September 3, 2022

Government As Problem Solver

Problem Solver Districts
The United States government has only solved a handful of really big problems in its 233-year history as an independent polity (notice the clever insertion of the company name here). By my estimation, the government: 1.) ended slavery; 2.) beat Hitler; 3.) built the interstate highway system; and 4.) won the Cold War. Some nitpickers might argue that since the same gangsters who ran the Soviet Union now also run Russia (with the same nuclear warheads aimed at us), accomplishment 'number four' might be a stretch. In any event, even four big solutions in 233 years is only about one every 58 years or so. Considering the resources and power of the US government—it's not really all that impressive.

Part of the problem is that both of our major political parties aren't really focused on solving the actual  problems that face every-day Americans. They are both locked into their ideological silos—scoring political points and implementing largely ineffective public policies. For example, the right has always advocated for a strong defense. But, while we have the world's most powerful military, we can't seem to win any wars. The left has been a tireless supporter of public education. We have spent trillions on our schools—but our kids fall further and further behind the rest of the world academically.

There are a few brave souls in Congress who have banded together to try to actually accomplish things through public policy. In the House of Representatives, there's the Problem Solvers Caucus. They are a bi-partisan group—equally made up of Republicans and Democrats—that have called on both parties to focus on a National Strategic Agenda. This agenda includes: job creation, balancing the federal budget, truly securing Medicare and Social Security (not just placing band-aids on them) and fostering energy security. All are common sense no-brainers. But these courageous 58 House members struggle to be heard.

The effectives of our national government would be significantly enhanced if more candidates of both parties campaigned on and won with a pledge to actually get stuff done—or get voted out.