The Platforms are lengthy documents (the GOP version runs to 55 pages) drafted by committees of Party die-hards in long, hard-nosed work sessions; but which will be quickly forgotten once the votes are tallied November 6th. The tomes will be dusted off again four years hence, to be argued anew and modified to provide a veneer of substance for the 2016 nominees.
While there clearly are differences between the competing Platforms, there are similarities as well. Both, for example, extol bedrock American values such as hard work, fairness and community. Both claim commitment to limited government (although the Democratic version can hardly be said to do so with the proverbial “straight face”).
Perhaps most noticeably, both Platforms promise to tackle the huge federal debt, oblivious to the fact that both the incumbent, Democratic president and his Republican predecessor contributed mightily to its current mass, which threatens the country's continued status as a world economic superpower.
In fact, the agenda with which a serious effort can be launched to actually tackle the looming financial crisis facing America in the form of more than $70 trillion in current debt and future unfunded liabilities emanates neither from Tampa nor Charlotte. It will begin later this week in Manchester, New Hampshire. And neither Mr. Romney nor Mr. Obama will there (though both should be).
At the helm of the most ambitious and practical effort ever to educate Americans about the true scope and actual effects of the profligate spending that has been the hallmark of the current and immediate past administrations, will be a man who has never held or sought elective office; but who knows first-hand of what he speaks.
On Friday, former Comptroller General of the United States David Walker will launch his "$10 Million Per Minute" bus tour, reflecting in its name the true speed at which America's future is being mortgaged. The bus tour is an important part of the "Comeback America Initiative" which Walker heads; and it will spend the next month touring battleground states and impressing on American citizens, businesses, and media outlets, the genuine urgency with which the national debt burden must be understood and dealt with.
Those citizens who care enough about America’s future to attend one of the tour’s programs will be privy to a well-constructed and vivid presentation acquainting them as never before with the hard-to-grasp size of the federal government's true debt burden. They also will see just how quickly that debt burden is growing, and will come to understand what will happen if we do not begin taking tangible steps to rein it in.
Most importantly, perhaps, those taking the time to listen to the presentation will learn of ways to begin solving the problem. Such solutions might include, for example, “tough love” measures that would force the Congress to pass budgets and required spending bills, on pain of not being paid their salaries if they continue to shirk this fundamental responsibility.
Walker truly does know what he will be talking about on the $10 Million Per Minute bus tour. His knowledge is gleaned from a decade serving in the top echelons of the federal government, as Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office; as well as from many years as a top-notch accountant in private industry. Walker’s federal service included positions under presidents of both major political parties; and this latest initiative is backed by a wide cadre of experts and concerned citizens, including former presidential candidate Ross Perot.
Unburdened by any partisan baggage, and buttressed by impeccable substantive credentials, Walker is able to go where candidates from both major parties are loath to tread. His message is one vital to America’s very survival as a top-tier world power; and American citizens everywhere should demand their preferred candidate for President commit to it as the price for their vote on November 6th.