America rejected the Tea Party today. Half a dozen GOP senator seats went democratic. NH went all blue: the presidency, the governorship and the house.
America rejected the Tea Parth Libertarian utopia and minimalist anti-tax radical government philosophy. Now its up to the president to demonstrate that he can do more then bring America back from the economic brink. That he can build a strong economy and a strong nation based on a strong middle class.
Bill Clinton did it. Kennedy did it. Truman did it. Roosevelt did it. But making Government work in 2012 will require continued change and innovation by the Obama administration.
The big challenge is to make government work more effectively. And that requires a continued willingness to use the best ideas from anywhere: new democrats, compassionate conservatives, international competitors in Europe and Asia.
Growth and a balanced budget requires a fairer tax system. That can be realized with a lot less pumping around of money, by limiting deductions for the higher income earners.
Smart government requires more effective “results based” regulations, rather than the detailed operational descriptions that dominated recent laws. There needs to be more focus on promoting competition and limiting “too big to fail” companies and less on bureaucratic control. That is especially true for the financial sector, where the regulated control the regulators instead of the other way round.
We need smarter solutions. It worked in the 90s. We can do it again.
Better high schools requires more power to teachers, more parent choice and less bureaucratic control. Better charter schools systems are a critical component of that.
Improving our universities in a truly international educational market requires new thinking about student loans
Lots of practical things need to be done on reducing administrative burdens of health care, taxes, business family affairs. We need to move from paper based records to on-line services that serve our citizens better, cut government costs and enable more information based policy. Its necessary, but also boring, wonky stuff.
Creating smarter government requires going back to the hard work of Al Gore's partnership for reinventing government. Improving the delivery of government services is going to be critical. And the best democratic, republican and international ideas need to be used if the US wants to remain the most competitive economy in the world. Obama can do that now!
The federal government represents between 17 and 25% of the national economy. We can only be successful if we make sure that government supports our economy. That it doesn't slow it down. Ever. The democratic party has done it before and knows what to do. It already set the right objectives. Now we need to bring together the means and coalitions that will make smarter and better Government happen.