Monday, November 1, 2010
Face the facts...the bed is already made.
I watched David Stockman on 60 Minutes last night in utter disbelief...
Politically, I came of age under Ronald Reagan. He was the first President I had the privilege of casting a ballot. Raised in a family of Blue-Dog Democrats, I watched the party turn from one that championed the causes of the middle class to a party that pandered to society's misfits and their agenda. Conservative philosophy no longer worked or had a place among uber-liberal ideas of the social elitist. I felt like party leadership was making fun of me specifically for trying to hold to the idea of both social justice and God almighty. Bet Jimmy Carter related on a much more grandiose scale.
There were problems with the 'other' party too, but not near what Democrats imposed. Reagan Democrats somewhere became a tag for those I shared the same hopes and dreams for our country. After college, I was commissioned in the service and enjoyed some of the most prosperous times for service men and women...especially during a time of mostly peace. It wasn't until years later I fully realized that I was just another card in a gigantic house of them, and the term conservative was apparently no longer synonymous with smaller government...
Last night, I listened as former President Reagan's Budget Director said in no uncertain terms that our economy has reached a breaking point and ALL Americans needed to face the reality of higher taxes. (Gasp). Then came the moment of epiphany when I knew in my heart what he said was completely true...Mr. Stockman pointed out our government spending has reached 24 percent of our national GDP. I went immediately to my computer to confirm that number. But not true! Sources I found put it at 43 percent when you factor in the deficit! We've not seen 24 percent since 1951...but how? Why?
There have been spikes in the ratio in the past 110 years during times of global conflict, and that's to be expected. But since 1974, the percent has never fallen below 30 percent again and has steadily increased to present day dipping only during the Clinton years. Sorry folks, you can't deny the facts. That one hurts me too. Democrats and Republicans have controlled both the executive and legislative branches of government during this unprecedented era in U.S. history. Just as we watched the mortgage market bloat and overfill to a final pop that left most of the world in financial shambles, Americans are watching our government grow to a similar point of exploding and then insolvency.
It can't be ignored and won't go away.
So where do we cut? Who pays the bill?
I like to consider myself a modestly intelligent man...at least intelligent enough to know hard decisions are upon our country, and any politician who campaigns on promises of lower taxes and less government spending is either negligently naive or boldly full of bull crap. Neither reason deserves a vote.
If we, as Americans, continue to stick our heads in the sand and let our government spend uncontrollably, mortgaging the future of our children, the pop will be a lot more painful for everyone than the sting of a few less entitlements or a little higher tax bill. Haven't we learned a thing the past few years?
Somebody has to pay for the irresponsible behavior we've allowed to happen on our watch. The sooner we realize and accept that responsibility, the less painful the fix will be. We just can't afford the shenanigans of either party anymore. Something to think about not just tomorrow, but each and every time you vote until we get government spending back under control.