

Let no one be mislead , I do not question the patriotic motivations of Members . However, deep down, many have survival as a prime concern and by trying to dig their heels in and demagogue they solidify their constituent appeal . It is with this underpinning I suggest a program package including the Presidents tax proposal of tax reform and allocating $100 million to each congressional district for infrastructure improvements, ( and infrastructure alone, creating value ) contracted out and channeled through the private sector (similar to how we spend our defense dollars ) . It would be costly… ( 43.5 billion dollars), but it would answer many of the immediate problems we face and provide ,if properly administered (and that I question ) a move toward the long term vehicle for debt reduction.

This achieves Job creation making taxpayers out of dependency( the unemployed ) with a sufficient commercial appeal that would also rebuild our decaying infrastructure and make the Members “ an offer they can’t refuse” If they did, we can go directly to the congressional constituents and give them the choice of their Congressman or direct local attention to their community

This is not “kicking the can down the road” but is a realistic realpolitik approach, providing a mechanism for immediate economic stabilization and the foundation of long term stability

Will anyone listen ? Perhaps not . But someone who has been there ………. I was a Member for 8 terms and I don’t want to give the impression that survival was my motivation ) there were always some who leaned over to me and said “hey if you vote for that you will not be reelected. )has to give voice to an underlying obstacle that is truly difficult to surmount. 

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