Deficits do matter
Many conservatives have argued over the years that deficits don’t matter – that as long as economic growth can keep up with the pace of interest on the debt, then the American economy and government will stay solvent. They are wrong.
The “deficits don’t matter” strain of the conservative movement rightfully argues that when conservatives get too focused on debt, they will squish on taxes as one element of a plan to get debt under control. They worry that Republicans will get what economist Dan Mitchell calls the “Bob Dole Syndrome” – a political illness that makes right-leaning politicians agree to an immediate increase in taxes to the tune of trillions of dollars in exchange for promised cuts to programs in the distant future. Conservatives all agree that government is way too big and taxes are too high, but sometimes they try to negotiate with big government politicos as a means to cut the debt.
America is at a crossroads where politicians need to keep taxes low while taking an axe to the waste, fraud abuse and programs unauthorized by the Constitution slowly ruining our great nation. The fact of the matter is that the estimated $15.6 trillion in debt is a hidden tax on future generations. It needs to be attacked.
The Pathway to Prosperity or Highway to Hell
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) passed a Fiscal Year 2013 budget plan out of the House Budget Committee that will slow the growth of government. The Ryan budget is known as the “Pathway to Prosperity” and contains some ideas that will push the federal government incrementally in the right direction. Liberals such as President Obama are on a highway to a bad place with higher taxes, massive new debt and brand new spending ideas.
Sixty percent of federal spending is on entitlement programs. The Ryan plan repeals ObamaCare and reforms Medicare. Ryan turns the current Medicare program into a premium support system beginning in 2023. The Ryan approach allows seniors to choose their own health care plan with a government subsidy and gets seniors away from government dominated health care decisions of current Medicare. It should happen earlier, but this is far better than the liberal plan to do nothing other than allow Medicare to expand.
On defense, the Ryan plan suspends automatic cuts to defense spending so that President Obama isn’t allowed to gut our national defense while increasing taxes to establish a European-style welfare state for all Americans. The Ryan plan also has growth-oriented tax reform. This is in contrast to President Obama’s plan to use the idea of tax reform as a pretext to hike taxes on all Americans.
The Ryan plan is expected to be rolled out in the House, and the House is expected to follow the parameters of the Ryan plan. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) already has pledged that the Senate won’t take up the Obama budget or the Ryan budget. Liberals are hoping that voters won’t notice their inaction and legislative incompetence this fall. Ryan is hoping that Americans listen to his call to put America on the road to prosperity and smaller government.
The House is expected to take up and pass a three-month highway bill the week of March 26, setting up a fight with the Senate, which has passed a bloated two-year, $109 billion plan. House Republicans want the shorter-term plan to pass while House and Senate negotiate an agreement on a final bill. This will give time for conservatives to fight to cut spending levels and to devolve these highway programs back to the states.
Violence Against Women Act
Senate Democrats are pushing for passage of a beefed-up Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as a means to beat up on Republicans. They want to bully Republicans into passing this bill, even though it contains some offensive provisions to conservatives. The biggest problem with VAWA is that it does violence to the Constitution and traditional marriage.
Nowhere in the Constitution is there a provision that authorizes special-interest programs to give money to help women with the effects of crime. This program may make people feel good, but this function of government is best left to states and localities.
Also, the Violence Against Women Act has a provision that allows men, based on sexual preference, to seek protection. If ever there were a case to prove mission creep in this program, this provision is it. The provision disallows exclusion of people from the program on the basis of “sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c) (4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation.” So same-sex couples are expressly included and men are included. This bill has become the catch-all domestic violence act and should be renamed at a minimum before Republicans are intimidated into allowing the bill to pass.