House Republicans Use a Shovel Where Bulldozers are Needed

Unfortunately, the new Republican House of Representatives isn’t getting it right. Perhaps they mean well, but you cannot accomplish great things merely by meaning to do so.

If the House leaders really wanted to change the direction of American politics and government, they would propose boldly. For example, they’d propose eliminating entire Cabinet departments, such as Education and Commerce. They’d propose this as only a start. They wouldn’t squirm and argue amongst themselves over whether or how to return spending to 2008 levels. Returning spending to 2008 levels implies that the Bush Administration and the Congress of his era were right about spending — the exact opposite of what they claim to believe.

The argument is made: “You have to start slowly.” What if the American founders of 1776 had taken this approach? They would have said, “The British royal government is a tyranny. They deny the rights of the individual, rights inherent to all human beings. But we can’t come on too strong. We have to build up to a revolution slowly.” History would have been very different.

I’m not suggesting an overthrow of the United States government. I am suggesting what Tea Party Republicans claim they want: Use of the U.S. Constitution to restore the limited government of the original American republic. No, that can’t be done overnight, and the House of Representatives cannot do it with a hostile Senate and a hostile President, not to mention a half-hostile Supreme Court. But the bold steps I’m proposing, such as eliminating unneeded and unjust government bureaucracies, is the only thing that can be respectably called a start. You need a bulldozer to start a major construction project, not a small shovel.

You can’t change direction without a sense of moral purpose. While cutting spending is important and purposeful, it’s not the end of the story. Even if the American government weren’t totally bankrupt, and in the process endangering our currency and very way of life through its reckless, range-of-the-moment spending, it would still be wrong to have most of these agencies. Government shouldn’t be regulating radio, broadcasting and the Internet; the FCC should be defunded. Government shouldn’t be wrecking business with arbitrary rules and regulations; the EPA and all the other alphabet soup agencies should be defunded. Government should not be in the business of disability, retirement and health insurance — and clearly cannot competently run these complex businesses; Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should be privatized. They’re not going to be around much longer anyway, or the benefits will be worthless if the entire U.S. currency collapses from the weight of government inflationary spending. What good is a Social Security check if the money is worth less and less each year?

Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Republicans’ chief budget planner says, “[Government] borrowing and spending is not the way to prosperity.” Of course this is true. But those who advocate continued government spending don’t care about prosperity for everyone in general; they just care about the short-term. They want what they want — the freebie, the benefit, the subsidy — from the government for just another few months; and in few months they’ll want it again. They can plainly see that the economy is not recovering in any robust way, and that greater dangers lie ahead as the deficit and debt expand into the multiple trillions of dollars. They don’t care. They just want another injection of funds to carry them over into the next period of time. In the health care field they’re so anxious to subsidize and take over, this is called: Addiction.

I hope Rep. Ryan isn’t so naive as to think that his big spending opponents (no doubt in both parties) actually think that government spending creates wealth and prosperity. They know full well it doesn’t. But just as thieves don’t care about the long-range well being of the individuals they harm, the politicians whose careers consist of legalized plunder don’t care about the long-range benefit of the economy they’re destroying.