We live in radical times. How radical? Over $16 trillion of officially acknowledged debt—multiples of that if you count unfunded federal liabilities; a president with a Marxist-Leninist economic agenda; a Senate majority leader who refuses to pass a budget and will do his best to sabotage any meaningful restructuring of fiscally unsound federal entitlements, etc.
The Republicans don’t know how to respond. Mitt Romney is a good man who probably would have made a great president in the 1950s, competently managing the executive branch at a time of balanced budgets. By temperament and philosophy, though, he was too moderate for the radical challenges facing us today. He had no radical plan to break our addiction to the deficit spending and entitlements that are bankrupting us.
Some thought Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan hinted at radicalism, but the much-ballyhooed “Ryan Plan” wasn’t radical. On the contrary, it was designed to shore up the entitlement state and still would add trillions more to the national debt. Ryan’s plan to gradually reduce deficits over the course of a decade might have sounded reasonable on paper, but does anybody think that the American public has the self-discipline to adhere faithfully to a fiscal diet for 10 straight years? Dream on!
For decades, the Republicans have let the Democrats set the agenda, expanding the power and scope of the federal government and spending far beyond federal revenues. The Republicans have been reactive, agreeing to the basic premises of the transfer society while generally trying to slow the rate of growth in spending (although Nixon and Bush II took the line of least political resistance and spent as merrily as any Democrat not named Obama). The result is that Republicans are too stingy for liberals and too profligate for true conservatives and libertarians.
A truly radical alternative to Obama’s Big Government radicalism might involve slashing over a trillion dollars of federal spending per year. Too radical? Then try these on for size:
Zero out of the advertising and grant-giving lines in the budget of every federal department and agency. Currently, they use our tax dollars to promote themselves and to give grants to special interest groups who then sue the government in the attempt to increase the regulatory chains they put on us.
Read More at forbes.com . By Mark Hendrickson.