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Of McCains and Hobbits   July 28th, 2011
Calling conservatives 'hobbits' will not solve our spending problem       

 
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If there's any question why our country is in the perilous economic situation it is, one need look no further than legislators such as John McCain who help liberals spend money.

'The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.'


Let's just ignore the irony of McCain--who heinously lost his campaign against the worst president in U.S. history--criticizing two candidates for losing their races for the U.S. Senate... one candidate of which he actually campaigned for.

But McCain is an illustration of why this country is in as much trouble as it is.

It goes without saying that Democrats want to raise taxes, spend more, and borrow more money. That's just the way it is.

The problem is that, for decades, Republicans like McCain have not fought against this growth in the scope of government or the size of its borrowing and spending. And now--as we watch countries collapsing across Europe for the same kind of foolish over-borrowing and overspending that we're engaging in--he's mocking those conservatives who would try to actually address the problem with some tough medicine.

He suggests a balanced budget amendment is impossible? Fine. Then perhaps he should join the hobbits and hold the freakin' line on the debt ceiling which gives us an automatic balanced budget by simply denying the Treasury the authority to borrow more money. That would amount to an overnight 40% reduction in federal government spending. Tough medicine? Yes... but the time for the same old McCain-style government-as-usual approach to government spending is over. That approach has bankrupted us.

And that approach is obsolete, just like the politicians that continue to argue in favor of it. McCain working with Democrats to allow more out-of-control government spending is like the owner of a buggy factory arguing against automobiles. Buggies, like McCain, had their time... but now they're obsolete. The world has moved on and today's reality doesn't need buggies, and it doesn't need obsolete politicians like McCain. In fact, a country that were to depend on obsolete buggies for transportation would be destroyed by competition... and a country that depends on obsolete politicians like McCain will be destroyed by debt.

What McCain needs to understand is that he's in the Senate only because of inertia and voter habit (as opposed to voter hobbits, I guess). The conservatives that have been sent to Congress--both in the Senate and the House--are there because of a fundamental shift in the priorities of the American people. For the first time in a very long time, Americans aren't pleading for their legislators to bring home the pork... the American people are pleading tor their legislators to stop bringing home the pork. McCain is out-of-step with the American electorate, and is definitely out-of-step with what needs to be done to save the American economy.

In the article that McCain read, it was also stated that, "But what none of these critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner's plan." Really? We can argue about the political benefits, but what cannot be denied is that the fiscally tough medicine that will immediately change our self-destructive course is to hold the line on the debt ceiling. McCain and the article's author may disagree with that approach, but it cannot be said that no alternative strategy exists.

It appears increasingly clear that not only Democrats, but many Republicans like McCain do not recognize the truly clear and present danger that our deficit presents to America. They're so drunk with spending that they seem unwilling or unable to realize that it can't go on forever. They're truly like a drug addict that keeps on doing drugs because he's unwilling to confront the painful reality of withdrawal symptoms. But only by going through that painful stage can a drug addict--or America--recover and regain its strength.

This is not a matter of politics as usual. This can't be the usual Washington political football to see if the blame can be successfully punted to the other side. And while it would be great if this whole sequence of events could be parlayed into a successful Republican takeover of the White House and Senate, the first priority must be to save the country. That's how urgent this matter is.

I would be willing to forfeit the Senate and White House in 2012 IF we were able to achieve a balanced budget in the process. The federal deficit is the single biggest threat to our country; a much bigger threat than another couple years of Democrat control. Plus if we limit spending and balance the budget, the amount of damage the Democrats can do--and the amount of monetary goodies they can give away to their supporters--will be significantly reduced.

The alternative is to engage in deficit spending for another couple of years and hope Republicans take control of the Senate and the White House and have the stones to actually make these tough decisions in 2013--which seems unlikely since, then, they would be afraid to do it because Democrats would be able to say, "Republicans had total control and look at all the spending they gutted." Will Republican politicians have the guts to take total responsibility for the withdrawal symptoms the nation will face as we adjust to a smaller government? If current events are any indication, no.

And all of that depends on us actually making it to 2013 without a debt crisis... and some experts (on both sides of the aisle) think such a debt crisis will happen before 2013.

This is the time to do the right thing and seriously cut spending now... not over 10 years.

If political dinosaurs like McCain aren't going to fight to save our country, I guess it's left to the conservative hobbits.

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