If I spent all my time at our farm in Illinois, it wouldn’t be as revealing to me. I wouldn’t get this dose of reality that makes me sit up and take notice when I go there. It would just be the same old, same old thing. I’ve been on the farm this week – in the barns, talking to the men that do the work day to day. I met and talked to my neighbors, friends, and family.
The attitudes, ideas, and passions bubbling in heartland America are not the traditional voices heard in Washington, D.C. in the halls of Congress, at cocktail parties, and official meetings.
Maybe when the new Congress gets seated, and as the real strength of the Tea Party becomes fully appreciated, we will start to notice a change in Washington that more accurately reflects the mood of the country.
Here is what I am talking about. My farmer friends have their own priority issues. You might think the first thing on their mind would be – what’s the future of farm program supports? No way. Not a word about that.
At the top of their list is – government is too big and spends too much money. As families and small businessmen, they know they can’t live beyond their means. They can’t spend 40% more than they earn year after year. They reminded me that they can’t print their own money, and that China won’t loan them any money.
Erskin Bowles, Co-Chairman of the President’s Fiscal Commission, recently said, “The era of deficit denial is over.” Let’s hope he is right.
Their second highest priority is to stop the rush to regulate, especially the EPA. Property rights are a farmer priority.
The third priority concern, especially coming from women more than men, is the war in Afghanistan. It’s Obama’s war now and, after 10 years, it has gone on long enough. Our annual casualty numbers have escalated the past 2 years at 455 this year and rising every week. We don’t want to be policeman to the world. We can’t afford it and it’s not our responsibility.
A year and a half ago in talking about our troops in Afghanistan, I said, “Bring them home.” I haven’t changed my mind.
Heartland America has got it right. Now let’s hope Washington is listening.
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com
Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.