Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Road Ahead

What road will we follow to the future.  One that continues the policies that are quickly bankrupting the nation or the one that leads to financial sanity?  Today Congressman Paul Ryan released the House plan for the 2013 budget which reduces the federal deficit and puts the nation back on a responsible course that ultimately leads to the elimination of federal debt.  Consider the chart below posted today at the Enterprise Blog.

Wow!  What a difference.  I will not post the details of the Ryan plan here. That can be found elsewhere.  He does chart a responsible course that continues, but alters a number of essential programs.  What is the alternative?  Irresponsible spending that will crush the American economy.

In a statement released today, Bill Wilson, president of American's For Limited Government stated:

“Obama has added more debt in a single term than any president in American history — indeed, any leader in world history. By the end of this calendar year, the Obama Administration, through its policies, will have added $4.925 trillion to the national debt. That includes $185 billion of 2009 ‘stimulus’ spending and when Obama’s first continuing resolution went into effect at the end of the 2009 fiscal year.

“By the time his fiscal year 2013 spending has fully gone into effect, Obama will have added a full $5.823 trillion to the debt.

Consider the road we have followed over recent years and project this same activity out and consider the consequences.  Please watch the following video (you may want to click on the YouTube link to watch it in full screen).

Now is the time for change.  We must take action and support the Ryan budget or a similar proposal that stops digging us deeper into a hole from which we may not recover.

Monday, March 19, 2012

America's Great Divide

I thought that it was about time to retrieve my blog from the mothballs.  There is too much going on that needs comment.  Some days I listen to the news and commentary and it is all I can do to keep from throwing things at my computer screen.  Thus, I have returned.
One of the thoughts that I have focused on for quite sometime is the great divide within America.  For a long time I felt that there were two main parties involved in this battle.  However, after further consideration, there is a third party passively involved, but critical in determining the outcome of our future.  The parties:
  • The political right: Conservatives, libertarians, and others who believe in a more literal interpretation of the United States Constitution.  These are they who believe in the freedom of the individual, property rights, and in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These are they who believe that the government that governs least governs best.  These are they who believe that each individual American should have the right to pursue his dreams, but also be allowed to fail.  
  • The political left:  Liberals, progressives, socialists and others who may give lip service to the Constitution, but find it an impediment to achieving their aims.  The political left may give lip service to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but also believe that the government should provide for those who may be struggling at the expense of those who have been successful.  These are they who may speak of dreams, but regulate them out of existence.
  • The middle (not a political middle): This includes that huge group of Americans that have so little interest in the governance of their communities and the nation that they fail to vote or even fail to register to vote.  It also includes many who vote, but have no core political philosophy.  They are swayed by campaign retoric and media hype.  Unfortunately, it is this group that unwittingly determines the course of American politics. And, since many from this segment of the population have no core political philosophy, they are often swayed by the promises of politicians. 
Clearly, these three groups are more complex than stated above.  It is the political right and left that are seeking to chart the course of this nation.  As one who is conservative/libertarian in philosophy, it is my hope that politcians such as Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and Mike Lee prevail and their promises of limited government come to pass.  However, I have lived long enough to know that the progressive/liberal side of politics is relentless and has been incrementally successful over the past 100 years.  Since 1912, the United States has seen passage and implementation of the federal income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and now Obamacare.  Should conservatives prevail in 2012, there will not be any major rollback of these programs because progressives will continue to hold sufficient power in Congress and in the courts.

So, the question is this:  Is there any way to resolve this great political divide.  Continuing as we have done over the past 100 years will only take us deeper into socialism and lead us closer to the edge of bankruptcy.  Should the conservatives prevail, the progressives will not stop.  The Occupy Wall Street crowd, the unions, and other liberal organizations will continue their protests, maybe to new levels.  Unfortunately, it is my belief that only a collapse of the system as we know it will give us a chance to start anew.  I hope it doesn't come to that.

Last evening I watched an episode from the 1980s mini-series, the Winds of War.  In that episode, one of the German generals challenged Hitler about preparedness for opening the western front.  Hitler verbally tore this general apart.  Though a political extremist, at times Hitler was brilliant, but he led Germany into a hole that has left an eternal scar on that nation.  Hitler was the result of a vacuum that was created in a political system that failed.  Hopefully, American can turn away from failed policies before it meets such a tragic fate.  I believe that we can only bridge the "great divide" as we honestly seek the truth, learn from history, and be open to reasonable discourse.