In all the talk and reporting of the last week, I have been astounded (once again) by the lack of good sense and sensibility of both press and public. How stupid do they think we are? Or should I be asking, “How stupid are we?”
It is a given that all politicians lie. It’s what they do. They spin information. Okay, I get that. What I don’t get is why the literate public doesn’t demand raw data information to support or debunk every single utterance. And when raw data is available, why is it routinely dismissed?
Let’s pick on Texas for a moment…just because everyone is carrying on about their stats. While Governor Perry is bragging about how what a great job he’s done for Texas, a bunch of statistics were invoked that made “how great” seem rather hollow. I won’t regale you with all the stats from the US Department of Labor and the US Census, but let’s look at a couple of categories
Uninsured population by rank
· Percent of Population Uninsured - 1st of all 50 states
· Percent of Non-Elderly Uninsured - 1st of all 50 states
· Percent of Children Uninsured – 1st of all 50 states.
Health Professionals per Capita:
· Physicians - 42nd of all 50 states
· Dentists - 39th of all 50 states
· Registered Nurses - 44th of all 50 states.
And just so you understand that Texas isn’t all ranches and tumbleweed, of the 20 largest cities (by population) in the US, 6 are in Texas. Three of them are in the top 10.
Now, let’s throw one more number into the pot: according to the Pew Center for Hispanic Studies, the undocumented population is approximately 1,668,000 of Texas’ 24.9 million residents. That’s 6.7% of the population.
How does any of this make Texas a success? This is just one aspect. And I haven’t even touched on education or housing.
So I would propose the following for your consideration: instead of judging the candidates on their political rhetoric, why not institute a point system for objective goals? Kinda like No Politician Left Behind. If you cannot produce measurable results, you cannot run for office again. And yes, this does include you, President Obama.
If your state shows monies spent harvested from anything other than bona fide revenues such as taxes, fees, licensing, lotto, et al), you lose points. Let’s say you got a big tobacco settlement that was earmarked for health care improvement and you end up raiding that fund for any use other than health care, you lose points. Same thing goes for manipulating monies from one state level department to cover the debts of an unrelated state level department. That will cost you.
If your state has a net gain of percentage of people employed with health benefits, you earn points.
Now job creation has to count here, but that’s more complicated than just coming up with a number. So I propose you have to come up with a total number of permanent jobs created in the last election cycle, and then deduct jobs that are a direct result of one or more of the following as applies:
- Number of jobs created using federal stimulus funds
- Number of jobs lost to foreign off-shoring
- Number of grace and favor jobs
- Seasonal labor, both farm or holiday related, do not count as permanent jobs.
Holding a seat in a legislature? Holding it isn’t enough; you must be pro-active and accountable for your actions.
If more than three bills you’ve authored have been tossed off the chamber floor before real debate occurs, you lose points.
If your absences from the chamber total more than 30% of the voting rolls called, you are automatically disqualified…unless you are recovering from an assassination attempt or other life threatening illness. Junkets are not included.
I did this on the fly, and I’m certain someone will come along to punch giant holes in, but hey! it’s a beginning. Either we begin to set standards for our governing bodies, or we just need to sit down and shut up about it.
Anybody wanna start a movement?