The Great American Sell-Out

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U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol (Photo credit: afagen)

Both political parties are selling out the American people, and many Americans are quite happy with that. The budget deal included some tax increases, but those are not as much of a concern as a refusal to cut spending. The same massive deficit spending characteristic of the Bush 2 administration and accelerated beyond anything the country has seen under Mr. Obama will sink the children and grandchildren of Americans. The Republican Party does not have the courage to support massive spending cuts because they are more concerned with staying in power than doing the right thing.

Their fear may be justified. Americans showed that they would support someone who kept bringing in the “benefit” dollars–it is the typical attitude of most (and I mean to say “most”) contemporary Americans: “What’s in it for me?” As if that attitude is not bad enough, most Americans have the view that “I want from the government what helps me and to hell with my children and grandchildren.” Massive deficit spending cannot be sustained long-term–that is basic economics which anyone but an academic can understand. The problem is not as much political ideology as it is old fashioned selfishness. As Americans retreat into their individual worlds, the fate of their children (if they have them) becomes immaterial to their own lust for “free stuff.” Of course there is no “free stuff” that the government gives the people–that money comes from taxes. The United States sells treasury bonds to China and Japan (its main customers) which are only as good as long as the United States can pay up. So far it has, and billions of taxpayer dollars have paid the interest in the national debt. Printing more money to pay off higher deficits will only lessen the dollar’s value.

Apocalyptic books are popular these days, as is speculation about apocalyptic scenarios in real life. Although I am not one of those who store barrels of grain in my house, I understand the concern. Congress and the president will not stop massive federal spending, and when the day of reckoning comes (through China calling us on our debt, a massive loss of value of the dollar, or some other deficit-related catastrophe), it will not be pretty. The 2007 recession (which continues today despite what the mainstream media with its Obama-worship says) will look like child’s play. Now ideological liberals may think that’s a good thing since income distribution will be leveled out. To a liberal ideologue, it would not matter if the United States becomes a third world country. I do not believe most people in Congress want that, but their refusal to discipline themselves is going to damn the country to economic disaster. No money can be spent without the House of Representative’s approval. People in the House need to take their fiduciary responsibility to be good stewards seriously. Conservatives need to vote people into Congress who mean it when they call for federal spending cuts. Those in Congress who refuse to accept fiscal responsibility should be voted out.

I am doubtful that will happen–it seems that most Americans’ characters have been corrupted regarding fiscal responsibility by their own greed and selfishness, by their wanting something for nothing. The American people are being sold out, and only a few voices “crying in the wilderness” speak against the sellout. Ultimately, republics tend to disintegrate by their own hands. The hands of most Americans are wrapped around the fiscal throat of the United States, and they refuse to let go. Sadly, amputation via economic collapse may be the only way to teach them hard lessons about economic reality.

What Republicans Must–and Must Not–Do

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"Republican Party Elephant" logo

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The United States has taken a sharp turn to the right in the 2010 midterm elections, and the Republican Party, which is de facto the conservative party in the U. S., had a successful campaign strategy of attacking the Great Society-like spending of Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress. It is now time for Republicans to act and not sit on their laurels as they have done in the past.

What Republicans must do is exhibit fiscal responsibility. The deficit, which increased unnecessarily under the Republican administration of George W. Bush and a Republican Congress, has under Obama rampaged out of control. In the name of stimulus programs and expensive entitlement programs, both parties have done their best to sell out future generations for immediate “reward.” Republicans must stand against excessive spending. They must stop funding Wall Street’s risky banking schemes through stimulus plans that only feed the corruption of the financial industry. They must cut social programs, even popular social programs–and they must cut defense spending. They must not, in the name of compromise, abandon fiscal responsibility. The House of Representatives should consider not appropriating money for expensive federal programs.

The latter option may be unpalatable to war-hawk Republicans, but defense spending must be slashed, military bases closed in most countries, including in European countries, and the armed forces drawn down in size. A large standing army not only sucks up money; it becomes, as the Founders recognized, a threat to freedom.

The Republicans should stop supporting foreign wars such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All American troops should be withdrawn from Iraq, with perhaps some small special forces units remaining along the Afghan-Pakistan border to hunt for Al Qaeda members. The U. S. should ramp down the war rhetoric with Iran. War with Iran would be a disaster for the U. S., with the economic cost in oil price increases sending the country into a depression. The Republicans must stop being warmongers and support a national-interest foreign policy.

The Republicans should stop the bleeding of U. S. jobs to other nations. Selective tariffs would help make American goods more competitive price-wise, but should be used with care, especially with the power China now wields over the U. S. by buying treasury bonds (another factor showing the value of reducing the deficit). Excessive federal regulation, with the exception of environmental regulation that has been shown scientifically to work, should be reduced.

The Republicans must support controlling the borders of the U. S. The United States is rich, but resources are still finite, and having a stable culture based on the primarily British traditions of representative government requires some limitations on immigrations. A temporary moratorium on immigration with restoration occurring with strict controls (Pat Buchanan’s suggestion) is essential.

Federal intervention into the sovereignty of the states should cease; the Tenth Amendment should be respected. Republicans should support the rights of the states to self-determination rather than the exercise of federal power over the states. With increasing technology, the dangers of a strong central government spying on Americans also increases (thus, the need to repeal the falsely-so-called “Patriot Act”). It is more important than ever to affirm the sovereignty and self-determination of states to pass laws that are not under the scope of federal powers delimited in the Constitution. Republicans should vote against judges the President appoints who use the Courts as places to push their private moral agendas on all the states. They should only vote for justices who strictly interpret the Constitution, to the best of their ability, according to its original intent.

On health care, Republicans should repeal provisions of the Health Care Law that only increase the power of insurance companies and of the federal government. Some provisions of the law, such as requiring insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, are good provisions. However, if the only way to defeat the law is to repeal the entire law, then the few good provisions could be later passed as separate laws.

Finally, Republicans should stand for natural law. This includes ending federal support for abortion at any level. They should resist the lobbying of homosexuals for any special rights or favors, while affirming that they have the same political rights as any other American. Decisions on marriage law should be left in the hands of the states. This is in tension with extreme libertarian Republicans of certain stripes, but a good society cannot exist without affirmation of natural law.

If the Republicans fail again, as they did under Bush II, they may suffer as large a defeat in 2012 as the Democrats suffered in 2010. Instead of compromising with political liberalism, let them set forth their vision for the country and rationally defend it. The American people will respect their integrity if Republicans hold their ground on what the consider important. And if the Republicans maintain their integrity, 2012 could be a very good year.