The point Wanda makes to start her article is partially, but not totally, true — Republicans have played a role in growing the national debt. Pinning the blame, however, on one party isn’t constructive. Instead we all need to accept blame for the debt crisis. And by taking ownership of the problem we can move forward with a non-partisan solution that works for everyone.

We could, as I’ve described at length in my last Purple Zipper column, do exactly that by upgrading the Social Security system. We could upgrade Social Security to perform two conflicting functions in order to reduce the national debt. We could split the program into two parts to serve both as a safety net and retirement plan. And more importantly we could do this without accruing debt and playing partisan blame games. By taking these steps we’d finally be able to move forward and create a more responsible America.

A more responsible America would also see us updating our immigration policies. This update would take a mish mash set of rules, regulations and laws and create not a set of immigration policies, but an actual immigration system. The immigration system I’m describing here would incorporate the following principles of

Protecting Americans’ equal rights

Creating a society where openness empowers Americans, benefiting everyone

What we have now is not a system that operates under these principles, but a confused mix of policies that hurt our nation’s economy and turn potential friends into foes. Hopefully that’s something Wanda and I can both see to eye to eye on.

Zigmund Reichenbach is a Grassroots Engagement Director with Americans for Prosperity. He partners with Wanda Shirk to host the “Purple Zipper Conversations” because he believes communities can overcome partisanship and settle on sensible solutions. To join or submit your own column the Purple Zipper Conversations you can email him at or shoot him a text at 814-320-1448.