Living in Society

On Common Sense

Thomas Paine, author of “Common Sense”

Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ recent statement about common sense would make sense if she demonstrated it in her votes.

She said she was “fighting for Iowan common sense values.” Instead of common sense, Miller-Meeks adopted right-wing policies of her Washington, D.C.  colleagues.

The lack of common sense shows in her no votes on the American Rescue Plan Act, Build Back Better Act, Invest in America Act, Infrastructure and Jobs Act, and on raising the minimum wage. The votes are a total disconnect from Iowans she represents.

If Miller-Meeks is interested in common sense, here are a few suggestions:

  • Tax the rich. Folks who have money to spare are able to contribute to reducing the deficit and paying down our national debt. The tax reductions of Republican administrations made no sense. Our history has been to tax the rich at a much higher rate than we do now. Corporations should be taxed as well.
  • Public funding of Congressional campaigns. Corporations are not people. Take the money out of politics by passing legislation to do so. It’s common sense that corporations and their lobbyists should not be able to buy elections.
  • Audit Defense Department Spending. The 117th Congress passed an annual defense budget valued at over $768 billion. Isn’t it time we looked to see how effectively the Pentagon is managing one of the biggest budget line items? Why haven’t we already taken this commonsense accountability step?
  • Eliminate nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons can never be used without dramatically altering life on Earth. They could literally end life as we know it on Earth. It makes no sense to spend money on nuclear weapons that should never be used.
  • Stop polluting. Earth has limited capacity to absorb the detritus of civilization. School children are taught to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our national policy should be to do the same and scale it up. It is common sense.

There are plenty of additional suggestions. Miller-Meeks’ votes demonstrate a different meaning of “common sense.”  It’s not the commonsense approach we need. I will vote for Christina Bohannan for Congress this November. You should too.

~ An edited version of this post was submitted to several newspapers and was first published by The Little Village on April 12, 2022.