It’s no secret that many Americans believe our country has lost its way. A recent Bloomberg poll showed as many as 68 percent feel the United States is heading in the wrong direction. That is a very high number, suggesting the dissatisfaction with our nation’s trajectory defies partisan, demographic or geographic lines.
Across a range of issues from the economy and national security to health care and taxes, people have lost confidence in where we are heading. And, while electing a new president in November will certainly change the landscape one way or another, I believe Congress has a responsibility to lead with its own ideas rather than watching (or complaining) from the sidelines.
That’s why House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, have come forward with an agenda of forward-thinking policy measures meant to communicate clearly and directly with the American people our plan for the future. It’s called “A Better Way,” and it is our blueprint for using responsible, conservative policy ideas to restore a confident America. Here are the basics:
Poverty: Fifty years after “The Great Society,” our welfare system isn’t working. Too many families who depend on the government for help wind up trapped in poverty for generations. Our vision is to reward work, rather than replacing it, while enhancing job training efforts that offer more Americans the skills they need to get jobs and build self-sufficiency.
The Economy: American families are feeling the squeeze of rising costs for goods and services without a rise in incomes to meet it. We believe a smarter approach to regulations can allow job-creating small businesses to thrive while also offering the protections we expect.
Tax Reform: Probably the quickest way to improve economic conditions for all Americans is to deliver a simpler, fairer, flatter tax code. Our plan would not just lower taxes, but make them more workable for families, more competitive for American businesses and better-aimed at jumpstarting job growth.
National Security: The security of the American people must always be our first priority. Our military and law enforcement agencies do tremendous work to keep us safe, but we believe we can enact better policies to support their efforts. Our vision is renewing the commitment to defeating radical Islamic terrorism overseas, securing our borders and stopping cyber attacks here at home, and bolstering global American influence through strong foreign policy that restores our geo-political leadership.
Constitutional balance: While it might not make the news every day, the slow erosion of the Constitutional separation of powers is a real threat to our government as Americans have known it for more than 200 years. Congress must reassert its Constitutional authority, and make policy and spending decisions more transparent and accountable to people we represent.
Health Care: I don’t know how high health care costs have to rise to make it plainly obvious that Obamacare hasn’t worked. We believe patient-centered reforms based on free market principles that deliver more choices, lower costs and more flexibility to consumers are a much better way.
These are mere snapshots of much more substantial policy ideas. I encourage you to read the full “Better Way” agenda online at www.Better.gop.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband, Riley, and their two children.