Editor’s Note: “John” Smith is a longtime commenter on C4P and offers this reaction to the S&P downgrade and the common sense solutions needed to get America back on track. – N.C.
Guest Submission by John Smith
Last night, S&P downgraded America’s debt rating from AAA to AA+. The predictable recriminations flew. The Republican establishment blamed the Democrats for refusing to cut spending. The Democratic establishment blamed the Republicans for refusing to raise taxes. And, the Obama administration, which should have been providing economic leadership the last two and a half years, blamed S&P.
Last night, the entire American political establishment was slapped in the face by economic reality, and their collective response was to argue who or what was more worthy of blame. Yes, the same establishment that has lectured the quote “little people” to listen to the quote “adults in the room” once again acts like petulant children trying to persuade their parents that they really didn’t make the mess in their room.
Now, for those who think that this development somehow will make a difference, I’ve got a news flash for you: It won’t. You see, the economic policies are a problem. And, there will be another quote “compromise” and more accounting gimmicks to try to undo the damage. But, whatever the Washington political establishment does, it will be nothing more than the equivalent of trying to plug a leak with a piece of bubble gum.
After all, the other problem in Washington, the one that the establishment by its nature cannot address or correct alone, lies in the political process. Quite simply, the corruption and cronyism of the political process is as great a threat to the Republic as the policies that corrupt process begets.
If things were otherwise, then the establishment would have embraced AND enacted the simple solutions to this country’s economic problems:
Everyone knows there’s a tax revenue problem, but you can’t solve it by lowering or raising tax rates a few percentage points. No, the problem with the tax code, beyond anything else, is that the highest rate puts an undue marginal rate burden on small business and professionals in order to protect corporations and billionaires who spend millions for lobbyists, accountants, and lawyers in exchange for subsidies and special tax provisions. The idea that GE and George Soros would pay lower marginal tax rates than a small business and a young doctor is offensive. You don’t “cure” that offense simply by lowering or raising the rate. You cure the offense by making the rules fair. Lower the top rate to 25%, and get rid of all of the special interest provisions in the tax code. That’s how you encourage small business and jobs growth.
Everyone knows there’s a spending problem. In the real world, any person or business, faced with difficult economic conditions, would plan their budgets to either spend less or at worst spend as much as they’re spending today. In other words, they’d freeze their spending. But, in Washington, they plan for budgets to grow no matter what. So, when they try to quote “cut spending”, they’re only saying “we don’t plan to grow spending as much in the future”. It’s a con job, period. Yeah, I’d love to see spending truly cut, but find me an unbiased person who thinks that we shouldn’t freeze spending at current levels.
Everyone knows that we have an oil problem. The thing is that it’s a foreign oil problem. America has the oil, coal, natural gas, private capital, and people to become energy independent by the end of the decade. It would mean lower gas prices, a stronger dollar, tens of millions of new jobs, a spike in GDP and tax revenue, and would improve the purchasing power of the middle class and the poor. The problem is that part of the establishment is beholden to Big Oil and keeping oil prices high. Another part is beholden to the idea that we should spend trillions pursuing some green utopia and in the meantime lecture people on their carbon footprints when they’re not flying on their private jets. And, in, by, and through this process, “we the people” get screwed.
Oh, there are other problems too. From Obamacare, which socialized medicine to benefit political cronies and at the expense of the people, to Fed monetary policy to bailouts to excessive regulation, the Washington establishment has created an environment for the American people in which all people are considered equal but the establishment and its friends are more equal than others.
And, herein lies the problem: It doesn’t matter what side a person is on. It doesn’t matter how outside the establishment a person from the establishment claims to be. At the end of the day, the simple fact is that the political establishment is invested in its own perpetuation and not in serving the people. It is a farce. It always has been a farce. The American people know it is a farce. But, we have for far too long accepted it and hoped for the best . . .
We can no longer accept it. We no longer can just hope for the best. No matter our differences, the one thing that unites Americans is a common belief in wanting to be let alone, in wanting to make better lives for ourselves and our children, in wanting to have as little intrusion in our lives by others and by government, in wanting the rules to apply fairly and equally to all, in wanting a chance to pursue our American dreams, and in wanting our government, to the degree that it does affect our lives, to act constructively and in service of our constitutive principles.
So, this is my time for choosing, and I will choose Sarah Palin. I hold no illusions as to her perfection. I will let others debate her intelligence, her motives, and her commitment. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what other people think about her imperfections as a messenger. Instead, I will focus on and find solace in what I hope her message on this latest S&P development will be:
“A pox on all of their houses. Stop saying who is to blame. Stop worrying about who deserves the most blame. The American people deserve better than this. The truth is that everyone in the establishment is to blame for selling us out to their special interest, and we are to blame for letting them get away with it. Starting here, starting now, we must embrace and fight: Simplify the tax code, freeze spending, become energy independent, repeal Obamacare, eliminate the corruption of the political process, and make the people, rather than the establishment’s special interests, the focus of our policies again.”
While I cannot speak for others, I always have found that transcendent message most appealing and unique about Sarah Palin. I can almost hear her using the words, words reminding us yet again of what the phrase “a servant’s heart” truly means. The cynic in me says, “plenty of establishment politicians use those words”. Then, the optimist in me awakens again: “Yes, they all know the words, but only Sarah Palin has lived the music . . . maybe, just maybe, she’ll have the fire, the will, the courage to live those words one more time in service of people, before it’s too late for all of us.”