Is it too late to turn the Titanic around?

Posted on July 28, 2011

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I had an interesting newsletter in my inbox this afternoon, and I had to respond back to the sender-Senator Webb. I am getting so tired of Democrats calling a conservative approach to government-radical. Yet all the spending on programs that government has no business getting involved in – bringing this country to the edge of insolvency -that is sane? Programs like healthcare-when we should have been focusing on partnering with businesses to get this country going-instead of demonizing them-more bits of crazy.

Anyway-I’ll let this exchange speak for itself-here is the letter from Mr. Webb, then my response will follow. Please share your thoughts if you find yourself reading my obscure blog.

“Don’t Destroy the American Economy in Order to Save It

Yesterday, I expressed my support for the Majority Leader’s plan to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit.  Below is a transcript of my remarks on the Senate floor (you can also view the video above):

Our nation, as we all know, faces a looming crisis.

The markets have already warned us.  Businesses are already postponing investments.  We know the consequences of inaction; they are predictable:  Borrowing costs for businesses and individuals will escalate. Interest payments on the debt will grow, and already anemic job growth will decline.  Our nation will run the risk of another financial catastrophe and possibly a return to recession.  As Chairman Bernanke recently stated, the outcome would be “calamitous.”

Many Americans are struggling.  Far too many remain out of work.  They cannot be asked to absorb the shockwaves of yet another failure to act.  It is time for both sides and both chambers to find common ground.

Reasonable and responsible editorials from across the country have endorsed the Majority Leader’s proposal.  Well-meaning people on all sides have shown genuine concern.  Most all of us share those concerns about the implications of not acting.

There are in the other party some individuals who view themselves as revolutionaries in the best sense of the word.  They appear less concerned with the here and now than with where they want to take the country in the future.  We all understand that the two are connected and that looking to the future is vital to the country.  The question, though, is the harm that might be caused by precipitous action.

Columnist George Will wrote a column a few days ago likening the Tea Party movement of today to the beginning of the Goldwater-Reagan conservative era–that the Goldwater movement of 1964, even though it did not bring Senator Goldwater to the Presidency, was the first step toward the conservative revolution that culminated in Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980.

Mr. Will wrote, and I am going to quote a couple of sentences, “The Tea Party, the most welcome political development since the Goldwater insurgency in 1964, lacks only the patience necessary when America lacks the consensus required to propel fundamental change.”

Mr. Will goes on to say, “If Washington’s trajectory could be turned as quickly as Tea Partiers wish, their movement would not be as necessary as it is.”

Those are Mr. Will’s words; that is Mr. Will’s considered opinion.  That may be so, and it may not be so, but the first rule of good governance is to do no harm.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make cuts.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look toward some of the directions that the debate has taken us.  But it means be careful when you are dealing with the fragility of national policy at a time like this.  Some things sound better in a speech to a room full of activists than they actually are in the reality of how you govern and the practicality of how you actually bring about change where change is needed.

Senator Goldwater did not attempt to torpedo the economy in order to get his way.  Ronald Reagan, in whose administration I proudly served, raised the national debt eighteen times—more than any other president.

I fought in Vietnam as an infantry Marine.  I am very proud of that.  Those of us who did fight in Vietnam all remember the regretful quote of one infantry officer who lamented that during one battle he had to call in heavy artillery and airstrikes on a populated village, that he had to “destroy a village in order to save it.”

I do not think the Republicans, who are using this issue as a lever to bring about their view of radical change, want to look back at a fractured economic recovery, a downgraded credit rating for the world’s number one economy, a citizenry that has become more angry and less capable of predicting its own financial future, and then say, as if all of this were not predictable, that they destroyed the American economy in order to save it.”

Now my response:

Dear Mr. Webb,
I do appreciate your newsletters as I make it a point to stay informed. I must respectfully disagree in your assessment of the current situation in Washington. The downgrade is an inevitable event-not due to the problem in raising the borrowing limit-it is a direct reflection that every time the limit is raised, Congress does nothing to curb spending and does nothing to reform entitlements to stop the bleeding. It is like taking out another credit card because we keep running wild with expenditures and not paying off the previous credit card-all the while saying, “next time.”  What I can’t get out of my ears is that proverbial can being kicked down the road yet again. What has damaged our credit rating has already happened-we took on yet another government program (healthcare), got into another war (Libia), and added an expensive stimulus program that did not stimulate the economy because it went against common sense economics. The radicals are not the Tea Party-the radicals are the democrats and those that will not stand up against the status quo and say enough is enough. As a country-we are strong when we pull together and not demonizing fellow Americans. Where is the leadership that is not clouded by political gains? It would be radical not to turn this Titanic of an economy around and raising the debt limit without applying the needed cuts and also ensuring future cuts that will send the best message to those that are looking at our credit rating. It would say we get it.

The essence of what is American is to have a government that enables it’s citizens to be the best they can be-(pursuit of happiness if you will) without the restraints of regulations and high taxes to pay for entitlements that does little but hold people back by creating a reliance on government. We fought a war to shed such restraints. Why are we shackling ourselves with the very thing that we fought against. I believe in the American ability to rise above adversity-using our own power-not the government’s. The American Federal government is not in place to take care of us, but to enable us to take care of ourselves-that is what makes it American and why we are a capable people. To think of it any other way is the radical un-American approach.

So what should you be doing now? Why not suggest the right thing-be the 1st democrat senator to get up and say you will support Cut, Cap and Balance. I know you are not running again-so what have you got to loose? You will be remembered for doing the correct thing-the best opportunity we have to finally turn the ship around and maybe…maybe we might miss the iceberg.

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Posted in: Current Events