President Obama may be the most honest politician in elected office today. After his reelection in November, not only did we sentence our Country to four more years of big government but we also took away any reason for President Obama to lie or spin his socialist agenda. He made no secret of his intentions on the campaign trail.
Indeed, where we ought to direct complaints about integrity is among the conservative movement. Why should the Republicans we elected stand up to cut spending and cut Government when the base is not willing to do the same? Conservatives keep screaming about entitlements but we are unwilling to cut our own Social Security and Medicare benefits.
We think that just because we have worked 40 plus hours a week for more then 40 years that we are entitled. It’s not like our party is the one who fills the rolls of the welfare system therefore since we have paid for those folks for so long, we deserve to get something back as well; Right?
At least the other side is honest. The Democratic voter publically brags about the government money and programs that bought their vote, which encourages others to join the system.
On the other hand, Republicans continue to throw stones at our elected officials, yet when those officials try and stop spending, rather then rallying around them, we abandon them, leaving them to be eaten by the vultures within our own Party.
Take for instance, Senator Rand Paul who has repeatedly urged his fellow Congressmen to let the sequester cuts of 85 billion dollars from Medicare, Defense and other discretionary spending take place. Yet, where are the conservative activists? Why don’t we demand even more programs reduced than what is on the table?
The answer is easy. We don’t want our elected officials to cut benefits like Social Security, Medicare and Disability. However, what most people don’t realize is that times have changed when it comes to the ratio needed to support a retiree. 30 years ago, more than 20 workers sustained 1 retiree’s cost; in present day, the ratio is now 2 workers per retiree. Thanks to those in the baby boom, who are just now entering retirement age, this math is unsustainable.
Another inconsistency among those on our side is the constant demand for states’ rights and the removal of federal oversight. Presently, few states, even many run by conservative Governors, are willing to refuse federal help on education, transportation, and other subsidies. Rather, those Governors and State Legislators, pick and choose which dollars they want to accept and pray they don’t end up with dollars that will become a target of conservative watchdog groups.
For instance, many states have declined to set up the healthcare exchanges required under Obamacare because they know they cannot afford the associated Medicaid cost; however those same States are not willing to turn down other subsidies like agriculture, energy and education.
Governor Chris Christie is Exhibit A. Just two weeks prior to Hurricane Sandy, he refused to set up the healthcare exchange in New Jersey because the cost would be too much of a burden for his state. However, in the aftermath of the Hurricane, Governor Christie was furious at Congress for not appropriating more then $60 billion in aid.
Did Governor Christie forget that our Nation is burdened by a debt of more than 16 trillion dollars and does not have the means to pay for this high bill?
Much of the Hurricane Sandy relief bill contained pork that had nothing to do with actual relief. Outside of a few dedicated news and blog outlets, there was no national outcry. Rather, we let the Democrats continue their tradition of showcasing victims in order to gain approval from the masses. Emotion is one of the most powerful tools in politics and rarely do you see conservatives using it effectively.
If you say you believe in state’s rights, then Governor Christie should have absorbed the cost for the damage of Hurricane Sandy. The bureaucracy we have created today, might not give a State the option of handling such tremendous cost however if we encourage a system of responsible assessment and directly link it to our States general fund, then a State might be better prepared to fiscally handle the financial burden. This new system would guarantee accuracy and honesty and the elimination of pork projects like FBI salaries, fish farm subsidies and repairs to the roof of the Smithsonian within a bill.
Conservatives need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves, are we willing to tighten our own belts and go with less benefits, work a year or two longer in order to restore our country?
I know it’s difficult to say yes to this, knowing the amount of waste occurring at all levels of government and abetted by our elected officials – and all too often, ourselves. If we remove ourselves from the equation and set the example of taking responsibility in our own lives, then we are more likely to encourage a public policy reflective of the thrift and self-reliance that built this nation.