Getting America Off the Trough


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The difficulty in cutting spending isn’t just laid on Democrats, who specialize in handing out money, but also felt by Republicans. No national political entity has tried to cut spending since the Republican takeover of the House in 1995. After going to battle with the Clinton administration, the government was briefly shutdown, an event that was portrayed as a type of Armageddon by the Washington press, but had no measurable impact outside of saving money. Spun wonderfully by an administration wise to the ways of public relations, the House Republicans took a beating in the polls.

It isn’t hard to see this situation reflective on the political strategies of George W. Bush, whose “compassionate conservatism” meme spelled out for everyone to read – I’m not cutting anything. Twenty years before, the Department of Education was the bane of the conservative existence. Bush made it larger. He also created a new Medicare entitlement. It doesn’t make for good conservative politics, but it does make for political expediency. These circumstances have created a situation in which a desperate economy will continuously be dragged into stagnation by the public-sector monster. Feeding the monster during good times, such as the post-war years or the mid 1990s, is of no consequence to the future. Growing the monster is good politics in the present, but bad for future fiscal stability.

Success in fighting back an ever-growing government and repairing the fiscal damage starts in the fall. Republicans can take over the House and do damage to the filibuster-proof Senate. But moving beyond victory, if it happens, and getting back to good economic health will take more than the usual shortness of fortitude displayed by the modern politician.

Republicans will be reduced to inhuman terms with any attempted spending cut. It will play out live on the news networks and the major newspapers. This will be the same battle fought in the mid-90s, only this time, the dominant press narrative will go against a cable leviathan in Fox News, a talk-radio media that has grown exponentially since then and a vibrant and virile conservative internet media.

It also means being heard by the public through the chants and jeers of public sector unions, interest groups and anyone else with a stake to lose. Reaction may not sink to the level of Greece, where a bank was fire-bombed during a union protest, but it will get bad. It should also be interesting to see if these new protests are handled in the same manner by our leaders and press as the Tea Party.

The battle will be an important one, with stakes riding into the 2012 presidential election. Even more important, it will decide whether the American public will accept a Congress that cuts them off the trough. Here’s hoping they do.

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  • Kim Bruce

    The Obama administration is an ACORN utopian dream that could never come to fruition.
    Even if Conservatives took over the reins of power at this stage of the game, America is too far removed to ever recover from the damage, in the name of "CHANGE", that has befallen Lady Liberty.
    It almost appears as if this CHANGE was deliberate, in its speed of occurring, as though this was conceived of long ago.
    If America could ever recover from the damge done it could take generations and America just doesn't have that kind of time. 'The Islamic armies have their seige equipment at the castle walls' and, with the seemigly amazing reproductive abilities of Muslims, it is predicted that Islamic population will overcome America by 2050.
    I don't think there is any reversal to this trend. I'm sorry to say but, what has happened in the EU and UK, it is now America.

  • USMCSniper

    Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven't fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.

    Americans dislike the term "welfare state" and substitute the bland word "entitlements." The vocabulary doesn't alter the reality. Countries cannot overspend and overborrow forever. By delaying hard decisions about spending and taxes, governments maneuver themselves into a cul de sac. Ours is 5 years or less away when we reach a debt of 20 trillion dollars.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/GOP_Sucks GOP_Sucks

      You're such an asswipe!

      Plagiarism is shameful!!!

      Have enough decency to cite the person that should have responsibility for this.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/05

      It's called stealing — shame on you

      • USMCSniper

        Ahhh, here we have another wigger with his tongue in the ass of Barney Frank in hope of government handout.

  • Richard Johnston

    No, the Republicans will specifically not bring back fiscal sanity because doing so is political suicide. Once governments started doing things they never should have been doing, the only question became when will the system collapse. The Boomers "want theirs" and to provide it someone will have to pay. But there will not be enough "someones" so it will be the "Greecian formula" for the U.S. We can rename the country "Madoffia" after it defaults on its obligations.

