The New Year gives us a gate to the next chapter of our lives. We tend to look back to assess what we've learned from the past year and use the fresh start of a new calendar to promise ourselves that things will be different in the coming year.
I've learned this year that the more government tries to do to fix the economy, the worse it gets. I know they mean well, but spending money we don't have and borrowing money we can't afford to pay back really isn't working out for us.
It would be nice if in the New Year, the president and Congress would figure out that businesses could grow and create jobs - real jobs, if they weren't scared sick that they will have what little profit margin they are making go poof because of increased costs of doing business; whether it's health care taxes, huge energy cost hikes because of cap-and-trade, or the unionization of their employees. More than Americans want government to tinker with trying to repair the economy, we want to see jobs. If Congress really wants to help the economy, let me suggest they do the following:
1. Instead of their automatic pay raise at the first of the year, they should vote to cut their pay by 10 percent.
2. They should shut down every other month and spend the off month solely in their own districts, meeting with constituents and hearing from their bosses.
3. They ought to pledge that they will sponsor the Fair Tax, and promise that after 12 years, they will retire and not accept a congressional pension other than the Social Security that other Americans receive.
4. They should cut their staffs and budget by 15 percent to show real cost-saving stewardship.
5. They should pledge not to spend anything that isn't covered in a balanced budget and not to start any new program for at least two years.
You probably think that they won't do those things. Probably not. So here's the backup plan: Since they work for you, if they don't show responsible leadership and sacrifice, work really hard this year to give someone else a chance by firing the members of Congress that don't listen to you and hire someone who does.
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, a national radio host, the host of Fox News Channels' "Huckabee" and an in-demand motivational speaker. For information on how to bring him to your next event, visit PremiereSpeakers.com/Mike_Huckabee.