Pragmatic Idealism: What We Need From Our Public Officials

We have often witnessed, either from the pragmatic88 left, or right, a significant amount of pulling, and attempting to bring policies, either to one pole, or the other. It seems, the Republican Party, was affected, about a decade ago, by the so – called, Tea Party, whose initial appeal, focused on less government, but, once in office, appears to be more, about driving the party, and the overall American system, to the right. The three – term Mayor, of New York City, who is also, one of the ten wealthiest Americans, Michael Bloomberg, often declared, his belief, effective public leadership, must be from the middle/ center, and his policies, appeared pragmatic, prepared, and ready, While his social positions, were somewhat to the left – of – center, his economic mindset, was conservative, and responsible. Today, however, we appear to be witnessing, in many layers of government, especially the national stage, a degree of stagnation, and ineffectiveness, and little attempt at any meetings – of – the – minds, and/ or seeking common ground, for the best interests of most. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly. review, consider, and discuss, why, we need, to elect individuals, who seek change, for the better, but do so, by seeking viable options and alternatives, which are pragmatic, enough, to be realistic and achievable.

1. Medical and health – care, and insurance: Aren’t you tired of this rhetorical battle, between those who simply, complain about Obamacare, but whose alternatives, are not only far worse, but fiscally irresponsible and hurts those citizens, who need it most? However, we must beware, those on the so – called, left, who keep calling for Single Payer (Medicare – for – All), also, ignore, the political realities, as well as the fiscal/ financial challenges, and the weaknesses in the system of Medicare, we presently have. Remember, people pay into Medicare, their entire working lives, and, when they retire, Part B (Medical Expenses) are only 80% – paid for! In addition, retirees (in fact, anyone over 65), must pay $134 per month, and, to be covered, for the balance, must purchase co – insurance (for example, the best of the senior plans, costs a little over $300 per month). In addition, while doctors might be willing to accept these lower reimbursements, for a portion of their patients, why would doctors (who pay large sums for education, setting up their offices, Malpractice Insurance, etc), accept these lower amounts, for all their patients. Perhaps this system might work, but it must be better – developed, based on reality, rather than empty rhetoric and promises!

2. Taxes: Very few people like paying taxes, so politicians often, promise to cut these, in order to become popular! However, the Tea Party politicians, who said they were there, to serve us, have emphasized providing most of these benefits, to the wealthiest, and the corporations. Unfortunately, this, Trickle – Down Economics, has failed, whenever it’s been attempted, because it rarely works, as promised.

3. Spending: The policies of those supporting President Trump, have introduced plans, such as the tax legislation, tariffs, etc, which have created record – setting national deficits. The last surplus budget was in the final years of President Bill Clinton, and, although, we were warned, of the need to be responsible, as far back as the late 1970’s, by President Jimmy Carter, who called for zero – based budgeting, the politicians have opted for populist, but irresponsible leadership!

Why do we need pragmatic idealism? Idealism – for seeking the best, we can be, but pragmatic, to bring it beyond the empty promises, and rhetoric, and towards reality, and improvement!

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