Fiscal conservatives owe thanks and a debt of gratitude to our president. Mr. Obama has gifted us with the best reasons we have ever had to once and for all strip Washington down to its small government roots. Give him some credit. It’s not his fault if we don’t take the hint.
Democrats are busy eliminating the last vestiges of small government the Founding Fathers warned us never to forsake. Thomas Jefferson would be ashamed and appalled that we have allowed our government to tighten its grip on our incomes, businesses, and futures. If Washington ever feared voters and taxpayers, that time is over. We are the ones who fear, fiscal conservatives over what our government will do to destroy us, and Democrats over what it won’t do to save us.
Obama is America’s fiscal harbinger of doom.
Fiscal conservatives and reactionaries alike should also thank the president for graciously accepting the role of America’s fiscal harbinger of doom. Mr. Obama didn’t create the U.S. debt crisis. He didn’t create deficits. He just helped make them worse. He didn’t pass the Recovery Act, manage the TARP, or even cast the votes that turned his namesake government health care plan into law. He provided the inspiration for Democrats to seize the day and screw up the recovery so badly that only politically unacceptable solutions to our economic problems will suffice.
We owe Mr. Obama a debt of gratitude. He may not have single-handedly wrecked the economy, but his tireless stumping and his party’s mindless obedience to his every wish and whim have focused public attention on debt, deficit, and spending problems that have been growing unchecked for decades.
How stupid do Americans have to be to swallow the lie of a balanced approach to tax hikes and the argument that deficits are narrowed by raising taxes so we can afford spending? No less stupid than lawmakers who endorse the idea.
… and Congress is our fiscal angel of death.
Congress’s sequester straw man has diverted our attention from a laughably inconsequential $85 billion in cuts with a campaign to scare Americans with the consequences (see: Big Government Threatens Us With Public Sector Jobs). Even the media has agreed that one week after America as we know it was supposed to end we are still up and running.
As the U.S. national debt marches towards $17 trillion, negotiation and compromise are not going to get the job done any more than the loss of $85 billion will spell catastrophe. Neither party is willing or able to commit political suicide by backing reactionary solutions to an unstoppable debt problem. Congress, not the president, is our fiscal angel of death. Barack Obama’s twisted, albeit articulate rhetoric just gives lawmakers good excuses to make matters worse.
Will riling up Republican fiscal conservatives make a difference?
Republicans are as clueless as Democrats. They just cause less damage.
The debt limit has been adjusted 53 times between 1978 and 2013,¹ a symbolic bipartisan effort to crush Americans with the national debt. The House bill to temporarily halt debt ceiling confrontations is just as pointless as the debt limit concept and the threat of punishing recalcitrant lawmakers with the loss of their paychecks (see: Seek the Public Trust: Don’t Screw Middle America). We all know that there is no debt limit with or without a budget.
Is the national debt so enormous that even fiscal conservatives in the House and Senate can no longer get their minds around what they need to do? The GOP views spending $1.2 million on video games for seniors or $4 million on a TV studio for the Internal Revenue Service as essential information for Americans about the sequester.² Some of us might see this as great inflammatory propaganda that trivializes the enormity of the debt crisis and will never compete with the pro-spending rhetoric we hear from the White House and Harry Reid’s bully pulpit.
Where are the screams from fiscal conservatives in the GOP? Why didn’t they walk out in mid-December 2012 and let the whole mess go off the cliff, since they haven’t been scoring any big wins at the polls or garnering a groundswell of support? In the end, the middle class took a hit that both parties bought into. Republicans claim that “No One Should be Talking About Raising Taxes on Americans with so much wasteful spending in Washington,”³ but they stood alongside Democrats and let payroll taxes go up while the waste of public money continued.
How do we communicate to lawmakers that we’re through with their antics? The penalty for refusing to pay taxes to fund what they have created is prison. How do we re-instill the fear of public wrath in Washington? Pain is a great impetus for change. If Americans are willing to eat the offal that Washington is dishing up we haven’t suffered enough. As much as it will hurt, that’s where our president may end up doing us all a big favor. Maybe more of us will think twice next time we approach the voting booth.