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It Is Time For Politicians To Start Betting

2011 September 8 by Mike

American citizens can break the gridlock in Washington D.C. and give both parties what they want.

It turns out that our politicians don’t need to “get along”; they just need to be confident enough to place a bet on the policies that they propose. And American citizens
should start insisting on that kind of integrity from both parties.

I know that “placing a bet” and integrity aren’t always used in the same sentence.  But they should be in Washington D.C. Republicans want to lower (or eliminate corporate taxes); they say doing this will create jobs – okay, who knows?It is just an ”Opinion”.  Democrats disagree; they say corporations will pay themselves bigger dividends and bigger bonuses with the money – okay, who knows?   Again, just an Opinion. The stage is now set for an argument that will never be won and never end, unless someone’s willing to place a bet.

If Republicans would be willing to place a bet by proposing legislation that reduces and eventually eliminates the corporate tax only for those corporations that meet or exceed the job creation targets, then the risk for the Democrats is substantially eliminated and the Republicans can deliver on the promises that they’ve made to their constituency.  There’s no need to argue about corporate tax cuts creating jobs anymore because nothing is going to happen unless corporate tax cuts create jobs. A bet creates the integrity that Americans need from their elected officials. Of course, it takes real belief in your position to place a bet; that’s where the integrity happens. And all the parties are free to place bets with the American people and with each other.

Business does this all the time.  The buyer says to the seller, I’m going to buy lots of your product so give me your very lowest price.  The seller isn’t convinced but doesn’t want to start an argument or damage a relationship with a customer.  So rather than argue, the seller offers the buyer tiered pricing that lets the buyer have the low price only if the buyer winds up buying as much as he says he’s going to.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what either party says or thinks; it’s just their opinion.  Until they’re willing to place a bet on it, we shouldn’t trust their opinion.  Let’s insist that they start betting.

A piece of advice: When arguments get to the point where progress is stalled or relationships are at risk, it’s time to think about placing a bet.  If we start supporting the politician who is willing to bet on her positions, then all sides can be comfortable and we’ll know that the politician truly believes in what she’s selling.