Third, is it responsible? Federal spending has increased by more than 40 percent under President Bush. He has overseen the largest increases in Medicare and federal education spending in a generation. Meanwhile, Congress has regularly earmarked precious federal resources to pay for, among other things, a rain forest in Iowa. We believe America—not to mention the Republican Party—can do better in this area. Responsible government should live within its means and refuse to fund the lavish pet projects of special interest groups.
Fourth, does it make America more prosperous? With all the new policy programs being bandied about by presidential candidates, this is an especially important question. Sure, it’s easy to promise voters the moon—but who will actually pay for it? Inevitably, big government programs make America less prosperous by siphoning money from the free market and burdening citizens with higher tax rates. We believe prosperity is the natural result of free markets and free people, and that government should not enact any policy that unnecessarily hinders the pursuit thereof.
Fifth, does it make us safer? Had we written this book 100 years ago, this question certainly would have made our list. But it takes on even greater significance in a post-9/11 world. Talk of preventing the “next 9/11” is not hypothetical. Debates about Iraq and the broader war on Islamic fascism are not academic. We live in serious times with serious security challenges. In response to these conditions, we believe we must maintain a strong national defense, fight terrorism at home and abroad, and reinvigorate our public diplomacy.
Sixth, does it unify us? On January 17, 2007, Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) sponsored a bill that would create a separate, race-based government for native Hawaiians. Not only is the bill unconstitutional, but the ideology behind it is deeply poisonous to American unity as it seeks to divide a class of people based solely on race. If you think that sounds like segregation, you’re right. It’s disgraceful that a United States Senator seeks to reintroduce such an awful relic of our past in the 21st century. Contrary to Sen. Akaka, we believe our unity depends on a shared national identity. Whatever country our ancestors came from, or whatever political party we belong to today, we are all Americans. No government policy should ever do anything to try to change that.
We believe these six questions can help all Americans properly evaluate public policy proposals. We are thankful that thousands of Americans found our book useful enough to purchase it last year. We hope that many more of you will join the discussion with the updated paperback release of the book this spring. Getting America Right is going to be a team effort, and we can’t wait for you to join us.
Doug Wilson is the the co-author, with Edwin Feulner, of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today.
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