As the New Year begins, I have been thinking about what my first write up would be for 2011. I have to admit (and hopefully I’m not the only person out there) that I’m tired. I’m abnormally exhausted. Maybe it’s the combination of the in-laws coming to visit, too much eggnog (those who know me know that it is actually beer), far too much work and too much fun with the kids. Any way you slice it, I hope that 2011 finds each of you in a good position and that during the coming months things will continue to improve for each of you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 was the beginning of the 112th congress. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi once again exchanged the gavel used by the speaker of the house. This year seems to be the beginning of a more partisan house than we’ve seen in years though. Since November battle lines have been drawn by the congressmen/congresswomen. Republicans have promised to fulfill promises they made to their base about repealing “Obamacare” and to bring our country back to the conservative values that it was founded on.

It just seems like yesterday that we heard political ad after political ad. Does anyone remember that like a nightmare? I swore if I heard one more person try to align themselves with Ronald Reagan I would get sick. That seemed to be the war cry of those wanting to poise themselves opposite of the Obama administration. Reaganomics was a term coined in the 80’s for simple trickledown economics. It isn’t a new idea and is heavily documented in econ book after econ book. This is the direction many people believe we should be moving back to—this is likely what is spurring the Reagan comparisons.

So, what are the tasks that John Boehner, the Republicans and the few conservative Democrats in this new Congress would like to take on?

  1. Repeal “Obamacare”. We all know that this won’t happen right now. The question is will they make the statement and stand against the healthcare changes like they said that they would? The two biggest complaints that people have with the healthcare law is that this behemoth change now mandates healthcare coverage and that it is expensive…very expensive. Some people were silly enough to believe that this wouldn’t cost us anything. I telecommute for a company that employs some people working in health insurance. I have a desk within earshot of reps answering phones. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard these reps trying to explain to callers that they can’t just call up the insurance company and ask for the free Obama Healthcare Plan.
  2. Control spending. Everyone has an opinion on the spending. Peggy the Mooch thinks we ought to spend more to pay for the gas in her tank and her mortgage. Others think that we need to get back to decreased public spending and allow people to become more self-sufficient. It does seem that we have created this enormous government tit that the entire country has latched on to and is working to suck dry. Everyone from the execs at Goldman Sachs to Peggy the Mooch is connected. Are they wrong for doing so? Hell no, I can’t blame Peggy for taking advantage of some free goods. If people are going to give it away why wouldn’t you take it? I do blame her for being naive enough to believe Obama was going to be her Obama Clause though. People, we’re enabling this….this is our fault and we need to fix it. Someone created the fictional character Hugh Jidette to make light of the situation, but don’t take it too lightly; this is happening. This week the House votes on a 5% cut across the board to their own spending budgets…good start, but don’t stop there. Just keep thinking smaller government.
  3. Stimulate the economy and create more jobs. I’m lumping them together which may not be wise. I’ve taken fewer than 10 econ classes and in my simple world it seems like the two go hand in hand, but that may be naive of me. No, I don’t have the answer; I’m not foolish enough to believe that a simple IT guy will come up with a plan to save the free world economy. I can only suggest that we look back at what hasn’t worked, consult with those that are much wiser and do something about it. If we don’t take action nothing will improve.
  4. Give John Boehner strength. Yes, John Boehner the gravelly voiced speaker is a softie. He has been known to shed a tear at those moments where emotions run high. No, not just before he pushes Nancy Pelosi off the speaker’s podium…more like when Harry Reid retained office or something tender happens within his family.

This year will be hard on politicians, pundits and constituents. We are likely going to be at odds with one another even more after 2011 ends. Let’s hope that in the process that we don’t have any additional wars break out, any nuclear fallout from Iran, Korea, China, Venezuela, etc. Let’s hope that our economy improves and we begin to feel like the confident leaders of the free world we are used to being. Let’s hope that jobs are created and more American’s are put back to work. Let’s hope that people can start to see some common ground and reduce the political walls that have built up. Finally, let’s pray that God leads our President, our Congress and blesses our troops with safety, wisdom and courage in this New Year.