By Allen Tharp
Why America has been moving away from the free market principles on which it was founded and left toward Socialism…
I’m amazed at how often the GOP surrenders conservative values and adopts liberal issues as their own, while liberals never, never adopt conservative issues. The GOP failure to be guided by a conservative compass has allowed for the overall drift nationally to the political left. For the establishment GOP, there are no guiding principles, other than the desire to be re-elected. Democrats on the other hand are truly committed to their liberal Marxist ideals and religiously push their big government programs that are destroying this country.
Traditionally republican issues:
Fiscal responsibility has been touted as a Republican issue, but when was the last time you heard either party address balancing the budget and paying off the debt? The conversation is never about how to pay down the debt, which should supposedly be a GOP issue. It is instead about which spending increases each party will propose to maintain the status quo, although more spending has supposedly been a Democrat issue.
Rather than putting their foot down and demanding a stop to overspending, the GOP tells us how the debt ceiling must be raised to increase government spending and keep government running as usual. Again, raising the debt ceiling and increasing spending was supposed to be a Democrat thing. So why are Republicans selling it?
What about cutting unnecessary and duplicative federal agencies? Wasn’t smaller, limited Constitutional government supposed to be a Republican issue? Obviously it is not, or we would see more legislation being proposed by the GOP to eliminate federal programs and departments. Instead all debate is on Democrat terms: How government will be grown, never on how it will be made smaller.
Look at the tax debate. Well, okay, any real tax debate is nonexistent. However, remember the last time there was any debate on taxes a few years ago when Obama decided taxes needed to go up: The debate was always on Democrat turf, how much to raise taxes and never any focus on lowering taxes or flattening taxes. Again, the GOP let the Democrats frame the issues, and then they folded.
There has been too little effort to promote the precepts of fiscal conservatives like Art Laffer who said, ““If the government takes from someone who makes more, the government has reduced that person’s incentives to earn income, and that person will in turn produce less.” “If the government then gives that money to those who have less, they now have a source of income other than work and will also produce less.””
Traditionally Democrat issues:
Now, consider Democrat issues, most of which are nonsensical and pointless, with the rest being harmful to the economy and small business. Democrats actually made the Confederate flag, of all things, an issue recently. However, unlike Democrats who never jump on to any GOP bandwagon, Republicans fell all over themselves trying to out-Democrat the Democrats on getting rid of the Confederate flag. Governor Nikki Haley jumped to remove the flag from the Capitol building. Not to be outdone, Speaker Boehner assured America that he agreed the Confederate flag should be “gone.” One after another, GOP politicians jumped on the absurd, pointless “ban the flag” bandwagon. Time that should have been spent fighting for fiscally conservative legislation, instead, was squandered on attacking a piece of cloth.
Hate crime legislation is another ridiculous construct of the Democrat party. Democrats proposed targeted laws making certain groups a protected class, and Republicans rushed to jump onboard with a concept that never made a lick of sense. They created harsher sentencing criteria for crimes against some groups over other groups. They threw out the concept of fair and equal treatment for all citizens. Rather than stand up and demand that all classes be treated the same, they tried to outdo the Democrats to show how concerned they were for victims. Hate crime legislation was passed with bipartisan support, even though there were already laws against those very crimes. But as usual, the Democrats sold it and the GOP bought it.
Diversion by personal attack is another favorite Democrat ploy that Republicans are always quick to participate in. They relish slamming the Todd Aikens or the Donald Trumps of the party, rather than addressing anything of substance like the national debt or the pending Social Security and Medicare crisis. But as soon as Democrats get the ball rolling, the cannibalistic, GOP establishment never hesitates to join the fray and rip apart their own.
And remember how Medicare was foisted upon us by the Democrats? Well, at least it was initially. But once again the “compassionate conservative” Republicans had to show us how they too could spend our money, for our own good, on things that did not fall under the purview of the Federal government, as long as it garnered them votes in the next election. Despite the fact that such a program is unconstitutional and would become totally unaffordable, George Bush and the Republican Congress passed and implemented Medicare Part D, the prescription benefit plan.
Then under the Bush administration, to show they had a heart, the compassionate conservatives did the same thing by passing No Child Left Behind legislation. We had been told that only Democrats want to grow the Federal Government and support Federal control of the Department of Education, while the GOP wants to shrink government and turn all such programs over to the states to run. Obviously history tells us something different. There was no light between the Republican and Democrat policies on the DOE or the NCLB, after all.
Recently the GOP has also been complicit in saving the Democrat’s key piece of legislation, Obamacare, although they had sworn to rip it out root and branch. The Democrats passed Obamacare by themselves, but later the Republicans kept it alive by refusing to use the power of the purse to withhold funding. Establishment Republicans were actually relieved when the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare in the King V. Burwell case because the Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare allowed the GOP to avoid taking any consequential action to end it. The GOP RINOs were revealed as the duplicitous traitors that they are. They erroneously believed that taking away perceived benefits might cost votes. Their self-interest was more important to them than their commitment to the voters that sent them to Washington.
Amnesty and open borders for illegal aliens, known as comprehensive immigration reform by liberals and national suicide by conservatives, are also policies that are beneficial only to the Democrat party but were soon pushed hard by some misguided Republicans, at the peril of their own party. Their willingness to adopt such a suicidal policy seems incomprehensible, until you realize that they are solely motivated by their own short term self-interest. They are only interested in doing what they think will get them promoted in the party or re-elected for the next term and has nothing to do with what will help the country or even their party. For establishment GOP politicians, unfortunately it is all about their perceived short term personal gains being traded for long term economic losses for America.
What to do?
If we are going to rein in politician’s predilection for putting their own self-interest over that of America, one of many changes that must be implemented is term limits. The longer a politician stays in office, the more they tend to be co-opted by special interest groups and internal party politics and the less beholding they become to their constituency.
Most Federal programs need to be cut or abolished, but cutting any program is sure to anger some recipient group and hurt re-election prospects. So, given the choice, most politicians opt for the votes and disregard the economic harm they do to the country. This is why no politicians are addressing hard issues like the Social Security crisis, the Medicare crisis, the Medicaid crisis, or the debt crisis. Removing the personal incentive for politicians to place votes above country is paramount.
Currently no matter how terrible an incumbent may be, they are difficult to unseat though because their position gives them a huge megaphone and access to resources not available to most challengers. Incumbents have a 90% chance of being re-elected, even when they have been total failures. Twelve years in office is enough and should be the absolute maximum time allowed in office. Term limits will allow for new blood to replace entrenched self-promoters.
Term limits are not a panacea and will not solve all of the problems in Washington, but they are a great first step.
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