Today is the day when many of us drag ourselves out of bed to meet the new year with bags under our eyes, fog in our heads and remorse in our heart. With that comes a certain amount of resolve to somehow make a change in our lives.
For those of us feeling the effects of “someone slipping us a bad ice cube,” the resolution typically centers on not imbibing for a while. Others may be able to pinch more than an inch and resolve to lose weight and get in shape after a stretch that began with Halloween candy and may have ended last night with a pig in a blanket (hopefully the edible kind).
Others, too, can make some changes and even resolve to do something different than in this past year. So with that in mind, here is our holiday wish list of resolutions for others to consider.
Politicians in Washington are just about numbing their hands slapping themselves on the back over the budget deal compromise wrangled by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and signed by President Obama last week. But it would be nice to see a little resolve on the debt ceiling, which the Treasury said must be somehow addressed by late February or early March. Though it’s easy to say to just raise the ceiling and be done with it, eventually the amount of debt (currently $17.2 trillion) will become unmanageable, especially once interest rates rise. So let’s hope there is a little bit of compromise on both sides to cut what needs to be cut and raise what needs to be raised without unduly impacting those among us still struggling to rise out of the Great Recession.
A little resolve on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be nice too. Though it has struggled (to put it mildly) out of the gate and proven to be incredibly burdensome to many segments of the population (those who may have believed the promise that they could keep the doctors and plans they liked), it is also evident there is a nationwide need for some kind of reform. Perhaps the steps taken so far are not the remedy, but let’s hope our friends in Washington have the resolve to consider a way to make changes that will both serve the act’s primary goal of providing affordable care for all while also maintaining the quality of the care.
At the state level, we ask that the Legislature invoke a little temperance when it comes to the projected surplus — estimated to be in the neighborhood of $5.6 billion to $10 billion. While it might be tempting to restore all those cuts made during the Great Recession, there is also a mounting wall of debt that will have to be addressed some time. The sooner, the better. If you came into a small windfall, would you spend all the money on new clothes, or would you spend the money on a new roof to make sure your clothes don’t get ruined? We all know what the temptation may be, but then we also all know what the smart choice is. Let’s hope our legislators have the resolve to do the right thing.
At the local level, there will be more development proposals entering the public planning process in 2014. That’s what happens when the economy starts picking up and financing becomes easier. Here’s to wishing local officials have the resolve to address the community’s dual needs — tax revenue and housing — in a responsible way. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive and they don’t have to have a harmful effect on those directly impacted (neighbors, longtime residents) if local officials keep the entire community’s benefit in mind.
So with that, happy new year all and let’s hope everyone can keep their resolutions.