By the time this collection of musings from the political left hits the paper, I feel with certainty that the Grand Old Party will have the House back.
Congressman Boehner, with gavel in hand, can begin implementing his “Hell no you can’t” philosophy of undoing two years of policies set forth by the President and his former majority; policies the GOP have resisted like mules resist tugs at their reins.
These Republican principles, which dovetail almost seamlessly with Tea Party philosophy, sound inspiring and empowering when chanted in unison through megaphones:
1. Government is generally the problem: Regulation, social programs (e.g., entitlements), and government intrusion in our lives.
2. Bring back ethics and openness to government. No guilt by unseemly associations.
3. Return to fiscally responsible, pro-business policies and lower the budget deficit while cutting taxes for all.
Yes, these sound like principles no reasonable person could deny. But digging beneath the surface of just verbalizing this recipe for a conservative takeover of government, I am struck by the fissure that stands between these words and their actual application in the real world which most of us live in. It’s easier to catch a unicorn than to cite a time in history where across the board tax cuts balanced a federal budget.
Have you ever noticed that those who rail against government as being unable to do anything right usually draw paychecks from their jobs in local, state, or federal government? These are typically the same group of people with taxpayer-funded healthcare who adamantly oppose taxpayer-funded healthcare.
When I ask, “If the government does nothing as well as the private sector, how do you explain G.I.s?” You know, the world’s greatest military completely recruited, trained, equipped, and deployed by the government? They then stammer, glance at the talking points scribbled on their sweaty palms, then repeat that government needs to get out of the way … because it’s bad … Says so right here on my hand.
Speaking of which: How did that deregulation work for us? Whether it be of offshore drilling or financial markets, and whether those responsible be Democrat and/or Republican, how did the financial, housing markets, and oil rigs fair outside of a reasonable level of government oversight? Not too well.
That’s why President Bush and his economic team were forced to implement the TARP. “Bailouts” as a rule were opposed by Republicans/Tea Partiers newly concerned with national debt. Many of these folks are the same voices that use to cheer “buy American,” but became infuriated that the government would dare rescue GM and Chrysler. They wanted GM and Chrysler to die, if the market willed it, their corpses picked at by the surviving auto and auto parts makers.
So much for “jobs jobs jobs,” eh? Well, now that new Chrysler and GM sheet metal are zipping all over Fayette County, I believe hindsight arguably shows wisdom in the TARP and Detroit bailouts. I like a world with Challengers, Vettes, and Camaros in it; not to mention the jobs of the men and women who design, assemble, sell, and repair them.
As a side note, future Speaker Boehner has told us how anti-business President Obama is. How might the Congressman from Ohio explain the S&P 500 companies having their strongest third quarter earnings in 20 years according to USA Today? Eighty-one percent of those companies exceeded their earnings forecasts. With such an anti-business President, no less.
Let’s look locally to the application of smaller, less expensive, less intrusive government. Fayette County and Peachtree City are the epitome of Republican governance. And in the ten years I’ve lived here, this small, less intrusive government has protected my kids from their gas and electric scooters by making them illegal anywhere except in our yard. They have protected us from indoor smoking. They have protected the cart paths from Segways, unleashed chihuahuas, and soon, from gas (drill baby drill) powered golf carts. Oh yes, and storm water has gotten quite a bit more expensive too. Small, less intrusive government in action.
The Tea Party Republican/independents are quite a phenomenon whose name breeds confusion. They woke up conveniently after President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 feeling overtaxed. The problem was Taxed Enough Already is a great acronym, but terribly off base.
Our tax burdens have not been lower in 60 years, according to Newsweek and USA Today. I suspect this is why we began hearing concerns of the budget deficit instead. The problem here is we’ve been running federal budget deficits since 2001.
Was the Tea Party asleep? And if not, what was the magic number at which the deficit became a problem? They were such a problem that a political neophyte like Senator Obama was just an “empty suit” and not up for the task of leading us out of our multiple crises.
Flash forward less than two years, and suddenly the “answer” is shake up Washington with new blood like Rand “Say no to the 1964 Civil Rights Act” Paul and Christine “I’m not a witch, I’m you” O’Donnell. And by the way Miss “I’m not a witch,” Bill Ayers is surely wondering when the guilt by association is coming from half Governor Palin. You all remember, ”pallin around with terrorists.” Apparently half governor Palin has no problem with warlock dates on Satanic altars.
So, as I await Congressman Boehner’s proclamation that Speaker Pelosi is relieved of duty thereby freeing a path for conservative solutions, I ask:
Will he restore ethics in Washington by handing out tobacco lobby checks to colleagues like he did in June of 1995? When will a Fair Tax candidate make it out of the GOP Presidential primary to satisfy the TEA Party wing of the GOP? What programs will Speaker Boehner move to cut? Will TEA Partiers and those fearful of socialism decline all social services based on principle?
When will small government take a woman’s legal right to choose away? When will the separation of Church and State be challenged and what changes should that challenge bring? And who will he blame if his solutions do not bear fruit?
He should expect no help on the economy from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell told the National Journal, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” so I suspect his energies will go towards keeping the economy unstable and the citizenry divided.
There is a chance that Speaker Boehner just may tell us in two years that he’s caught that elusive unicorn, but my guess is we’ll be able to pull off the duct-taped horn to reveal the mule in disguise.
Peachtree City, Ga.