WE THE PEOPLE: Leaders Lead

Our nation was held hostage during the recent debt crisis. Ourfragile economy suffered a downgrade of its credit rating whichcould have led to panic in the world economy. The fiscal decisionsneeded to be made were merely put off by our leaders for 18 monthsand the same destructive drama will be repeated if theCongressional Dirty Dozen fail to agree on a plan.

A leader must be like an eagle that soars alone and not likefowl which flock together for support. Washington, D.C., is filledwith flockers whose only concern is reelection. We needpoliticians not elect-icians, to lead us to a plan that can dealwith our fiscal problems.

The American people possess the courage, strength and ability toovercome any obstacle if given a sound plan to follow. PresidentObama must put a plan on the table in order to goad the legislatureinto action. Speaker Boehner must forsake partisanship and lead hisparty toward some reasonable compromise. We know that spending anddebt must be reduced.

Our representatives cannot fashion a responsible plan whilespending all their energy trying to discredit each other in aneffort to achieve political momentum. Some energy could be sparedto fashion a plan to build for the future.

In northern New Jersey, some flood control has been completed onthe Passaic River. There is a bigger plan which calls for diversiontunnels and river widening which would cost $125 million. Thefederal government should use its resources to spare the people ofNew Jersey another flood. Isn’t it better to spend $125 million toprevent the periodic property loss of $1 billion?

Drought stricken Texas is in desperate need of water. There wasa time when America tamed rivers, moved mountains and split theatom. We are still capable of monumental projects today. It’s timeto put people to work on them.

Mayor Bloomberg prepared New York City well for Hurricane Irene.He must be prepared to change the Department of Education if hehopes to be remembered as the Education Mayor. In 2002, he tookover the education system and doubled spending on education to morethan $24 billion, while in 2011 he more than doubled parentdisapproval of the system to 69 percent.

It is widely accepted that test score improvements wereoverstated and that most high school graduates are not ready forcollege level work. Mayor Bloomberg cannot just throw money at thesystem. He must sit down and work with union leaders like MikeMulgrew on a plan to streamline teacher evaluation and discipline.New teachers could be prepared through a CUNY-based teacherinstitute to make New York City high school graduates the teachersfor the next generation.

The 9-11 Memorial is scheduled to open on the 10th anniversaryof the terrorist attack. We must do our part and pray for thefallen, give thanks for our first responders and tell ourrepresentatives to move forward with a responsible plan for themanagement of economy and budget of the nation. If they fail thepeople must replace them with leaders who can lead us to a plansensitive to the needs of the economy and the nation.

Brian Kieran is a community activist who works for the Stateof New York and is a Democrat.

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