By Alan Burkhart
Everyone knows what our country's central problem is: Money. Or the lack thereof. The American rank and file is beset with foreclosures, bankruptcies, and a general lack of disposable funds. Our currency is nearly worthless and we have a federal government that's more determined than ever to tax away the lion's share of what funds we have left.
Unreasonable environmental regulations, miles of red tape, poor oversight and the worst tax code on the planet have all played a role in us being where we are. Throw some good old-fashioned job outsourcing and corporate corruption into the mix and it becomes a problem of Godzillian proportion.
We've all heard the promises of Republicans regarding fiscal reform. And we all know how well politicians keep their campaign promises. I am not terribly optimistic. Right now we have the ability to stonewall anything else the left tries to push through. That's a start, but there is much more to be done. And no one can guarantee that the Republicans will get it done. It will be necessary to ride herd on them for as long as they're in power. Otherwise, the party will go back to the same old big-spending nonsense that got them booted out of power before.
Allow me to be blunt: Right now I don't give a damn about "family values" or "moral compasses" or any of the rest of the "moral conservative" talking points. I could not care less about any given politician's religious views or whether he or she practiced witchcraft as a teenager. I don't care about gay marriage. I don't care if a 55 year-old politician smoked pot when he was in his thirties. Or if he smoked it yesterday. What I care about is responsible fiscal policy that allows America's economic engine to function at peak efficiency.
If this country is to avoid going down the drain it's presently circling, Washington must get the money back into the hands of the people where it belongs. And they can best do that not by passing yet more laws, but by repealing the laws that created the problems to begin with.
How hard will it be to repeal harmful legislation (ObamaCare comes to mind) with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a full-blown Socialist in the White House? Give yourself an A+ if you guessed "next-to-impossible." We have taken a step in the (no pun intended) right direction. But do not delude yourselves into thinking that all is well on Capitol Hill. Until fiscal conservatism becomes the norm in Washington, our problems will continue.
And, it's completely reasonable to think that we'll still have at least most of our problems when election time rolls around again in 2012. Why? As I said above, because the left is still in control of the Senate and the White House. The Republicans, if they have the stones to do so, can prevent any new bad legislation from passing. But this requires that the Bush-era "go along to get along" modus operandi is no longer followed within the Republican party. And, the Republicans themselves must not write any legislation that increases spending. Dollar for dollar, government spending must decrease. Some of us will get hurt in the short term, but it's always the best medicine that tastes the worst.
Any legislation that increases government spending or broadens the bureaucracy must not be allowed to reach Obama's desk. If the Republicans fail this task, then they have failed utterly.