July 23, 2013
A few years ago, the Republican House published a “Pledge to America” hoping to quell the uneasiness rolling across the nation about our financial futures, both corporate and individual. I faxed a response to the “Republicans of the House”. It was not acknowledged. (I did not expect it to be.) I believe the subject is more germane now, three years later, than it was then. Here is an updated version of what I wrote then:
First, to be straightforward, I left the Republican Party about 6 years ago after lifelong affiliation. I am a contributing member of the Constitution Party and do not plan to change back. I did this because the Republican Party is also one of big spending, deficits, and overreaching central government. The GOP is a lesser version of the Democratic Party, and far surpasses the Democratic Party of JFK in these areas.
It could be there is an awakening going on, as this Pledge may indicate. (Current note: there is indeed an awakening in progress – not in the halls of Congress, but in the hearts of many Americans.) I surely hope so. I commend you for it. It’s a good start.
1) “Roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels”? That level was already grossly out of line with fiscal responsibility. We were a debtor nation years before 2008. My suggestion: roll it back several decades.
2) “Curb Washington’s irresponsible spending habits.” My suggestion: Stop, not curb, those habits. If it’s irresponsible, why curb it? When is it good to just hang on to a bit of irresponsibility?
3) “Reign in the growth of government.” My suggestion: Stop that growth, then take the next step. That is, reduce the size of government. This is not the same as reducing the growth! Reducing the rate of growth still results in growth. “Hey, we kept the growth of spending to only 3% this year!” It’s still growth, and not reduction, which is not the same as reducing the planned increase in spending.
4) “…path to a balanced budget”? That doesn’t work in my house. “I guess at some point in the future we are going to have to balance our budget.” No, do it this year. Sure, that is painful. We have gone too far down this path to avoid pain. There will be pain no matter what. The pain resulting from surgery will be much less than the pain from a national economic implosion.
The longer we wait, the more painful it will be. “Let’s get on a path to excising that tumor. We’ll spend 3 months, slowly cut out a little more, until – down the road – we’ll finally pull it out of this cancer victim.” Is that what you want to hear from your physician? No. Cut it out as fast as you can. Don’t “reduce wasteful and unnecessary government spending”. I cannot believe someone actually composed that line. To “reduce” is to say we still need some “wasteful and unnecessary spending” for a while. No! Stop it!
5) “Protect entitlement programs.” I understand the need to fulfill obligations to people who have become dependent. Promises have been made.
Why are people dependent? Often it’s because we “generously” created dependency. Over time, every single Federal “entitlement” program needs to be phased out. The very existence of such is antithetical to the idea and purpose of a limited, Federal, Constitutional Republic. The only Constitutional obligation in this regard is to “promote” (not provide for, not guarantee, not micromanage) the “general welfare” of the population.
Entitlement programs do not accomplish that, but rather promote dependency and lack of incentive. The Ponzi scheme that is Social Security is a long-term lie, because it fails sooner or later.
6) “Advance major legislation one issue at a time” This is a very good move – much long overdue. May I say, however, that there is too much demand for “major legislation”? Give it a rest! Here’s a radical suggestion: after taking care of these reforms, repealing that abominable “healthcare” assault on us all (with the glaring exception of yourselves, of course), and balancing the budget – let’s have Congress meet for a couple of months every 2 years for, say, the next 10 years.
This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek. These days, I feel safest when Congress is not in session. Nothing dangerous and wacky can be foisted on the people when Congressmen and Senators are back home among the people, actually listening.
One more suggestion: if you are serious about this, move to the Constitution Party. The platform is already in place. The groundwork is done. Why try to reform a broken shadow of a party, when you can start fresh and not have to re-invent everything?
Some of these ideas probably sound extreme to some readers. If so, then what solutions do you suggest? Would these measures be extreme for your home budget? How long can you spend more than you have without painful consequence?