From a recent Personal Liberty article Prepare Yourself for the Disrupter in Chief by GS Early: "America will never be the same again. Working on the Russia relationship. Infrastructure spending. Revitalizing the Rust Belt. These all sound like classic Democratic programs. But why is a firebrand Republican President finding support in Congress for these very same things?"
I'm an Independent, the son of a Republican and a Democrat so I see both sides. What killed the Dems is that they were so intent on bringing idealistic, diversity, minority, and special interests "into their fold" for the extra votes that they forgot about the needs of their majority base, the middle class American worker. That's why, especially after the Sanders defeat, their base went over to Trump and the Independents.
One way to revive the rust belt and other areas is through the use of Clean Hydrocarbon Energy and Recycling Plants/Processes (CHERPs) as anchors for integrated Industrial parks. For more info including my letter to President-elect Trump see the article link.
Now I think we may be entering a stage of the Federal government "rightsizing" itself. Many tasks presently performed at the Federal level can better be handled at cooperating State levels where regional and economic differences can be accommodated at lower costs. My thought as to how this would work is States would co-operate interactively by sharing ideas and implementation experiences to draw on each other's experiences when considering new ideas with no obligations other than to "observe and learn what works". The National Governors Association (NGA) would be a good body to coordinate this "learn by example" activity through.
With this mechanism in place the States could even handle many domestic issues cooperatively on their own without any Federal government. One current example is the different State Motor Vehicle Administrations share their licensing information through common databases.
This mechanism is not as expensive to set up as one might think. State Motor Vehicle Administrations do it now to coordinate driver license information. An encrypted intranet between the states for them to use to communicate ideas and share information ought to be easy and relatively inexpensive. One could contract that work to Federal agencies like DARPA, the NSA or NASA who then might subcontract to Google, LinkedIn, Facebook,. One Senator's salary worth I would think would pay for it :-). And I suggest the National Governors Association receive the seed funding and over see the implementation.The implementation would occur as a series of gradual "phase overs" with Congress and State legislatures deciding what existing tasks are best assumed where and letting the all parties get used to the concept. Then we essentially have 50 test laboratories to try new concepts out and discuss the pros and cons of various implementations and to discuss regional concerns and impacts.As the State intranet (call it "Statcom" for State Communications Network.similar to NASA's "Nascom") assumed more responsibility less Federal funds ought to be required. Eventually the States themselves contribute individually to the costs required to maintain the Statcom Intranet.
As each State makes it own decision as to how a need is met such tactics as filibustering to prevent legislation from even being considered for purely political reasons, "earmarking" bills with special interests and non-constituent lobbying impacts would also be greatly reduced. The Federal government would then be acting at most as a mediator for disputes the States could not resolve between themselves. This would greatly reduce Federal budget needs, leaving for Federal attention the common national concerns such as defense, interstate infrastructure, Social Security and Medicare needs along with international negotiations
The economy is at the root of ALL issues, as much or even more than foreign policy, because if we are not prosperous and secure within ourselves and solving our own internal domestic issues we can be of limited use internationally helping others with theirs. You can only help others from your strengths.
Independent member. WV Senator Manchin’s "Project Weirton" task force