August 7, 2014 at 9:17 AM
As Americans try to solve a seemingly endless number of problems each day, they rely on their elected officials to make their lives easier. We elect Members of Congress who we believe can not only represent our interests but also use sheer skill and tenacity to address our problems. Yet these problems persist because Congress suffers from a problem of its own - a shortage of problem-solvers.
Currently, our Congress has yet to address pressing issues like immigration reform or trying to balance the budget, instead focusing on suing the President and shutting down the government. Our representatives need to understand that no issue can be solved in a vacuum. Every decision has repercussions. These repercussions need to be outlined and discussed before taking action.
This process is exactly what I can bring to Congress: a well-balanced, nuanced approach to problem-solving.
Let me give you an example. After the tech industry declined in the mid-2000s, the Bush Administration chose to stimulate the economy by lowering interest rates, giving Americans the opportunity to borrow cheap money. As a result, the real estate market and related industries, like construction, soared.
While policymakers were lauding the economic boom, I focused on the plight of millions of Americans who were suffering, not thriving. Many seniors live on fixed, passive incomes, relying on modest interest rates. With the drop in interest rates, these seniors had to dig into their limited savings to make up for their lost income. Even when interest rates rise again, they will earn less income because they have less money in the bank.
Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It is irrefutable that our interest rates, currently at an all-time low, will return to their historic mean of 5 percent for the 30 year US Treasury. Once this happens, financial stress will ensue. Our nation currently pays 6 percent of total federal expenditures on interest payments. When interest rates rise, the amount of money we’ll need to spend on interest payments will skyrocket, further increasing our federal deficit and accumulated debt. For individuals with variable interest rates, their payments will also skyrocket.
The solution to this problem is deleveraging. We need to start paying down our national debt, a non-partisan cure to this problem. We also need to devise solutions to grow our economy and increase jobs. Yet before we can determine a legitimate solution, we first need to address that we are on the brink of another financial disaster.
As your Congressman, no problem will slip by unnoticed. I will identify and solve problems before it is too late.
If you have grown weary of the partisan rhetoric that has paralyzed our government, and if you want actual solutions to the serious problems threatening our state and our country, then cast a vote for a problem-solver this November. Cast a vote for Mark Dunec.
Mark Dunec is a professional problem-solver running for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District.
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