A preventable financial disaster by Paul Ryan and Jim DeMint

A disturbing opinion piece written by Senator Jim DeMint declares that: “Despite bipartisan promises to cut spending after the 2010 elections, Washington politicians are still voting to make the government even bigger and more expensive than ever.”

In 1997, Paula Cole sang a song that asked “Where have all the Cowboys Gone?”  If the DeMint piece is correct, and we have no reason to believe it is not, we’re left to believe that there are no more cowboys In Washington.  DeMint’s piece goes on to cite that: “Republicans and Democrats ‘have increased spending 5% in the first nine months of this year alone.’”  In other words, if DeMint is one of the few cowboys left—or Congressmen Ryan or Paul—it appears few are listening to them.

Paul Ryan tried to be a cowboy on spending cuts, and he was/is vilified for it.  Ron Paul has talked the cowboy lingo for a generation, and he is giggled at in some quarters for being a little bit of a wacko.  Some have said that these two, and anyone who talks specifics about cutting spending, have done irreparable harm to their political futures.  In other words, if you want to remain a lowly cowboy you can engage in such sophistry, but if you want a real political future you’ll fall in line and vote for this one, specific, solitary spending measure, and you won’t sass.  Go ahead and say what you need to say on the campaign trail, but if you want a real political future…

“In the spring fight to avert a government shutdown, Republicans promised $100 billion in real cuts but then compromised for $38.5 billion in future savings. In reality, the Congressional Budget Office found the deal still resulted in an increase of more than $170 billion in federal spending from 2010 to 2011. The “largest spending cut in history” ended up being a spending increase.

“Americans were then told the real spending cuts would come during the summer fight over the decision to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Conservatives pushed the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan to balance the budget within ten years in exchange for increasing the legal borrowing limit. Instead of doing that, however, Democratic and Republican leadership made a compromise deal to allow President Obama to increase our national debt to nearly $17 trillion, conditioned only on the creation of a supercommittee that would produce debt-reduction recommendations by the end of the year.

“But this committee isn’t really trying to cut spending,” DeMint furthers.  “(It) has spent months debating how high they should raise taxes to lower the deficit.”

Cowboys are heartless in other words.  Cowboys want to see dead people.  That’s how they deal with confrontation.  As Democrats have said many times, many ways, any Republican who votes against Democrat initiatives and for Republican initiatives wants to see people dead.  If a Republican votes against funding abortions, for example, they want “to allow women to die on the floor,” Nancy Pelosi 10/14/2011.

The dirty, little secret, say Democrats, is that while voters say they want spending cuts, they don’t want anyone to take away their goodies.  Imagine, they say, if we cut unemployment benefits in this horrible economy and with what some have suggested is a 15-16% unemployment rate.  We would have dead people in the streets.  Do you want dead people in the streets?  If you do, vote Republican.  Children, sorry, Republicans want to see dead children in the streets.  Republicans want to see their neighbors’ children dead, they want to see that cute little kid–of that cute couple you saw in the mall–dead, and what about your cute, little Nephew Timmy?  Yeah, they want him dead too…even sweet, little Timmy.

We all know a Timmy.  Democrats know this.  They read the figures.  They know that 1 in 6 are now on some form of government assistance.  They know that 50 million are now on Medicaid (a 17% increase since 12/07), 40 million are on food stamps (a near 50% increase since 2008), and 10 million receive unemployment benefits (an 18% increase since 2008).  Those are a lot of our neighbors’ children, a lot of couples in malls sporting beautiful children, and a lot of little Timmys dancing in our heads when we hear Nancy Pelosi speak.  What happens to these kids if Republicans vote for Republican initiatives and against Democrat initiatives?  Do they take to the streets and create Oliver! style hamlets?  Do they allow our children to starve?  Republicans are for dirty water and dirty air remember?  Well, they’re against many laws put forth by the EPA aren’t they?  Do they want our children to turn blue as a result of the poor air quality?

A mere 8 out of the 47 Republicans in the Senate voted for an amendment sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez to raise the maximum size of federally subsidized loans to $729,750, pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back mortgages far above average home prices.  What if the Republicans had succeeded in defunding this effort? Would our kids go without homes?  They could be forced to live in Oliver! style hamlets?  Smurfs is what we’re talking about here people.  Our kids could be living like Smurfs if Republicans succeed in cutting spending.  If you don’t want your neighbors’ kids to be dead, or blue and living in mushroom hamlets like Smurfs, contact your Congressman and tell him to vote for increased spending limits.  Your neighbors will appreciate it.

In response to this general line of thought, Jack Kemp once said, “The way we (Republicans) define compassion is not by adding up how many people receive government benefits, but rather tallying the numbers of those who no longer need them.”

“How could we have let that happen?” a friend of mine said walking out of the movie Pearl Harbor.  I argued with her about the incident at Pearl Harbor.  I defended my country with the most patriotic sentiments I could muster.  I lost, for the most part, because there were things we could’ve done, there were things we knew, and there were arrows that pointed to the eventual attack at Pearl Harbor.  I remembered my friend’s reaction to the movie, and our subsequent argument, after 9/11/2001.  This was our disaster.  This wasn’t our grandparent’s failings.  We now had our own disaster that could’ve been avoided.  I wondered how much we knew about that attack, how much we could’ve done, and how many arrows there were that pointed to 9/11 happening.  The historians, bloggers, and pundits have all pointed out everything that could’ve been done in the lead up to 9/11 to prevent it, and the question we all ask is: “How could we have let that happen?”

Paul Ryan, and others, have asserted that the financial disaster that awaits us is entirely preventable, “If we are willing to make the hard choices.”  When Democrats talk about tough choices, they’re talking about forcing you to do with less freedom that will result from less money that will result from higher taxes.  They’re not talking about government doing with less.  They’re not talking about averting this disaster that economic prognosticators are forecasting.

When Republicans talk about tough choices they’re talking about the government doing with less, you having more freedom from government dependency, and all of the consequences that will result from lesser government.  Republicans, like Senator DeMint, are telling us that they know that it’s going to be difficult, but there are things we can do to prevent this Greece style collapse from happening.  It’s going to take a sea change, they’re saying, from the path we’re currently on, but it can be done…if we’re willing.  As I said though, it appears as if no one’s listening.

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy.  The cowboys in the Republican party have a tough road ahead of them if they intend to eventually convince voters and legislators that  we all have to do with less government.  It’s going to take a cowboy to do it, a renegade that Democrats and the media will relentlessly mock as heartless.  Legislators, like Pelosi, will tell you that this person wants to kill your women and starve your children, and this cowboy will have to have the temerity to weather that storm, but will we have the temerity to stand with them?  Will we have the heart to tell a large percentage of the 1 in 6 Americans currently dependent that they have to make do with less dependency?  Will we have the heart to paraphrase Karl Marx and tell our neighbors and little Timmy, I’m sorry, but it’s for the greater good that you are less dependent on our government for your livelihood?  If we don’t, and if economic prognosticators  projections are correct, and this whole golden egg, this experiment in self-governing, collapses we’ll be forced to answer our children’s question: “How could we have let that happen?”






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