Truck ProblemsAs we entered high school, each of us (Steve, Ed, and I) passed our tests for a driver’s license. To this day, we’re not sure if our parents greeted that accomplishment with any particular joy!

While we didn’t have much money, Dad took us out to look at cars. His paternal lessons: Don’t be fooled by the looks. Pay attention to what’s under the hood.

The same is true today in our politics and government. The Great Recession of 2007-9 produced angst. Similar to the Great Depression, overcorrections occurred in the aftermath of economic collapse—most noticeably with regulation.

Excessive regulations mostly harm entrepreneurs and small business owners. These entrepreneurs and small business owners are usually our neighbors.

Post-2008, heads rolled as the public demanded action! Frankly, there is plenty of blame to go around for the housing bubble and subsequent implosion of the U.S. economy. It starts with government policy—especially monetary policy and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)—and finishes with the rating agencies. The medicine is killing the patients, our banks and risk-taking entrepreneurs.

Our issues with overregulation reflect, more broadly, the political divisions and polarization in our nation. We face many challenges. Our nation is drowning in debt, and the American Dream is in peril.

Leadership that ignites the unifying spark is the path forward. From the family unit to our sense of national togetherness, we search for that spark to lead and unite.

Politicians bearing gifts and promises abound this election season. Don’t get hooked by the fancy glitz—and miss that there are no spark plugs to fire up the American economic engine.

Take the time and look under the hood!