Which way for the Republican Party after the election?
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THE MOST EGREGIOUS SIN of Republican governance, both in the executive and legislative branches of government, has been one of omission: the failure to reform entitlement spending, the Death Star looming over our economy and society. Over the long haul, this challenge dwarfs any concerns with the one-trillion dollar bailout package recently passed by Congress and signed by the President.
According to David M. Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, “Social Security and Medicare alone are already underfunded by about $44 trillion [that’s with a “t”] or $146,000 per American, in today’s dollars, and this number is growing on autopilot every year by about $2 trillion, or $6,600 per American.” Throw in interest payments on the debt, and such mandatory spending already consumes about half of the federal budget.
If there is any single issue, regarding which congressional Republicans should look for an honorable way of cooperating with either an Obama or McCain administration, consistent with fiscal probity and economic growth, this is it. It is a paramount issue of inter-generational equity that must be resolved if America is to avoid an inexorable drift toward becoming a Banana Republic. Moreover, progress on reducing or substantially restraining the growth of entitlement liabilities, over time, would compensate for any short-term economic problems resulting from needed spending to get us through the present crisis.
As bad as earmarks are, and blessings on Senator Coburn of Oklahoma as well as John McCain for standing against them, and as outrageous are such monstrosities as the Farm Bill, entitlement reform is truly the heart of the matter, the center of gravity in the battle for the ultimate character of the American polity. One wonders what the Republican White House and Congress were thinking when they passed the new drug entitlement bill a few years back. Well, now is the time to start thinking really, really hard.
The few bright spots on the horizon are reformers, such as Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who believe in low taxes but recognize the imperative of entitlement reform if we are not to bankrupt our children and grandchildren. Basically, they recognize that failure to address entitlements will make further tax reductions or reform nearly impossible.
Ryan in 2016?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?