Politics
Question for Today

Do Things Ever REALLY Change in Washington?

I fully admit I’m not into politics. And that means I don’t follow issues, etc. as much or as deeply as I should in order to be an informed citizen and voter. Sadly, I’m probably in the majority. I think it’s because I don’t feel like it really matters. I can’t speak for why others might be like this.

It seems every four years, as we get ready to vote for another President, we hear about all the wonderful things the candidates are going to do. How many of those things actually get done? And honestly, how many of them are even realistic?

One time, the Democrats make us crazy, so we vote in a Republican. Then that one does something we don’t like and we switch back to a Democrat. What are we accomplishing?

We hear it from other political officials as well. They make lots of promises during their campaigns but does anyone pay attention to what they do once they’re in office? Do they feel an obligation to do what they said they’d do? Are they just saying what we want to hear during the election process but then doing something else once they’re voted in?

Iowa Caucuses

Living in Iowa, we’ve been inundated with political ads and candidate visits for months now. I wish I thought it would end once the caucus is over (February 3), but it won’t. Things will continue to heat up throughout the year. I am so sick and tired of politics. Almost every single TV ad right now is political. Even on Pandora!! Ugh.

I’m really sick of Elizabeth Warren as it seems she only has one ad. It’s about eliminating corruption in Washington and focuses on how too many ambassadorships are given to big donors. According to her, it’s been going on for years by both Republicans and Democrats. Why is she spending so much energy on this? Has it affected my life negatively? What am I missing?

I don’t caucus. According to this recent article in Fortune, I’m not the only one.

Caucus turnout is often fairly limited in a state like Iowa. According to the Iowa Caucus Project, roughly 20% of eligible caucus-goers actually participate. But only members of the political party can attend, and with Independents or No Party voters comprising the largest portion of registered voters in Iowa at 36%, that means that the largest voting bloc in the state is technically not able to participate in the caucuses. 

I’m a registered Independent so I technically couldn’t participate if I wanted to, even though the young man who came to my door yesterday says I can. Would I feel differently if there was an issue I felt strongly about? Maybe. But it comes back to my feeling of, does it really matter?

I know some people don’t vote because they think their one little vote can’t make a difference. I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking. I do vote. You’d probably argue I’m not the most informed voter, but I do vote.

Some of the promises

I suppose I can’t say all these ads don’t make a difference. Most of them do make me think and I actually check further into what the candidates are saying.

The biggest issue to catch my attention is the statement that big corporations are not paying taxes. I thought, “that can’t be true, my company always paid a lot in taxes”. Imagine my surprise when I researched this claim and found my old company on the list of those not paying any federal taxes in 2018!!

No one is doing anything illegal. But we all know how complicated the tax laws are and there are employees who spend all their time looking for ways to legally save tax dollars. Hey, I do it myself with my personal taxes. Why wouldn’t a company do the same thing? I guess it depends on what the company is doing with those savings, right? Can we ever know? Can we say for sure the money saved isn’t being used for something good?

I’m also trying to figure out how we can all of a sudden start paying people on social security an extra $200 per month. If the current system is overwhelmed, how will dishing out more money work?

And where is Andrew Yang going to get $1.000 a month for everyone over the age of 18???? I guess with a new VAT (value-added tax). Oh my!!! Sounds like a vicious circle to me, with the cost of goods increasing to cover the tax, taking away more of our income. Yikes!!

I don’t know what to think about health insurance. Actually, I’ve always said the problem isn’t insurance; it’s health care. How can we lower health care costs so insurance isn’t that big of a deal? Medicare for all sounds great, but who pays for it?

With Tim’s injury, I’ve seen how the health care system works (as well as the government) and it’s no wonder things cost so much. Whatever happened to our goals of going paperless???? Health care and the government are the worst offenders!! So why would we want to put our health in the hands of the government?

How much government do we need?

This is the million dollar question, isn’t it? How have things become so complicated and unwieldy?

Over the years, as Congress has passed laws and made changes to policy, I’m convinced our best interests have not been considered. It goes back to making promises and then not following through. How many times are things we don’t know about attached to a bill, resulting in negative consequences?

I never participated in my company’s PAC. I don’t believe money should ever be a consideration in what gets the attention of Congress. I also think there should be limits on what a candidate can spend to run a campaign. How many good people don’t run for office because they don’t have or can’t raise the money needed?

I’m convinced term limits would eliminate a lot of the wasted time in Washington. If people knew they only had so much time to get things done, would they be more expedient? Would they focus more time and energy on what matters and less on what it takes to get re-elected? Or would they make an even bigger mess of things?

This whole impeachment thing is a waste of time. Maybe it’s valid. I don’t really know for sure. Where do I find factual information? Who can I trust to tell me the truth?

