In her column Saturday, Gail Collins calls Americans Elect "the worst idea." How sad. Gail is a terrific columnist, one of my favorites. She has a marvelous and devastating sense of humor and can make mince meat of politicians' hypocrisy and pretensions. She's also on the right side on virtually all issues.
But she's clearly terrified that President Obama will lose the election to Mitt Romney. Hence, she asserted that Americans Elect -- an open movement to get a non-partisan or bi-partisan ticket on the presidential ballot in November -- which could draw votes from the president (but apparently not Romney? -- is a terrible thing.
I'm running for Americans Elect's nomination, so I was naturally very unhappy to read Gail's column. Surely Gail realizes that same old, same old, when it comes to politics will mean four more years of dysfunctional government with each party blocking the other's agenda. Meanwhile, the patient, our economy and its fiscal policies, will get far worse. The patient is already on his death bed and can only be saved by policies that the extremes of both parties will reject.
But the president is catering to his extreme left wing, offering no credible solution to the nation's runaway deficits, or to out-of-control spending on health care, or to our gravely insolvent, user nightmare called the Social Security system. He's left Wall Street to run rough shod over Main Street, and has no plans to fix our awful personal income tax system beyond raising its top rate. His well intentioned Affordable Care Act may be overturned because it used politically expedient, but potentially un-Constitutional language. Energy policy remains incoherent, immigration policy is on hold, and education policy is failing. The president has done well to extract us from Iraq, but is leaving us in Afghanistan for two years to no clear purpose, but with sure loss of life and limb among our brave young servicemen and servicewomen, not to mention Afghan civilians.
"Yes we can." has turned into "No we can't." And this is what Gail is desperate to preserve?
As for the presumptive heir to the Republican party, Mr. Romney, we have a man with no discernable beliefs that aren't up for auction. A man who will say anything to get elected is a man who may do anything in office if he is. His message to the nation's 50 million uninsured appears to be, "Don't get sick." His tax proposals appear, at least on first glance, to help the rich, himself included. His Social Security plans are vague and appear to do far too little far too late to keep the system, which is in the worst fiscal shape in its history, solvent. His energy policy is drill and pollute till the cows come crawling home on their last breath. His take on Wall Street is it can do no harm, when the harm it's done is in plain and horrible sight. And he'd apparently leave us in Afghanistan for the next 50 years to show he's as tough as whom? George W. Bush?
Worse yet, from Gail's perspective, were Romney elected, she'd have to start each column with a reference to Romney's driving his car with this dog strapped to the roof. Having written umpteen columns making this point, there'd be no way for her to stop and her readers would finally say "enough."
Gail, let me talk to you directly -- one grownup to another. Fear is no basis for choosing our leaders. Americans Elect may be the country's only hope of staving off indefinite political gridlock and watching the country continue to slide down hill. You are a serious person, not just a funny person. You need to suspend your humor and your focus on personalities, primadonnas, sexual escapades, and politicians who speak for God, and write about something boring, but useful, for a change.
For starters you could look at the policies I lay out at www.kotlikoff2012.org and www.thepurpleplans.org. You should also look at the policy plans of the other declared candidates on Americans Elect. In short, you need to darken up. America's future is no joke. President Obama is no savior. If he were, we'd not have 27 million Americans out of work or short on work, a banking system that's worse than when he took office, a Social Security system whose present value funding shortfall is larger than when he took office, a federal debt that's growing exponentially, an ever worsening environment, a failing education system, a health care system that's driving us broke, a tax system that's a travesty, a mounting death and injury toll in Afghanistan, and an ever increasing chance of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.
Our county is in terrible trouble. And Gail, as much as I love you, if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem.