Let’s put all the palaver and attack ads aside. We should understand a few things before we vote for our leaders on Nov. 6.

* About energy: We will never achieve energy independence when it comes to fossil fuels. The market for petroleum products is global, and we can’t force energy-producing companies to sell only in this country. Petroleum products go where demand and price are highest.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, we now ship more petroleum products (including gasoline) abroad than we import. Yes. It’s true. We export more than we import.

So why drill on more pristine land and send more rigs into the ocean thus risking more serious environmental damage? (Remember BP?) We need energy resources that can’t be exported, such as wind, solar and hydropower. Maybe we could even try to reduce our consumption.

* About the deficit: We can’t grow the economy and shrink the deficit without both reasonable reductions in spending and reasonable increases in revenues. In one national party, 279 incumbents and 255 challengers have signed Grover Norquist’s pledge never to raise taxes, even on the richest Americans. (And just who is Grover Norquist, anyway?)

* About job growth: For businesses to thrive and hire more workers, they must have customers. Simple as that. In order to have customers, all Americans should be able to share in the wealth through fair wages and educational opportunities.

In 1962, the top 1 percent had 125 times the net worth of the median household; by 2010, the top 1 percent had a net worth 288 times as large. That is not the way a democracy should work.

A high tide should lift all boats — not just the yachts.

We need leaders who will work for the greater good. Let’s choose wisely.

Terri Hibbard


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