No. 396

One time I heard a cute story about this old boy who stopped by one day to take his preacher fishing. No sooner than they got to the lake, poles rigged and hooks in the water that this old boy hooked the biggest bass you could ever imagine. It had to weigh over ten pounds. He fought that fish for what seemed like 30 minutes and it went around and under the boat several times and finally the fish seemed to be tiring. A few minutes later the fish came to the surface and as he was about ready to land him, the fish made one last lunge and got off. This fella was so mad that the threw his pole down in the middle of the boat, stomped it, and said, "Preacher, one of us ought to say something."
To be sure, there is a time to say something and there is also a time to be quiet. On a more serious note I got a letter recently from Bob Sowell, who is a faithful reader of this column in the Hot Springs Sentinel Record. His letter had previously appeared in the Letters to the Editor page, but Bob felt that what he was saying needed to have much wider distribution. After reading his letter for the second time I whole-heartedly agree. In a moment I want to share portions of Bob's letter but the bottom line is what 'partisanship and bickering' is doing to our collective national interests. It is literally doing us in and is resulting in a sea of red ink.
When I first read what Bob Sowell was saying I realized that it was a warning, not a "cry wolf" warning, but a real warning to every citizen and taxpayer in our nation. If not heeded, the long-term consequences can be devastating. Here I was reminded of Paul Revere's midnight ride to warn his fellow patriots that the British were coming and his now famous signal, "One if by land, two if by sea." After you read this you may agree, it's time for Paul to ride again.
"Apart from national defense which we all have an interest in, there is now a climate in Washington where politicians continue to make partisan accusations and self-serving recommendations, but nothing is being said or done to affect a change in the downhill slide in our economy. Washington overflows with party-bashing artificial eloquence, but the real focus is on voter appeasement rather than what is best for our country. The republicans claim we need more tax cuts so industry can provide more jobs, the democrats claim we need more tax increases to support the growing number of people who need jobs. Neither plan has merit because the new jobs provided by our tax cuts are going to foreign countries.
This increases the tax burden on a decreasing number of employed Americans who support the increasing number of unemployed Americans, as well as the Washington politicians who do not pay any Social Security taxes, but continue to give themselves hefty pay raises. National bankruptcy is certain unless there is a change. While our federal deficit is growing out of control the governors are crying for much needed federal funds to shore up the shortfall in state revenues. Meanwhile our congress is conspicuously silent on any bipartisan fiscal solution. They are ignoring the devastating impact of the Free Trade agreements that send USA jobs to other countries, and that Foreign Aid is being used to build armies. Sharing food to feed the hungry is commendable, but supplying materials and technology to make war is inexcusable.
Washington politicians continue to focus on pork barrel spending for reelection while disregarding the imminent problem of national bankruptcy. Big business in America is allowed to move their production to poverty stricken countries where there is an abundance of cheap and frequently child labor, then bring those products back and sell them for huge profits to the very people who were put out of work when they left. It is apparent that an attitude adjustment is overdue throughout our country. Scholarly written party-bashing articles present much truth in these letters, but when are we going to face up to the fact that partisanship is not the solution to our problems."
I believe you will agree that in most cases Bob Sowell has hit the nail on the head. If you have read my column for very long you know that I don't get involved in partisan politics. My main objective is two fold. First, I want to know if it's the truth and just as importantly, is it right and good for our nation. Partisanship is not the answer. In fact it is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. We need people in the U.S. Congress who will do what is right for America. There are only 535 members in both houses and I hope my friends across the country will send this column to each one of them. It's time for Paul to ride again. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)