A new year, a new chance

January may be the most optimistic month of the year.

As each new year begins, there is hope that comes from a deep-down feeling that the world has been given a clean slate. Yes, some of the same old problems remain, but there is a belief that new solutions will be found, new coalitions will be forged and that the indomitable human spirit will triumph.

So let’s pretend there is, indeed, a clean slate for 2019. What should be written on that slate for an agenda for the county, state, country and world?

All those entities share one large goal — the creation and stabilization of a healthy economy. The federal government has the additional duty — and opportunity — for making the world a safer place.

On a county and state level, steps need to be taken to keep the resurgence in the visitor industry going and expand it to other sectors. County government has become markedly more proactive in helping businesses thrive and survive.

State government, too, needs to demonstrate its willingness to promote business. The most obvious way to show that willingness is to be very careful about imposing more — or increasing — taxes and fees.

Washington, D.C., should set an example for the world by getting its financial house in order. Trillion-dollar deficits are a horrible example for the world — and unsustainable.

The best thing we can do for the world is to show we are tackling our problems — not “kicking the can down the road.” It’s time for Congress and the administration to adopt a real budget — and to remember that the secret to democracy is compromise.

Compromise is not a dirty word.

Our federal government also needs to show its commitment to the fight against terrorism. We cannot lead from behind. We must be out front, leading by example, building a global coalition dedicated to defeating those who would slaughter and enslave the innocent.

That coalition needs to be built through diplomacy, not bellicosity. The feds need to shore up the State Department, not tear it down. A willingness to talk and build back up our alliances is not a show of weakness.

There are big challenges — and big opportunities — in 2019. It’s time we, the people, demand our governments face the challenges and capture the opportunities.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.