Divisiveness and Partisanship Trigger U.S. Decline

Those charging the 112th Congress with being the most worthless in our history not only miss the point, they are flat-out wrong. We don’t give our congressional leaders enough credit for the effort they have expended maintaining the divisiveness and rabid, overweening self-interest that characterizes Congress under Barack Obama’s thumb. We should give our lawmakers the credit they are due. Inaction can be just as effective and damaging a policy tool as decision making.

During one presidential administration our legislators have precipitated the decline of one of the world’s greatest economic success stories, including a now forgotten credit downgrade significant primarily as a warning of things to come. The U.S. has been a superpower for scarcely 70 years, a speck on the world’s timeline barely worth considering. Are we going to look back and see that America was a flash in the pan, a short-term fluke between World War II and the ascent of China?

Partisanship and divisiveness turn popular sovereignty into a sad joke.

Does Our Take on Popular Sovereignty Defile American Democracy? talked about how our election process nullifies popular sovereignty. Whether or not Americans agree with massive Obama spending vehicles like the Recovery Act or Obamacare, most of us would prefer not to watch our country’s economic prospects swirl down the toilet. Nevertheless, the will of the people becomes a pathetic joke when we vote on policies while policymaking is impossible. Democrat or Republican, when America goes down popular sovereignty will finally mean something. We will suffer and suffer alike because of our collective decision to tolerate lifetime politicians who manipulate partisanship to further themselves while their actions or lack thereof destroy this country.

Democrats sell the baby boomer welfare state entitlements that will ruin us.

Partisanship under the Obama administration has focused on big government welfare state entitlements as a substitute for growth that has been halted by flawed, irresponsible fiscal policy. We have reached the point where Social Security and Medicare should be labeled for what they are: welfare state entitlements threatening to ruin us in part because of our own refusal to take responsibility for our future.

Aging baby boomers are going to cost us big as they take advantage of the federal entitlements that discourage saving for retirement (see: Tax the Wealthy to Finance Baby Boomer Welfare?). Given the debt load from entitlements, what should Americans make of Democratic promises of financial security like this?

Seventy-five years ago, our nation made the promise that if you work hard and contribute, America will make sure you can retire in dignity. That promise is called Social Security, and it’s a promise that must never be broken,” Sen. Reid said.¹

Are Americans who endorse the Obama spending spree so deluded that they can’t look at their Social Security statements and see what Harry Reid’s take on dignity for the masses means, or what their endorsement of Obamacare portends for the future of entitlements once the Medicaid expansion gets underway? Did those supporting Obamacare forget to ask how a health care system sold as the panacea for escalating costs failed to rein in Medicare spending that will explode as baby boomers stop working?

No one should have the goal of retiring on Social Security, but partisanship and divisiveness have limited our personal financial choices. There is no payoff for Americans from the self-interest and attention-seeking antics taking place on Capitol Hill. What about our lawmakers? Our destructive dependence on government has a big political payoff. Just ask Harry Reid, who has been on the legislative payroll since 1986.

Obama spending means cannibalizing our people and their success.

Is the divisiveness of the Obama presidency the pitiful coda to the American success story? The insistence on continuing to fund welfare state entitlements and adding to that burden with Obamacare has forced a decision Democrats and Republicans will never be able to agree on: feeding off of the success of our people until there is nothing left to tax.

Why sequestration spending cuts are the only solution.

America is doomed as long as the argument for spending comes from partisanship that forces us to choose between opposites. Lawmakers accomplished more with their Budget Control Act than we could ever have imagined because sequestration favors no one. Americans need a cold, hard slap in the face to wake up to what our lawmakers and president have done to America. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you think for a second that your elected representatives in Congress care more about your paycheck than their own political futures, or that our government will take care of you when you are too old to work, then you deserve what is coming.




  1. Todd says

    HOLY COW – how well put. Obama and Congress don’t give a hoot on how not extending the Bush tax cuts will effect the citizens of this country. The only thing they are concerned about is to have enough money to spend as usual. By executive order, Obama has just given Congress a raise. Guess where that money is coming from? Us the taxpayer. Taxing even the wealthy will destroy an already fragile economy. The question is – how does one destroy a country in one easy lesson? The answer is simple. You have an inept President and Congress that don’t have the slightest idea what they are doing. Unfortunately we will all be paying for it for years to come.

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