All I do know is, it’s taken up a LOT of time that should have been spent (and will continue to be needed) on the issues that really matter to us. Because you see, it doesn’t really matter who’s in the White House, does it? Well, maybe if Congress spends all of its time trying to get rid of whoever it is instead of doing their jobs.

Your turn

So, how do you answer my question for today? Will anything ever REALLY change in Washington and with politics?

Try to convince me.

14 Comments

  • Nancy

    This is one of the best political pieces I have read! Term limits ARE the answer but try to get it on a ballot. Everyone in Congress knows that America will overwhelmingly give them the boot. I am looking forward to the day that I, too, will be a retired introvert.

    • Retired Introvert

      Thanks Nancy. I hope someday someone will get term limits through. But I am doubtful. How long until you are retired? It’s wonderful. 😊

  • Caroline

    You make a lot of valid points! The whole political process can be so frustrating! It’s a full-time job to keep up with all the issues and who has time for that? I keep voting and doing my best to keep informed. It’s scary that so many people seem to use social media as their means to keep informed of what is happening in politics!
    Campaign promises are a pet peeve of mine- it seems politicians just make promises knowing what voters want to hear but who holds them accountable or even remembers what they promised after they are elected? Our present President promised to “balance the federal budget ‘fairly quickly’ and eliminate federal debt in 8 years.” Well,that isn’t happening! Federal debt is up! I’m sure he’s managed to keep some promises – oh yeah, he takes no salary! Big deal, he doesn’t need the salary – it’s easy to give away something you don’t need. To be fair, all our presidents have made campaign promises and not kept them. So hopefully voters are not presuaded by promises. I
    really wish schools would do more to educate students on our political system but that’s a whole other rant!

    • Retired Introvert

      It is overwhelming trying to keep up with everything and separating fact from fiction. Social media has definitely muddled things. I don’t pay too much attention to it because I know it can’t always be trusted.

  • G. J. Jolly

    I don’t like discussing politics with anyone ready. The atmosphere just get too heated for me. Anymore, I don’t see much difference between the major parties, so I honestly wonder if it makes any difference who we vote for. With that said however, I am currently hoping the impeachment hearings will result in our current president leaving his post as soon as possible. He’s frightening.

    • Retired Introvert

      I’m not one who discusses politics but I was so tired of all that’s going on I had to get it out of my system. This is probably my last political post!!

  • Linda

    Linda,
    You are able to caucus subject to a couple of conditions:
    1. You show up at your assigned precinct before 7:00pm
    2. You become a registered Democrat on the night of the caucus (in other words), you are no longer an Independent or a Republican.

    I love to discuss politics with people who unconditionally love me(my husband). Otherwise, I try to steer clear. It’s a passionate topic for me, and my extended family is pretty divided. And…I like to keep the friends I have ❤️

    • Retired Introvert

      That’s what the young man told me yesterday.
      It doesn’t pay to talk politics. I have very few strong opinions so mostly looking to learn. I won’t argue with anyone. Not worth it.

  • Donna

    I’ve (mostly) lost the strength to argue about politics. However, I will say impeachment is not a waste of time. We should at least attempt to hold our elected officials accountable.

    • Retired Introvert

      I agree they should be held accountable but let’s make sure it isn’t personal. I am the last person who wants to argue about politics probably because I feel uninformed. I know that doesn’t stop some people, however. (Not referring to you, by the way. 😊). It just confuses me how everyone can think they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

  • Janis

    I was raised in a very political home so I guess it’s in my blood. You bring up a lot of good questions that I think many people have. Even though our state’s primary is coming up in early March, I’m not sure who I will vote for. The only thing I know for sure is who I will be voting against in November… as the bumper sticker says: “Any functioning adult 2020.” Btw, I find that NPR gives me the most honest, non-partisan information on issues.

  • Betty Mc

    I am unapologetically not that much into politics and I have always done my best to avoid political discussions, civil or heated, in person or via the media. It’s probably in my DNA as growing up the only political issue I remember being discussed in our home was when Mother voted for LBJ for President. Her reasoning being that she very briefly dated him way back in his poor school teacher days. As she told it, the relationship was doomed from the start because “he had big ears and was not a good dancer”. Although I dearly loved my father, who by the way was a very nice looking man in addition to being a pretty good dancer, but I will admit to sometimes wondering what might have been. 🙂

    Anyway come November, after it’s down to the two choices, I will do some research and serious soul searching before casting my one vote and pray that the ultimate winner will be the best choice to lead this great country of ours, whether or not he/she has big ears and two left feet.

    • Retired Introvert

      Wow, what a claim to fame!!

      It’s tough when everyone has such high hopes and there’s nothing to show for it. Let’s hope there’s someone out there who will make s difference.

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