The State of the Republic

Terry Paulson
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Posted: Jan 26, 2015 12:01 AM
The State of the Republic

President Obama’s State of the Union was a bridge to nowhere. His job-killing tax-and-spend proposals would just increase the deficit and prevent a robust recovery. His definition of bipartisanship remains—join me in doing it my way, or I’ll do it myself! Here’s one citizen’s alternative “State of the Republic.”

Contrary to our president’s glowing assessment, the state of the American republic and the principles that sustain liberty and the American dream are deteriorating. Domestically, the economy is improving, but it’s the most anemic recovery in decades. Under his leadership, the middle class he promises to help has been hit hardest. Wages have been stagnant; labor participation is down. Poverty has worsened while reliance on government has exploded. Higher taxes have taken money from entrepreneurs and investors that could help generate job growth. Internationally, Islamic terrorism, like a cancer, is wreaking havoc in Europe, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria, and Iraq. With Russia’s stranglehold on the Ukraine, we send blankets and food.

President Dwight Eisenhower warned, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” Our founding fathers would weep at what government has become and what we’ve done to the liberty they fought to preserve. The Constitution was drafted to protect citizens from government, not make government bigger and more invasive. The Constitution doesn’t authorize government to provide healthcare, education, or welfare. Beyond Constitutional illegitimacy, are these areas “better” because government’s invested billions in pursuing “progress?” Answer that yourself!

When politicians initiate new “improved” programs, it means more regulations to control compliance, more employees to administer, and more “necessary” taxes to pay for every “improvement.” It’s time to stop making things worse by throwing more people and money at things government shouldn’t even be doing.

Due to House GOP efforts, government spending has actually gone down, but more must be done to reverse the growth and cost of government. That means fewer employees, fewer departments, fewer programs, and smaller budgets. Eliminate automatic budget increases by instituting zero-based budgeting where each department must defend their value and justify their budget every year. Let government do more with less like the rest of us have had to do!

Stop subsidizing and trapping people in dependence; support achievement and personal responsibility. As Victor Frankl suggested, America needs a Statue of Responsibility to balance the Statue of Liberty. Ensure the freedom to pursue happiness but put a stop to the unconstitutional “privilege” of unearned benefits that force fellow Americans to pay the bill! Government doesn’t “give” anything; it first “takes” to give.

In a world with growing Islamic terrorist threats, we must support the Constitutional responsibility of maintaining a strong and effective military. That doesn’t require throwing more money at a bloated military budget; fund priorities that meet the challenges we face today.

Stop dividing America into groups by gender, race, class, or ethnicity by providing special laws or benefits for any one group. Treat all American citizens the same! Equal rights, not equal results!

America was built on the freedom to disagree and the perpetual innovation that comes from the competition of new and old ideas. To ensure true diversity, give control of education back to the parents and local school districts. Common Core has turned into a cradle-to-grave assembly-line education system that stifles divergent approaches.

Stop infantilizing our youth. Life is difficult; let them learn that. Let them cope with failure and bounce back, learn how to find their way without depending on hovering parents, and earn their own successes and disappointments. Good workers don’t need a minimum wage; they need an opportunity to prove that they deserve a higher one.

Finally, political correctness is a cancer that limits free speech. Let freedom of expression soar. In America, we may dislike, even be offended, by what is said, but we’ve always defended the right to say it. As Justice Louis Brandeis advised, the remedy to hate speech “is more speech, not enforced silence.” So, what’s your take on the state of our republic?