Seven Things It Seems We Could (Mostly) All Agree On:

1. That non-fossil fuels are better than fossil fuels, and that domestic energy is better than foreign energy. Therefore, promote domestic production of nuclear and alternative energy, and, for the time being, domestic fossil-based energy sources.

2. That the totality of retiree promises extended by the private and public sectors is a contract we cannot fulfill. Therefore, begin the long, slow deflation of the bubble by scaling back entitlements/benefits, and by extending more realistic promises to those currently working.

3. That neither the suffocating prescriptive regulatory framework of the 1970s and 1980s, nor the unfettered Wild West business environment of the 2000s has proved sustainable in the long run. Therefore, pursue enlightened progressive regulation where needed, by imposing appropriate capital and/or reserve requirements on risky corporate actions.

4. That 30 years of federal spending acceleration and tax cutting have left us with spending at record high levels, tax burdens at a 60-year low, and deficits as far as the eye can see. Therefore, calibrate spending reductions and tax increases until we are back in equilibrium.

5. That teachers’ unions really do put the interests of grown-ups over those of children, and really have gravely compromised the quality of public education. Therefore, break or circumvent them.

6. That all meaningful growth in personal income and personal wealth over the past 30 years has occurred only among the highest income Americans, meaning there has been a wholesale shift in wealth from the middle class to the wealthy. Therefore, be open to policies that restore the previous equilibrium.

7. That Congress has become incredibly beholden to special interests, chief among them the established political parties, putting at risk its ability to govern in a wise and thoughtful manner. Therefore, break down the hide-bound rules of seniority and deference that invest power in a select few.

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