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Election Choices Matter

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Clarity on the facts and issues that matter to America’s future should be important to every informed voter. This time of dramatic change is ushering in a real choice in the November election. As you’ve noticed, “We the People” are creating havoc in the establishment of both parties. Candidates are surfacing who promise to do more than talk principles; they promise to govern that way. That gives American voters important choices.

Choice #1: Bigger Government or More Empowered Individuals. Do you want big government determining which special interests are rewarded and which companies are “too big to fail,” or do you want limited government where all people can pursue their dreams, succeed, fail and take personal responsibility for inventing their own future? America was built on individual responsibility, caring communities, and free-enterprise opportunity where you earned your own success. The current administration is trying to spend and regulate its way into a recovery and job growth. Since President Obama’s first month in office, the number of private-sector jobs has decreased by nearly 2.7 million, and the number of federal government workers has increased by 379,000. A recent audit revealed that the $111 million of stimulus funds invested by Los Angeles created 55 jobs at a cost to taxpayers of $2 million per job. Big government is so out of control you can watch our deficit explode. It’s the private sector, not big government, that is the economic engine for recovery. With 44 million Americans now in poverty, have you had enough of bigger government?

Choice #2: Government Entitlements or Individual Responsibility and Charity. Government entitlements are relatively new in America, not existing before 1929. If somebody fell on tough times, family, friends, and neighbors helped. Now, sixty percent of Americans get more in public services than they pay in taxes. That isn’t charity; that is government taking money from some citizens by force of law through taxation to provide benefits to other citizens. Since 1929, entitlement benefits have exploded: Social Security (1929), National School Lunch (1946), Medicaid/Medicare (1965), Food Stamps (1974), Home Energy Assistance (1981), Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (2003), Healthcare Plan (2010). No entitlement has cost less than projected. When government makes promises it can’t afford, it either increases taxes, prints more money funded by debt paid by future generations, or drastically cuts promised services. A government creating dependent citizens is no more caring than parents spoiling dependent teenagers. Such programs leave future generations buried under the weight of our government largesse. Entitlements account for more than half of federal spending, and unfunded liabilities, the obligations not covered by payroll taxes, exceed $100 trillion. Are we ready to stop digging the hole deeper?

Choice #3: Punish Success or Incentivize the American Dream. Do you believe that incentives matter? Have you noticed that so-called “rich people who don’t pay their fair share” are being repeatedly tapped to pay the bill? Many economists are saying that the economy is poised to take off, but the private sector is lagging. It’s small business growth that has always fueled economic recoveries and job creation, but why should “the rich” risk capital? Instead of rewarding such risk, the current administration is adding burdensome regulations, increasing taxes on their income, and making it hard for them to survive in today’s competitive global economy. Liberals claim that “the rich” do not pay their fair share of taxes. That is a convenient myth used to justify envy and income redistribution. The richest 5% of our citizens pay 60% of the total federal income tax bill. If you agree that these citizens are not paying their “fair share,” try paying their share and see how it feels.

Choice #4: “The Gingrich Boom” or “The Pelosi Collapse.” Mid-term elections matter. People talk about the “Clinton Boom” and the “Bush Collapse,” but Michael Medved points out that it’s more accurate to contrast two mid-term “triumphs” that strongly impacted the American economy. In “The Gingrich Boom,” ushered in by the 1994 conservative takeover of both houses of Congress, average unemployment went from 6.5% to an average of 4.77%. The federal deficit average went from 3.35% of GDP to an average of less than zero with surpluses from 1998 to 2001. With “The Pelosi Collapse” initiated with the Democratic takeover in 2006, average unemployment went from 5.29% to an average of 6.57%. It’s now 9.6%. Sadly, the federal deficit average went from 1.91% of GDP to 4.74% in the next two years. Now the deficit spending has reached 10.27%.

Had enough? Ready for a change? The choice voters made in 1994 made a difference. Be an informed voter and make your vote count this November.

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