The Big Three

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

Week 2 of the debate starts with this question: What are the three most important issues a voter should consider this year in choosing a candidate to vote for at the federal level (President, Senate, House of Representatives)? Why are these issues critical?

First and foremost has to be the economy. The Democrats claim this was all Bush’s fault and that the current problems are simply because Bush messed things up more than they had thought. As I detail in my book, and summarize here, this is just false. Other Presidents have inherited recessions from their predecessors, but took actions that helped the economy turn around, including the previous President Bush.  President Obama’s actions made things worse. By massively expanding the role of the federal government, he has further stifled what was a struggling economy. The two prime examples of this are ObamaCare, and the Dodd Frank banking bill. But most levels of government have become increasingly burdensome on businesses. Moreover, the massive increase in the deficit, and the resulting debt, in and of itself are dragging down the economy.

The bottom line is that Government is going bankrupt, it cannot even meet it current promises much less the increased promises of the future. The cities in California such as San Bernardino are just the tip of the iceberg. The state of California not only has a huge and growing deficit, it also has over $500 billion in unfunded pension liability. Social Security and Medicare are both in the hole and going bankrupt. The federal deficit is over $1 trillion each year. The Federal government cannot borrow enough to meet its needs and so has been printing so much money that the last time I checked we had tripled the money supply. Unless changed, I believe within the next 3-5 years, maybe 10, these financial bills will come due, and when they do we will look back at 2007-12 as the good old days.

Whether you like Ryan’s plan or you hate Ryan’s plan, at least he has a plan. Obama has none. The closest Obama comes to anything that might resemble a plan is his proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over $200K, but that is not a plan. He has had four year now to produce one, and the only thing he has done is throw stones that those who are actually trying to solve the problem. Yet more promises of hope and change in the future will not cut it.

While the domestic problems overshadow foreign policy, things are hardly better there. Some key issues are the arbitrariness of his actions; his intervention in Libya vs. his lack of support for the protests in Iran. His insulting of friends such as Great Britain, Poland, and Israel, while reaching out to enemies. His cluelessness about the so called Arab Spring and support for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. His apparent desire to reduce America’s leadership role in the world, without regard for who will take our place? China? Russia? The UN? I think, like the Presidency of Carter, once the economic problems are well behind us,  the Foreign policy problems caused by Obama will still confront us for decades.

The third area is hard to exactly label. Part of it is faithfulness to the office, part is integrity, part is just plain honesty. In any democratic system, a large part of its functioning is the sense among those in power that they are part of something bigger than themselves, that being elected is more than getting the power to do what you want. While the checks and balances in the Constitution go a long way to establish our government in the end they are just words on page. To be effective, those in power must see them as something to be followed, not something to be gotten around.

To be clear this is not a completely an us-vs-them issue and, as in all areas, there are saints and sinners in both parties. But that said, President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have repeatedly shown a callous disregard for any of the conventions of democratic government. When Pelosi was Speaker of the house, for the first time in our countries history committees were meaningless as were open debates, and amendments were not allowed. Bills were written under her control, and submitted on a take it or leave it basis. For whatever faults they may have, when the Republicans regained control, they restored the House back its normal functioning, (or dysfunction?) .

The Democrats in the Senate under Reid have been little better. In violation of the law, they have refused to even submit a budget, much less pass one in four years. Bill after bill has been passed by the House and come to the Senate where Reid refuses to even bring them up for a vote.

But the worst and most dangerous offender has been President Obama, who has shown an increasing disregard for the law and the Constitution. When I wrote in my book that Obama intended to ignore Congress and rule by Executive order, I never envisioned he would go this far. While many examples could be sited, I will just state three. The first is his unwarranted claim of executive privilege. (He claims he and his staff were not involved in Fast and Furious. Even if they were, Executive Privilege does not apply in cases of criminal wrong doing). Second the use of “recess appointments” when the Senate is not in recess. Third the creation new laws such as with his granting waivers to children brought to the country illegally and thereby creating a new class of people beholden, not to the law or government, but to him personally.

That individual politicians would abuse their power is not surprising and examples can be found on both sides. What is most disturbing about the current Democrats in office is that they, as a party, defend such actions. When it became clear that Nixon had violated the law, Republicans went to the White House and asked him to resign. Where is the outrage from Democrats? Given their acceptance of the abuse of power, just as long as it is from other Democrats, how can they be trusted with control over the government?

Aug 20th, 2012

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