Month: July 2019

GOP and Democrats Agree To Send Country Further Down Road to Fiscal Ruin

The one thing that can be worse than partisan squabbling is when the two parties come together on something. Neither party has the best interest of the country at heart, so many bipartisan deals are decisions that represent the mutual political interests of the parties rather than the long-term well-being of the American people.

A case in point can be found in the latest deal to increase the debt ceiling:

President Donald Trump and bipartisan congressional leaders clinched a sweeping two-year budget agreement that would produce hundreds of billions in new spending and take the threat of a fiscal crisis off of Washington’s plate for more than two years.

The deal, which came together in a burst of urgency during a period of two weeks amid a steady stream of phone calls Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would eliminate — for good — the budget caps put into place in 2011 and suspend the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021…

In total, the agreement would lock in a $1.3 trillion budget deal, which includes $320 billion in additional spending over the course of two years. 

The bipartisan agreement means more massive out of control debt and playing kick the can with America’s long-term fiscal problems to get the President and Congress past the 2020 elections.

I’m sympathetic to the idea not raising the debt ceiling would have serious consequences such as default on the national debt or immediate reductions in spending with limited ability to target them. It’d be like a sudden stop of a runaway train or truck and decelerating it immediately from ninety to zero.

However, a sane course of action would be to apply the breaks. Any increase in the debt ceiling should be coupled with efforts to slow down and eventually stop the madness of runaway debt.

This deal serves as another a reminder the Republicans are not the party of fiscal responsibility. Despite promising to eliminate the national debt in 8 years, President Trump was shown the massive increases in the debt coming down soon back in 2017 and responded, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.”

As horrible as the President’s statement was, it’s hard to be too outraged as it reflects the short-term attitude of both parties based on their actions.

What America needs is to have a serious conversation about our priorities and how we get our debt under control. That’s not going to happen until we have a new party that can challenge and compete with the Democrats and Republicans.

Bigotry in Politics

The President tweeted something racist today. I’m not going to get into specifics. Sadly, the specifics won’t matter much for the reason I’ll explain below. This will probably be the only time I will address this on this blog. It really only needs to be talked about once because it’s a repeating cycle.

The responses on the right and left are predictable. Many #NeverTrumpers and reluctant Trump supporters will write and speak out on how wrong what the President said was or at least how foolish it was. The reluctant Trump supporters will wring their hands but will never consider washing them of President Trump.

His fan base will rush to his defense, defend the statement, or try to gaslight us into believing we didn’t read what we just read. They’ll insist President Trump isn’t a racist (as if it matters whether Trump uses racially charged language out of a belief in white supremacy or just to stir up hatred for his own political benefit.)

The morally bankrupt defense of the President will be bolstered when the left responds to the statement in a way that goes massively over the top and leads even those who criticized Trump to remember their anti-anti-Trumpism.

The Left will increase the effectiveness of the “whataboutism” being hurled by Trump fans over the Democrats support for bigots in the distant past and more recent times. Then either a leftist presidential candidate will come up with some extreme policy proposal or President Trump will end the old controversy by starting a new one.

At the end of the day, many people will walk away a little angrier and a little more afraid. Others will shred a little more decency and increase the level of awfulness they’ll put up with to get what they want. While still others will feel a little more depressed and disenchanted with the state of our politics. It’s the slow corrosion of America’s civic soul.

Here, we won’t be participating in this circus. Likewise, the book We Can Do Better, America is about solutions and how we break this cycle. Both major parties have problems with bigots that they refuse to address, whether it’s alt-righters for the Republicans or the left-wing anti-Semites that find an easy home in the Democratic Party.

We need a new conservative party that will welcome Americans from every race, ethnicity, and creed to unite behind the principles of political liberty and limited government. I believe a new party should follow the principles laid out by George Washington in his letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island and give “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Our focus will be on breaking America’s ongoing destructive cycle.