Wednesday, April 20, 2011
GOP: We've got your back, let's see some backbone
The $38 billion in recent "cuts" was puny enough, and now the Congressional Budget Office reports that the real cut was only $352 million when we ignore the accounting gimmicks. That's just rounding error when deficits are measured in the trillions of dollars.
Round 1 goes to Obama. Now for Round 2.
The Republican House has passed the Ryan Plan, and mainstream Americans wonder if the GOP has the backbone for the fight that will surely follow. Based on their recent performance, maybe it's time for the Republicans to trade in the formidable elephant and get a new symbol, like maybe a milk cow.
Why do the Republicans surrender so easily when reality is on their side and they have the full support of the political mainstream?
If you have ever witnessed a toddler's temper tantrum in a public place and seen the anxious and embarrassed looks on the faces of the child's parents, then you see the root of the problem facing the new Republican Congress.
The left knows that they lost the intellectual argument with conservatism years ago. The left does not even attempt to argue that our astronomical debt makes sound economic sense, that unionizing government workers benefits society as a whole, or that the federal government spends so much money because that's what it takes to carry out its constitutional duties.
The left cannot make those arguments, so they don't try. Instead, they fall back on the infantile strategy of throwing a tantrum if they don't get their way.
The spoiled child threatens, "Give me what I want or I'll scream and embarrass you." The Democrats threaten, "Fund our constituencies so that they can fund our campaigns, or we throw a tantrum and shut down the government and blame you."
The left makes no attempt to weigh the relative benefit of pet projects in light of our economic crisis; they just scream and point fingers. The ship of state is sinking in red ink and the Democrats meet any effort to lighten the load with childish rage: "You can't throw my rock collection overboard. I want it!"
Obama has already started his demands to drain more in taxes from the productive economy to fund the Democrats' pet projects. Any effort to point out the consequences of taxing productivity will be met with, "You're just siding with the rich."
Even as the country faces economic ruin, Obama demands that we increase his allowance. No wonder Rush calls Obama "the man-child."
The Republicans have never figured out how to deal with the Democrats' tantrums, so they relent and quietly try to bail out the Titanic with a teacup. Republicans treat politics as a polite discussion among reasonable adults about the cost of expanding the parking lot at the country club. Surely, we all want what is best for everyone; we just differ on the means.
But the left doesn't want what's best for everyone. The left wants what's best for the left, and the devil take everyone else. Consequences are not their concern.
The Republicans have to realize that appeasement will not stop left's tantrums. The Democrats will call names and threaten to shut down the government if they don't get their way. But if the Republicans let the country sink as they try to appease the Democrats, the Democrats will still call them names. So the Republicans might as well cowboy up, take bold steps and let the left scream until they turn blue.
(Column continues below)
The Ryan Plan addresses systemic budget problems over the long term. But Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation has offered a plan that would quickly cut $343 billion, and, frankly, the list looks pretty painless for mainstream America. Would you really miss the Economic Development Administration, the Denali Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Legal Services Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, or the National Endowment for Humanities?
Put another way, is it worth triggering another Great Depression in order to keep those things?
None of Riedl's suggested cuts would kick sick children out of hospitals or force the elderly to eat cat food. And he would leave the Department of Education standing, so there's still plenty of useless fat to cut.
Let the Democrats have their tantrum and shut down the government. The country will support the Republicans if they will get off the defensive and start pointing out the billions upon billions in waste, kickbacks, earmarks, payoffs and other tax-funded rackets that the left has run for years. Make the Democrats justify spending our children into bankruptcy in order to funnel tax money to their voters and donors.
We've got your back, Republicans. Let's see some backbone.