America’s proud legacy of limited government, free enterprise and personal responsibility is under assault in Washington in the form of Obamacare, the so-called stimulus and cap and trade. Washington is broken, and there’s a fundamental question voters must ask themselves this election year: Who do you trust to fix it?
With the right leaders, the right agenda and the right movement of people and ideas, we can reverse this trend. America can remain exceptional, but it’s going to require bold and decisive action in the very near future. It’s going to require leaders who are willing to not only stand up to the Obama agenda, but offer clear alternatives as well.
Saying no to bad ideas is very important in the Obama Era, but so is laying out an alternative conservative vision. We did just that in Florida. As I prepared to become Speaker of the House, we created a book called 100 Ideas for Florida’s Future. It was a book of ideas and proposals collected over many months from all across the state. Many of them came from political leaders, academics and researchers. But some of the best ideas came from everyday working Floridians who simply wanted to promote limited government, maintain our freedom and keep Florida great. We took the 100 best ideas on issues like tax reform, education and insurance reform and put them in a book which became the foundation of my agenda as speaker.
Sharing our vision didn’t cost us politically. It enhanced us. We didn’t lose by taking risks, but we surely gained by showing the people of Florida that politics can be about more than just personal ambition and winning elections. We need more of that thinking in Washington.
For too long, politicians of all stripes have made false promises to different groups of Americans, often paid for by other groups of Americans, and always paid for by the next generation. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pensions and other government programs are on unsustainable growth paths that will bankrupt the country and fundamentally alter the relationship of citizens to their government in ways that are not in sync with our founding principles.