What’s in store for ’24?

Buckle your seatbelts should be the slogan for 2024 if prognosticators are even close to their predictions. Chaos is prevalent as there are currently 110 wars or armed conflicts occurring in the world today. If that’s not enough, over 70 countries are facing major elections in 2024 with a very contentious one here in the states.

One only has to watch or read the news to understand we have so many issues and problems that need attention. What can you believe or not believe? The result is that polls show nearly 60 percent of Americans are disengaging with national news entirely. The main reason is politics.

When asked to sum up their feelings about politics in a word, 79% are negative or critical. The most frequently repeated words are “divisive”, “corrupt”, “chaos” or “polarized” and they complain that conflicts between Republicans and Democrats receive too much attention and there is too little attention paid “to the important issues facing the country.”

Let’s look at the presidential race. According to a recent ABC poll, the two candidates most likely to face off again in 2024, only one in three (33%) Americans view President Joe Biden favorably, while former President Donald Trump is viewed favorably by only 29%. In other words, nearly 70 percent think we could do better.

In Congress, a Gallup poll reports that only 13% approve of their performance. All 435 seats in Congress are up for election this year, yet with below dismal approval ratings in 2022, we reelected 95 percent of incumbents! Do we, the voters have a problem?

Now let’s take a look at what’s on our plate. A CNN article said, “A fateful White House race will again put democracy on the line in the United States.” Don’t fall for that crap. Democracy is not on the line, especially if we do our job in the ballot booth.

In that same CNN article, this, “On most issues, overpowered, democratic governments are struggling to show their voters they have the answers.” Well, yes, the federal government is “overpowered,” in other words to big to manage.

Meanwhile we look to government to solve the immigration crisis, which they won’t do although we desperately need to reform it so it works as intended in the 21st century.

We all hear about climate change. Folks, this is nothing new. The Earth’s climate has been changing for eons. We will spend billions of taxpayer dollars trying to fight it and the results will be minimal if any at all.

We also look to government to get the inflation problem solved, but the government is the biggest instigator of inflation, so asking them to correct their mistake may be useless.

Rather than finding compromise and working together to help reduce crime and gun violence, we see increases in both.

How about our falling-behind education system? Can we find how to improve real scholastic achievement education in our schools, or are they satisfied with concentrating on culture wars?

Debt? Congress has spent $34 trillion more than we have, and are currently borrowing three million dollars a minute, day and night, with no plan to pay it off. Will that change in 2024? Of course not. It’s an election year, and their job is more important to them than our money.

Abortion? First, let’s agree that government was not built to solve moral issues. Those solutions belong to the individual. Approving all abortions without some restrictions I believe is wrong. Banning all abortions I also believe is wrong, especially when the health of the mother is in question. What do Americans think? Polls show 67% of us mostly approve of abortion rights. We need to find a common sense solution.

The IRS states that of the 164 million people who filed 2020 income tax returns, the average tax was $16,615. We have given Ukraine nearly $70 billion in aid. That’s the entire income tax that over four million people paid in to our government. At what point do we say what my father said to my sister and me growing up, “Kids, we just can’t afford it.”

We have so many other issues facing us, it is critical we step up as voters and begin electing folks that will roll up their sleeves and get to work fixing them. Social Security and Medicare solvency, reprioritizing our foreign aid, reducing our dependency on China, creating a sensible energy plan to reduce energy costs, making healthcare more affordable, and the list goes on.

CIDOB, an international think tank, predicts, “2024 will be a year of ballots and bullets!” Is that what we want 2024 to be remembered as?

In this election year, we have the chance to change the course of our nation to a more positive direction. We deserve more than what our federal government is doing now. We can change that, and it should begin with changing those who govern us.

What’s your outlook on 2024? Let me know at gregawtry@awtry.com

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