DRWMAG.COM 10 #357 • JANUARY 2019 • 30TH ANNIVERSARY After an unpredictable 2018, who knows what 2019 will bring? POINT/COUNTERPOINT FOR THE LEFT RANDY A. FLEISCHER Reflecting on 2018 is difficult. Making predictions for 2019 is even harder. It has not been a good year, in my opinion. So much negative news; even the positive news has negative waves that has overpowered the good.We have seen incredible tragedies, both man-made and natural, that have taken so many lives.The California fires have caused millions of acres of land to be burned, homes destroyed, lives ruined, now fearing mudslides.Tornadoes and floods have ravaged middleAmerica. Snow, rain, cold and hurricanes have hit up and down the east coast. One hurricane caused great damage in Florida’s pan- handle that will be repaired next year. Will 2019 have even more weather disasters? I have no doubt the weather problems will become more intense around the world, year after year. This year began with the tragic murders at Marjorie Stoneman Doug- las High School that took over the news nationally for months. How can a 19-year-old with a history of psychological problems legally obtain so many firearms, bring them onto a high school campus, and start shooting people he attended school with? That question haunts the friends and family of the victims at MSDHS. It caused students across the country to become active, to speak to each other, to have rallies and register to vote. It helped Democrats take back the House of Representatives in DC. That will certainly affect what happens in 2019. The US Congress performed horribly this year.The only thing they did was allow the Senate to confirm bad Supreme Court nominees. I cannot think of a single good law that was passed that improves life for the majority of peo- ple in the country. Next year, the House will be investigating the President, his family, and his business, which are all intertwined to continue to allow Donald and hisTop 1/10th of 1% profits beyond any previously made.Trump may also continue his criminal abilities by failing to pay taxes as he has refused to pay taxes since the last century. So if you are a 0.1 percenter, you mostly likely had a great year and are expecting greater rewards... now tax free. In May the President went to North Korea to make friends with Kim Jong-Un.The hope was that the US would not have to bomb that country to smithereens to stop it from continuing to test missiles that might be able to reach the US with nuclear arms. North Korea made promises thatTrump was glad to accept at face value, allowing North Korea to continue to move its nuclear laboratories around the country and manufacture weapons to threaten the world. I thought that we would have bombed North Korea this year, I was wrong. Maybe they will bomb us next year. Trump made friends with North Korea, China, and Russia, ignoring the human rights abuse that occurs in those countries every day.After thatTrump had problems with our neighboring countries, Canada and Mexico. Trump decided that tariffs that we were using against communist and terrorist na- tions should also be extended to our good neighbors.The European Union, continued on page 45 FOR THE RIGHT PAUL VISCOVICH As we begin 2019, perhaps the biggest question is how Democrat control of the House of Representatives will affect the federal government.Will the Democrats work across the aisle for common goals, or obstruct the Republi- cans with partisan investigations and legislative gridlock? There are several areas where the Democrats can find common ground with the Republicans.They will be wise to do so, because the Sen- ate can easily make them appear impotent, stymying House budgets and any other legislation that does not reflect bi-partisan cooperation. One pressing issue that motivated many voters’ choices at the polls is health care. Senate Republicans cannot further weaken Obamacare, nor can the Democrat House expand it; this stalemate is good. Despite its failure to either lower costs or improve waiting times, many working and middle class families are now dependent on it. Until the Republicans come up with some- thing better, both chambers could work toward reducing costs by allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines and by enacting tort reform to lower the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. President Trump could assist by pressing the pharmaceuticals industry to lower prices or face competition from lower cost foreign products. Enacting comprehensive immigration reform offers a chance for Demo- crats and Republicans to work together. Our population is aging and the birth rate has dropped below sustainability. Until the Millennials put down their mobile devices and discover the joy of sex, we need increased immigration to expand the work force and save social security for the Boomers. Democrats agreeing to tighter border security with Republicans loosening immigration quotas and offering illegals a pathway to citizenship would be a win for both sides and for America. Another opportunity for cooperation is reconstruction of our national infrastructure such as highways, the power grid, and communications. States benefiting from these endeavors might be required to share the costs as well as the benefits of these public works projects.This leads to yet another opening for collaboration. Federal spending is out of control with the deficit for 2018 at $782 bil- lion, and forecast for over $1 trillion this year. Unfortunately, serious bi-par- tisan efforts to rein this in is a forlorn hope, given Republican dedication to reducing taxes and Democrat enthusiasm for increased spending. House Republicans cannot pass any legislation without support of mod- erate Democrats. It would be a sly move by House Democrats to advance use- ful centrist legislation in cooperation with Republicans, and play on President Trump’s love for making deals. But these thoughts probably reflect wishful thinking more than hard analysis. In fact, hopes for bi-partisan cooperation will likely be thwarted by politicians’ universal need to “win” through pushing ideological policies that continued on page 45