The Pledge. This Is What They Give Us?
By Michael Giere
[Michael Giere lives in Virginia and was an appointee in the Reagan Administration from 1981-5, serving in a number of executive positions. From 1991-93, he was an executive appointee in the Bush (41) Administration at the Department of Agriculture. He is a former Congressional candidate (TX-16), and has written extensively on politics and foreign affairs in various national publications. He is an active mortgage banker and businessman. [email protected]]
Go big or go home. That’s the mood of much of the nation.
Conservatives, Republicans, independents and Tea Party Patriots are marching and organizing by the millions, unlike anything seen in our political history. They are insisting on honest answers in town hall meetings. They are demanding bold action. They want to shake some sense into a government that stagers with incompetence, and that has dragged the country to the brink of economic disaster. They’re beyond mad, they’re furious. These new patriots believe what the politicians can’t understand – if the nation doesn’t confront some critical issues soon, it may be too late.
Congressional Republicans, seeking to tap into the energy of this citizen movement, today issued their “Pledge with America.” At twenty one pages in length, it is not that there isn’t good “stuff” in the Pledge; rather it is that it treats the passion of this new political movement like another program to be managed. The nature of the passion that exists in these citizen patriots doesn’t take twenty one pages to capture. In a nutshell, here is what conservatives are bluntly saying.
The nation is bankrupt. No one is fooled, and no amount of obfuscation and double-talk can succeed as policy. The time has come – long past time – to start cutting spending. Not tinkering with spending, but cutting spending. Everyone but Washington thinks we have to stop the out of control, ever increasing, expanding size of government at all levels. Cuts of 10% a year, 15% a year? Now those are spending cuts! Not vague programmatic renditions of snips here and there, or rolling spending back to “2008 levels.” It was too high in 2008! Those types of reductions are simply a band aid, and informed citizens now understand the game. In addition, who doesn’t now understand now that if Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are to be saved as viable programs – there must be common sense rule changes. There is no choice.
American’s are screaming about jobs and job creation. And the linkage between jobs and our tax system is not lost on the vast majority of productive citizens - they “get it.” The tax system is a nightmare that serves only those who aren’t productive, or those who earn enough money to start a trust. It’s that simply. Citizen patriots clearly understand that huge tax burdens and mountains of regulations are a root cause of massive job losses – and they are more than sick of it. American’s don’t want to be “number two” anything. They don’t want to hear every day about workers laid off, and companies shutting down or moving overseas. They don’t want to hear that we can’t do whatever we set our minds on. They’re ready for bold answers, such as a flat tax or a consumption tax, or some type of fair tax that isn’t simply a tool for “extracting” tribute on the one hand, and distributing favors on the other. The nation is sick of it – except in Washington.
The newly organized patriots are tired of arrogant politicians, bureaucrats and judges who increasingly look upon the average American as rabble to be controlled, not free citizens to be listened too. These new patriots are tired of being lied to as well. This has been heating up for years, and now the pot is boiling over. Who the hell do these politicians think they are? Many, if not most of them have never earned a real living in their lives. They get into office and believe they have a divine right to rule the “little people.” The answers are hard, but the problem is now of such size that it endangers the Republic. “They” simply no longer feel the necessity to listen to the citizens, and no one likes to pay the bill and be ignored.
The citizens of the country are looking at 2000 plus pages of legislation for health care and financial reform, and they know without turning the cover of the legislation that it is bad. They know it is written largely by vested interests that could care less about them. They know that a government that wants to control your toilet, your light bulbs and your diet is out of control. They don’t have to read any of the legislation to know this. They are “on” to the politicians and they know that, as citizens, they are being screwed. And, of course, they are. The Federal Government has become a major obstacle – if not outright adversary – in opening and pursuing business, creating wealth, raising families and living civilly with one another. .
Finally, for the first time in modern memory, there is a sizeable, loud and persistent belief in the land that the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. Intuitively, the American public is studying the DNA of their heritage, and realizing that the Constitution and other founding documents are indispensable to secure individual and collective wellbeing and liberty. Citizens are re-learning the wisdom of our forbearers; if the government has no defined limits, and is not answerable to the citizens from whom they derive power, then the government will cease to be a servant and will become a master.
There are other issues to be sure, like the total meltdown of character and virtue in our culture, wide open borders and the importation of incompatible cultural styles, the War on Terror, Afghanistan, and others. But the national mood is fixed like a laser on the potential economic and cultural ramifications of the American Dream slipping away before our eyes; of the idea of America being lost forever.
The message for Washington is simple - go big or go home.