One of my favorite commentators is Dennis Prager. He recently penned (can you still say “penned”?) an article about why fiscal conservatism alone is insufficient to save America. While his piece was excellent, I think it could have actually delved more into the ‘fiscal’ aspects of the struggle.
The Tea Party movement of 2009,2010 was a wonderful thing, and while an excellent vehicle for anti-big government enthusiasts, it was in the main the strictly fiscal conservatism, libertarianism theme that Prager talks about. The dots that I feel that need connecting are the dots between socialist progressive movements, or bleeding-heart liberalism, and funding. As the magnificent Progressive Republican Mitch Daniels advised, many Republicans want to call a truce on social issues, somehow missing the point that if a great big chunk of the liberal social issues that the Left have installed in the American Polity are not opposed, then the budget is never going to be balanced, the debt is never going to be reduced, et cetera.
A prime example of this dilemma is that every time the issue of lowering taxes comes up, the fiscal conservatives get sucked into the liberal premise “How are we going to PAY FOR THE TAX CUTS?”Recently, the Republicans said “Well, we’ll close the loopholes, thus maintaining REVENUE!” Sigh.
In a nutshell, the fact that all of the liberal social programs have carried the day for the last fifty years is the reason America is insolvent today. And the reason all the liberal social programs have carried the day is because the “fiscal conservatives” have ruled the Republican roost, not only in DC, but in much state and local governance as well.
In the past year or two, the arguments on fiscal policy have centered on “entitlements”, which are usually described as being limited to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and occasionally unemployment benefits. But somehow, the National Endowment for the Arts being “entitled” to funding is brushed under the rug. The Head Start program, which has been exposed as being an abject failure, is never deprived of it’s “entitled” status. You get the picture. There are literally thousands of programs, many of them “social” that have baseline budgeting that gets renewed automatically every year. Often there are multiple federal agencies engaged in administering or regulating or promoting or reviewing these programs. It is absurd. The federal government, the bureaucracy, is so gargantuan it is almost impossible for the average citizen to comprehend it. And 90+ % of it is due to supposed conservatives either withdrawing from the field or acquiescing in the funding of the liberal dream. The libertarians and the fiscal conservatives cannot have their cake and let the liberals continue to eat theirs.
Update: We had previously heard that the R’s were going to agree to extending the debt ceiling for two months, thus kicking the can down the road for the umpteenth time since the Tea Party triumph of 2010. Word comes out of DC today that it will be extended to the middle of May, or two additional months.
Whatever transpires in politics the next two years, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the mainstream Republican Party in this country is, and has been, paying lip service to the notion of fiscal responsibility. They have had ample opportunity and multiple chances to shut down the government, meaning , among other things, the opportunity to deny such corrupt agencies as the EPA and DOE and HHS and DOL and the other DOE the subsistence monies they need to remain fully-staffed and able to coordinate with (and funnel walking-around money to) their leftist allies (individuals and groups) outside of government in furthering the fundamental transformation of America ordered by Barack Hussein Obama.
While such bank-breaking measures as the Affordable Care Act and the ‘stimulus’ spending legislation were passed prior to the 112th Congress being elected, that Congress could have crippled the Administration’s ability to use those monies to, in effect, finance it’s own re-election campaign by channeling public monies to projects and business concerns owned or administrated by Obama-friendly types. Congress could have done that by simply furloughing the people who write the checks. They could have done it by using their oversight role to haul in the bureaucrats engaged in the skullduggery and demand public accounting. They could have pursued actual physical remedies by impeachment of federal officers or other legal maneuvering. And finally, failing to stem the tide of money already committed, they could have simply refused to budget those NEA and Head Start and Community Development Block Grant programs, and so many, many more, as we discussed earlier. They declined to do any of that. They simply drew their salaries, campaigned for reelection, and feigned concern. They are thus the agents of their own demise. And Barack Obama now has four additional months to get his ducks in a row to hasten that demise.
Knowing that, We The People are the ones that will now have to do something. We will have to, as many business owners and entrepreneurs (see Phil Mickelson) are being left no choice but to do, “Go Galt” and just retire from the field of play and/or find creative ways to suspend or disrupt the flow of cash into the Treasury. Someone will have to write an ‘app’ for us little people who don’t own a business or play the markets. Something to the effect of cashing in our bonds, deluging the IRS with millions and millions of requests for extensions in filing our 1040’s, creating a run on the banks or whatever stratagems can be employed. In essence, We The People have to find a way to push the government over that ‘fiscal cliff’ they have been doing the Chicken Little Shuffle and crying ‘Wolf!’ about for the last six months. Essentially, we’re going to have to find a way, or ways, to starve them of cash – all of them. Either that or lay waste to the District of Columbia. We’re running out of time and options.