Responding to Cornwall: Ryan

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

In his evaluation of the Romney-Ryan team  Bob Cornwall, made a number of points, but I believe that many of them will be better addressed later on, as I am sure the issues will come up again and probably in a more direct fashion.  So here let me address a couple of his underlying assumptions.  If I believed what he said was true, in particular that Romney and Ryan would “balance the budget on the backs of the poorest Americans” then I would probably agree with him, but I don’t.

Perhaps the biggest disagreement would be the seeming automatic equating of a government program for the poor with helping the poor.  Again we agree on the goals, i.e., reaching out to, and helping those in need.  Where we disagree is over whether or not existing government programs actually do that, and probably more importantly, whether or not government programs, particularly the type favored by Obama and the Democrats, are even capable of doing that.

To be clear, this is not the same thing as claiming that Government programs never do any good, or that government has no role at all. The real answer is far more complex, with a myriad of qualifiers.   But we cannot just look at the promises made by those in government about what a program is intended to do; we must also look at how effective it is, and compare this to the costs, both direct, and indirect. We must look at both the good a program does and the harm that a program does, and whether or not there is a better way. It must also look and both the short and long term effects in a way that considers the entire individual.

We will be getting into a lot of the details in the coming weeks. But the bottom line for me is that a lot of what government does results in far more harm than good. 

I believe this comes to the emphasis on both truth and love.  Our compassion must be based in what actually works, and not just in our desire to love.

Aug 14th, 2012

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