If the fiscal cliff is a ditch, the national debt is the Grand Canyon. We are riding the Democratic Party donkey all the way to the bottom and they have no mandate, or desire, to balance the budget. The economic zombie apocalypse is waiting for us there, and they won’t be passing out granola bars.
The GOP has to come together to decide, overwhelmingly, that we must balance the budget. The problem is that the majority of those in the GOP apparently do not see the debt as the top priority. They will pick-up right where they left off before the election and avoid the elephant in the room. And we will all go down together.
They have actually joined with the Democrats in voicing their “horror” over the prospect of forced budget cuts via sequestration. God forbid both sides cut anything. Even if the “devastating” sequestration cuts go through, it won’t even touch the 16+ trillion-dollar debt.
We have been played; very skillfully I must say, by the ruling Democratic Party elite. They have set us up specifically NOT to balance the budget – or even really debate it in a meaningful way. They did this, not in Karate fashion – it was more Aikido fashion. Instead of punching the GOP, they simply invited the GOP’s punches and directed the elephant to the ground. They used the GOP’s own willingness to expand the scope of federal government and depth of the national debt via the Patriot Act, increased military spending, no child left behind, Medicare Part D and the 2008 bailouts. In that respect, the GOP joined with the Democrats in expanding government spending and reach.
They realized two very important points. First, the GOP would not push for a balanced budget because they would have to offer up military spending cuts and they would be afraid that would anger the voters. Second, the Democrats knew that as long as the Dems continued to increase voter dependency on government programs, they would be assured a majority voting block as that dependency was already approaching 50%, all without having to even address the debt. The Democratic strategists knew there was one additional reality about their long-time foe that would guarantee that everything would come together.
The icing on the cake for them was their knowledge that the GOP was stuck in their own antiquated, failed, inter-party battle between moderates and conservatives. Why was this perfect? Because one thing the moderates and conservatives shared, while they debated over the social platform, was their love for military spending. No matter which candidate rose to the top, they knew the trap was set, and no meaningful balanced budget debate would occur. And why was that so important? Because the only thing that could derail their entire plan would be for the GOP to embrace the KEY ISSUE by merging with the Tea Party and Libertarians with their balanced budget, small government passion. That would capture a much wider base and push them over the top – with a mandate to actually balance the budget once in office.
But that didn’t happen. The Democrats knew the GOP would not open the party to that opportunity. Their prediction was confirmed during the Republican National Convention. They knew the GOP was too entrenched, too full of pride. And they were correct. And now the Dems can lead us to increased collectivism – or worse.
So what is the solution, if we are so fortunate to even have a two-party option in 2014 and 2016? The GOP needs to move away from the moderate-conservative debate and move toward the conservative-libertarian/Tea Party debate, which means having all those extra votes in the room with them. The new debate must squarely focus on balancing the budget, and thus necessarily reducing the scope of government as the critical point of focus. Yes, that will lead to discussing military spending. Fortunately, like all inefficiently run government programs, there is plenty of waste that this new alliance can agree upon and target. Who knows, maybe they can actually find a way to save billions of dollars (e.g., requiring countries like Germany to pay for their own border defense) while at the same time actually shore-up one of the most dangerous international borders in the world – the U.S./Mexico border. Defense spending is different from military spending. That distinction provides lots of room for negotiation.
At least the new alliance will be on the same page about something that actually matters – the greatest threat to our national security and the greatest threat to the survival of Democratic Party dominance – the national debt.
Given that even the magnificent Obama machine still left 40% of Americans at home, not voting on election night, I have hope some of those will join us.