Can We Get Some Common Sense in Washington, Please?

This week on Fox’s “Hannity,” Glenn Beck advocated for a return to common sense in Congress. Beck said three issues were of particular importance to him: 1) protecting our country from Ebola; 2) calling Islamic terrorism what it really is; and 3) stopping the Federal Reserve from digitizing more money.

Glenn Beck is often right about issues before others are even aware of the issues. And I couldn’t agree more with Beck that these three policies absolutely must be confronted head-on if we are to preserve security, prosperity, and happiness in this nation. If we don’t address these issues now, our country will never be the same. In fact, I agree with Beck on this so much that I have focused the last few weeks of my campaign for U.S. Senate in New Jersey on these three points, along with comprehensive immigration reform.

Starting with Ebola, it amazes me that both national and state leaders are deferring to “experts” when making decisions about how to protect our country from the disease. Common sense would tell you that the U.S. should ban travel to and from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. But both President Obama and members of Congress, such as Senator Cory Booker, say a travel ban would discourage health workers from volunteering their services in these three countries—actions that could put an end to the Ebola outbreak. Have we forgotten that the government could simply charter flights to West Africa for this purpose?

Moving on to Islamic terrorism, we see a problem in the White House’s strategy for dealing with this serious issue. The White House’s most recent National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, published in 2011, showed a focus on decimating Al Qaeda’s core leadership, defined as those who directly planned the September 11, 2001 attacks. While President Obama acknowledges the threat of Al Qaeda affiliates and other regional actors, our biggest military achievements in the past few years have shown that our strategy is focused on killing or capturing Al Qaeda’s core leaders. Now, faced with a threat independent of Al Qaeda’s leadership—the Islamic State—the President has not managed to articulate a clear strategy for defeating a movement and ideology that continuously threaten to attack the United States and Americans abroad, has repeatedly murdered our citizens abroad, and is destabilizing the region as we speak. The American people must demand a strategy from the President. Without a clear strategy, we will continue to drop bombs without pushing back or decimating the Islamic State.

And what feels closest to home for most Americans–the economy–can be turned around by a change in the Federal Reserve’s policies of printing money to finance Congress’ debt and keeping interest rates artificially low. These two policies are choking our economy and hurting the average American.

I am 70 years old, and I have worked to make policies in Washington for the past 30 years. I worked on the Tax Reform Act of 1986, cutting taxes under President Ronald Reagan. Now in the new millennium, I thought finding support in Washington for reforming our country’s monetary policy would be easy—after all, it is common sense. But what shocked me most in four years of meeting with members of Congress, urging them to consider new, pro-growth economic policies, was Congress’ unwillingness to even start a conversation about monetary policy.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power of coining money and regulating its value. Congress has outsourced this duty, handing it over to the Federal Reserve. But it should still be Congress’ responsibility to check the Fed and its policies, making sure the Fed’s regulation of our money is helping America. At this point, the Fed is not regulating money’s value—it is manipulating money’s value. And under the current system, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

Glenn Beck is right—we need more common sense in Washington. And it seems we can’t leave it up to Washington to find this common sense on its own. The American people must demand common sense from our leaders. The November 4th elections will give Americans the chance to do just that.

Jeff Bell is running for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey. He has worked in Washington for the past 30 years, advocating for policies such as tax reform under Ronald Reagan, comprehensive immigration reform, anti-human trafficking, and monetary reform.

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