If Past Is Prologue…
posted at 1:34 am on February 21, 2013 by Duane Patterson
A couple of members of the House Budget committee took over the airwaves on Hugh Hewitt’s show Wednesday. John Campbell was hosting, Chairman Paul Ryan was the guest. The entire transcript is available here, but in short, this is exactly what the Republicans need to say about the need to rein in spending, and say it every time they can.
Republicans cannot do anything about the President’s endless parade of photo ops, grandstanding behind first responders on the sequester, or in front of a bunch of kids on guns. And they cannot do anything about the Chris Matthews of the world comparing them to Hamas. But they do have math, facts, logic and clarity on their side, if only they will use their entire Congressional caucus more effectively in the messaging department. This was a good start.
Well, I think we need to have this kind of debate. And like we’ve done in the past, and I feel like we’re on a broken record here, but we need to show the country how we would do things differently if we don’t like the direction that we’re headed. We don’t like the idea of consigning our children and grandchildren to a mountain of debt that they can’t survive, where they have a lower standard of living. We don’t like the idea of courting a recession, which is what a debt crisis would bring us.
We want opportunity. We want people to get on with their lives by having opportunities, by having economic growth. We want to have a strong national defense. We want to have entitlement programs that people retire on and keep the benefits that were promised to them, like Medicare and Social Security. We want a health care system that’s vibrant, that works for patients who are in charge of their health care. We want to have the American dream in reach for every single person in this country.
This is what you…you need a budget in order to do that. You need to show the country your policies and how they all add up in order to achieve these goals that we have. We can’t simply stand up and give lofty speeches. We have to show specifically what reforms and policies that we’re calling for to get these goals accomplished.
And unfortunately, far more people are falling behind. We have the highest poverty rates in a generation. We have people who are about to enter retirement who may very well have the promises that were made to them reneged upon, just like what’s happening in Europe. We have young people who can’t get good jobs coming out of college. We’ve got opportunities denied left and right in this country in this stagnant economy.
And the primary reason why is because of our government, and because of its lack of foresight in tackling the problems we have before us. And we want to have this debate. We want to show the country that if you get ahead of these problems and tackle them before they tackle us, we’ll all be better off, that if you reform programs like Medicare, you can guarantee its promise for the people who are in and near retirement, and there for my generation and my kids’ generation when we retire. It’s smarter to do it that way, because in a debt crisis, everyone gets hurt, especially people who need government the most. They’re the ones who get hurt the first and the worst in a debt crisis, which is where we are headed if we stick with the status quo.
And unfortunately, because of the President’s lack of leadership, because of the political games he’s playing, because of the Senate’s refusal to even try to govern by budgeting, that’s where we’re headed. We need to go in a different direction, and we’re not going to stop showing the country a better way to go. That’s what budgeting is all about. That’s what we’re going to do in March, and that’s the kind of debate this country so richly deserves.