  • USMCSniper

    And the worst is yet to come. Congress just passed the financial overal bill to regulate (read control and size assets with Volckner rule) the banking industry . Let’s not forget Volcker was once chief counterfeiter of the Federal Reserve during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, Volcker was also in the front lines during the Nixon administration helping to orchestrate the end of Brenton Woods, the last vestige of the dollar being tied to gold—heralding the modern era of the total fiat dollar. Volcker is a genuine central planner, he believes that the government along with anti-capitalist corporate cronies can run the environment as well as the economy. Naturally they all reap immense plunder from it all at our expense but don’t expect him to point out that part. It’s the price they will continue to extract from you to “save the dollar” and “save the environment”. Just be mind numbingly afraid of those bogeymen they nurture and let the Obama apparatchiks take control of every aspect of your finacial existence and protect you from the shudddder… evil capitalists. May they all die young and in agony.

  • http://senatormark4.org SenatorMark4

    No. No they won't be able to roll any of this back. They don't have a plan at all. What are they going to say, "Everybody knows there is no free lunch, but we'll keep your's going as long as possible." Yes. That's the ticket. I carried a resolution from the precinct level to the Texas Republican Party platform committee that suggested that all these payments, etc. should be reported like my earned income. 1099-GOV. Hundreds of delegates liked the idea. Establishment not so much. If we can't track it we can't control it and they like it that way.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/GOP_Sucks GOP_Sucks

    Emergency deficit spending by the GOP out paces Dems by a mile. In fact Clinton was the only President that in acted a surplus budget.

    After Rosevelt, all the democrat presidents combined didn't sign into law more deficit spending than both Bush's combined.

    Now the GOP is whining because Obama has to make a massive contribution to the deficit Republican style?

    This is how it works — 8 years of Bush created non regulated real estate speculation with the most irresponsible loans ever. All you needed was a pulse. Illegal immigrants were qualifying for loans.
    What did our GOP leader do ? nothing just rode the wave as well. He created more emergency deficit spending on his Ad Hoc premises for going to Iraq than Clinton's Bosnia war and Bush's welcome party war in Sudan combined but yet Clinton came out of it with a Surplus!!!

    So now everyone is out of work so there are no income tax revenue anymore and real estate home values have plummeted so we have low real estate tax assessment so therefore the local govt. can't pay their city workers thus having to ask for federal assistance i.e. unemployment, cobra, medical,… All this is emergency spending which runs up the deficit. But yet much if not all of this goes back into the economy — putting people to work such as gas station attendants, grocers and what not. If we didn't put this deficit spending into place, then not only would it swell the amount of people competing for jobs that are not there, it compromises the people who are already are underemployed by not having these people subsidized.

    Now let us look at the GOP' massive deficit spending — useless wars. What is the return on our investment? NOTHING. In fact, it puts us further in debt with other nations due to our relations. Not even Israel benefits from this, These wars add premise for fanatical Muslims to justify their rhetoric thus creating more extremists.

    So the GOP is a pathetic lying sack of hypocrites

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/PeteHDO PeteHDO

      2nd to Barney Frank.

  • Douglas

    GOP_Lover Who gives a crap about the muslims fanatical or otherwise. They are sworn to convert us, subjugate us or kill us.

    It's unfortunate people don't recognize it was the republicans in 1994 who made clinton retain some fiscal responsibility giving us the surplus.

    It's also unfortunate that many, I would say half, the people don't realize money has to come from somewhere. When I watched the Greeks rioting I was amazed by the shear stupidity of the people thinking they can get money from a government that has none. Maybe libturds actually do believe in money trees. Goodness knows they believe in fairies.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/PeteHDO PeteHDO

    Spending will only be moderated, until we are willing to elect the ….., nope sorry, we went over the edge in December when Obama Care was passed. Sorry folks we are doomed to be broke and taxed until we die. Smile you can't take it with you.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JackKinch1uncle JackKinch1uncle

    'Sick Willie" didn't balance the budget. It was Gingrich and the 'Republicans contract with America' that did that..Gingrich would have been the best choice in 1996,2000,2004 and 2008 and he will be in 2012.. If he becomes President, he will make the necessary 'change' and end this foolishness which because of all the deadbeats will cost him the next election.