Editors' note: this is part two of Chuck Norris' column. For Part 1, click here.
When Barack Obama was elected president, he made claims that he would "go through our federal budget -- page by page, line by line -- eliminating those programs we don't need." But that is just another broken promise in a long line of others.
A couple of weeks ago, the Cato Institute faced off with President Obama by taking out a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post and other newspapers, identifying $525 billion that Obama could cut annually from the federal budget (and $1 trillion over the next decade on top of that) by simply eliminating unnecessary, wasteful and superfluous programs.
While laying blame on both big political parties' spending sprees for burying us in a recession, the ad challenged: "It's been nearly two years since you made that pledge, Mr. President. Since then, you've signed into law an $800 billion 'stimulus' package and a massive new health care entitlement -- adding trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities to our grandchildren's tab."
With the economy teetering on bankruptcy and virtually every American household making deep cuts and sacrifices, isn't it way past time, Mr. President, for you and that wayward Congress to identify the programs you'll cut?
We the people need to appoint representatives who would override Washington's present fiscal insanity with what I'll call "8 Economics 101 Steps for Government Dummies."
First, our Washington representatives should immediately stop any thought, form or legislation that would lead to more federal borrowing or bailouts (unlike Obama's theory and practice of spending our way to prosperity, which has proved only to be a sure way to sink America). Lawmakers should rescind the remaining funds from TARP, as well as repeal the high-priced health care law.
Second, our Washington representatives should downsize the federal government by enacting tough spending caps and making across-the-board mandatory cuts. Follow the Cato Institute's advice in its department-by-department guide to slashing the federal government's budget. Focus on all spending, not just discretionary spending. No stone or department should be left unturned, including the sacred cows, such as Social Security and the Defense Department. And if partisan resistance and whining result, then mandate an immediate and equitable 10 percent reduction for all.
Third, our Washington representatives should immediately adjust the 2011 federal budget to align with those priority reductions (rather than have it reflect Obama's fiscal priorities of "health care, energy and education," which are based not upon what is best for the economy, but what is reflective of typical partisan preferences). This includes eliminating all earmarks and pork-barrel spending. No pet projects, no bonuses, no bailouts -- nothing (unlike Washington's $410 billion omnibus spending bill -- with 9,000 earmarks, 60 percent Democratic in origin).
Fourth, our Washington representatives should engage in only non-debt-building actions and legislation that would immediately encourage Main Street and augment entrepreneurial incentives. They also should focus on yielding powers back to the states, where local issues should be settled (rather than our present father-knows-best federal government dictatorship). Don't only refuse to increase taxes for anyone at any time, but cut additional taxes to provide immediate relief and increase revenues to everyone -- to infuse monies back into society (unlike Obama's tax hikes, which will retard economic growth and depress revenues). They also should modify the tax code to discourage overseas outsourcing and encourage "Made in USA."
Fifth, our Washington representatives should discuss ways to encourage and equip interstate commerce and more collaboration among neighboring states, counties and communities -- to brainstorm their own solutions to increase revenue and productivity in their own regions. Appoint entitlement reform commissions to place programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on long-term budgets that taper down commensurate with state, county and local community ownership and management of their own needs and people. Have local representatives call on county and community heads (including clergy) to come together and establish criteria to build up business and meet the needs of each community. We need to turn back the clock of America to a time when the federal government wasn't so overreaching and over-lording and educate communities on how people met one another's needs before government intervention.
This is the way America was built, thrived and met its needs long before Woodrow Wilson expanded the power and overreach of the federal government, Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot, Franklin Roosevelt put together the New Deal, Lyndon Johnson developed his Great Society and Barack Obama told us that "only government" is our savior.
As I said last week, time is running out, but it's not too late to reverse Washington's fiscal frenzy. It all hinges, however, on our appointing Washington representatives who would live by the above economic steps of fiscal prudence. Elect only those who live by them and would live by them if they were elected.
If you haven't already, you only have a couple of days left to register to vote. Check your state's registration deadlines at http://www.register-vote.com. And you can download the voter registration form for your state at http://www.eac.gov. Click on "Resources for Voters" and then "Register To Vote." To add a little fun to your encouragement for others to vote, have them watch my latest production, "Trigger The Vote."
Lastly, don't ever forget the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson in his 1801 inaugural address: "A wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another ... shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Next week, I will discuss steps 6, 7 and 8 for reining in federal spending and rebuilding our economy and nation.)