The Absolution I Cannot Give
In the past 48 hours I have had call after call after call from members of the United States Congress. They’ve read what I’ve written. They agree. But they feel the hour is short and the end is nigh.So some are calling looking for alternatives. Some are calling looking for energy. Many are calling looking for absolution.And so I address them and put it here so you can see my advice.I can give no absolution for what you may be about to do. I can offer no alternatives. For thirty years and seventeen debt commissions we have raised the national debt $13 trillion, seen taxes rise and fall and rise again, uncertainty come and go, and Washington remain unchanged. And now some of you want to seek cover by having yet another commission — but this time it will be different! Sure.You went to Washington to change Washington. You went to Washington because you said it was broken and you worried about the future for your children and grandchildren.And now, at the moment of crisis you are worried and second guessing yourself and looking for alternatives, ways out, and most of all a clear conscience. Cut, Cap, and Balance is the only plan that can save our credit rating and our financial integrity. I can offer you nothing else, nor should you waver from fighting for it alone. You should, however tired you may be of hearing me say it, hold the line.
But what you think will give you a clear conscience — the alternative you seek — is what has been done before. You punt. You kick the can down the road. You take the chimera and convince yourself it is real and you have done good.It is your choice to take, not mine.I give you no absolution. It is not even mine to give. I’m not a proxy for your children and grandchildren. It is their lives and their future you will affect.A generation before you, men and women went to Washington saying they were going to turn the tide, stop the out of control spending, and stop the growth of Washington into our lives. They were going to do it for their children and grandchildren.Now you sit where they sat. Now you do what they did.And after you do what they did — punt, set up a commission, raise taxes, use accounting gimmicks to resolve your conscience — others will come and replace you. But they will have less and their children even less. Because doing what those who came before you did expecting a different result from what they got is not just crazy, it is failure. There are no new ideas under the sun and they have all, but one, been tried in Washington. The only one that has not been tried is holding firm and saying no more.Here and now at the moment to turn the tide you gave a fancy speech, furrowed your brow, and then decided the fight was too risky and boldness too bold. In 1856, Abraham Lincoln said that the reason this country was great was because in this country unlike any other “every man can make himself.” When you cut your deal and clear you conscience, the American Republic is not going to die, but the ability of men to make themselves will.Here and now, this fight — this is the last best hope to turn back. The choice is yours. There is no absolution.