Cal  Thomas

With frustration building over Washington's refusal to behave in the public interest, perhaps it's worth noting a drastic solution tried by the Irish.

Last Friday, Irish voters cast ballots on a referendum to abolish the country's Upper House, known as the Seanad. Prime Minister Enda Kenny said Ireland didn't need all of its politicians and they should be made to suffer along with everyone else as the country continues to struggle economically.

The measure to abolish the Seanad lost by just 42,500 votes out of more than 1,226,000 cast (51.8 percent to 48.2 percent).

While many Americans might wish they could abolish Congress, it is unlikely, unless voters take a page from the Declaration of Independence and "institute new government," so another approach by Republican governors to break the cycle of systemic ineffectiveness in Washington might work.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) has produced a video (www.rga.org/americancomeback) in which five Republican governors highlight successes in their respective states. Given the dysfunction in Washington, the video provides some powerful reasons for people to turn their backs on the nation's capital and begin to look to states that have succeeded in solving many problems Washington is unwilling to solve. The featured Republican governors are:

Bobby Jindal (Louisiana) wants you to know that his state's GDP has grown by $36 billion since 2008, nearly twice the national rate. That puts Louisiana eighth best in the country and third best in the South. According to Jindal, other categories in which Louisiana has succeeded while Washington piles up debt include: unemployment (below the national average with new jobs being added); per capita personal income (increased more than $3,600 since 2008); charter schools -- Jindal says his state has become a "national leader" in charter schools with 80 percent of New Orleans students enrolled in them.

John Kasich (Ohio) closed an $8 billion shortfall without raising taxes and cut taxes by $3 billion. He eliminated the "death tax," modernized Medicaid, eliminated the bureaucratic Department of Development and created a private, nonprofit corporation -- JobsOhio -- to "respond to job creators' needs at their pace instead of at 'the speed of statute.'"


Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
 
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