A Belgian reader wrote into Business Insider.com to describe the deteriorating economic and political conditions faced by citizens in that fair land. He lays out an eight-point manifesto that offers at least some valid ideas a determined American Conservative could run for President on as a platform. Details follow below.
• to modernize the decision-making-procedures of this country;
This could be done by simplification. If the laws are too numerous and too complex to be intelligently understood and applied, three things happen. Corruption leads to unethical thievery and dishonest special pleading. Confusion leads to inaction and non-enforcement (which then renders all of the diverse regulations useless to the cause of protecting the tax-paying citizenry.) Complexity leads to human error and unintended consequences. Nobody in their right minds should feel safe or liberated while they live under a government that is too complex to adequately monitor or understand.
• to put a cap on government spending and reduce our national debt asap;
A BBA or a Super-Committee will never get this done. Too many people are exempted from the tax burdens associated with supporting our current government. As long as a large proportion of the population lives in the People’s Free [decency edit] Republic, they will always want government to buy them more goodies.
A simple, flat tax that is less progressive and more demanding of all levels of society. I don’t expect this new tax system to actually raise enough revenue to immediately pay off the debt. I just hope it will make more people attuned to the fact that Government does not equal Santa Claus. If we make this connection, we increase the number of people who will instinctively seek to limit the domain of government.
• to find a solution to our very costly social security system (restricting unemployment benefits in time would be a good start);
Yes to increasing the minimum age. Yes to decreasing the levels of benefits. Yes to means-testing and kicking the rich and Upper Middle Classes off of Medicare and Social Security. We need to admit these programs are pure socialism, embrace this suck, limit their largesse to the hard-working, blue-collar poor and thereby limit the extent to which that our very own, home-grown versions of Marxism steal the wealth of industrious and successful Americans.
• to re-energize our country: we are way too depended on foreign nations for our energy-supply;
Drill in ANWR, build the Keystone Pipeline, Frac Greenpeace and anybody else who thinks we should deliberately put the mentally unstable presidents of Venezuela and Iran in a position of controlling how much our households and industries pay for electricity and fuel. Also, deliberately importing these sources of energy in order to export the environmental degradation that comes with extracting them doesn’t sit well with my version of decent Christian ethics either.
• to stop giving guarantees to each and every financial group which gets into trouble;
Amen! Bear Stearns, LTCM, MF Global Lehman Brothers, all of those failures and bankruptcies were market-based solutions to the problems of hubris and stupidity. They were not national crisis until the big-shots were able to brow-beat the government into socializing their losses. Or in the case of MF Global, they just stole customer cash to make their proprietary account margin calls. (TARP without the legal imprimatur.) Stop doing this and let evolution and creative destruction function. The stupid really can be allowed to go bankrupt before they successfully breed.
• to offer a perspective to its citizens which is worth some sacrifices;
Make US citizenship actually have a decent and normative meaning again. Voter ID, border security, immigration reform that makes people become US citizens before they get all the benefits just by showing up here and demanding, respect for national symbols, and proper veneration of armed service on behalf of our republic. All of these things have to be passed or made a fundamental part of the culture of the next White House.
• to stop talking about "solidarity" when all they mean is "those who want to work will be taxed so we can give it to those who do not (want to) work";
The true heroes of the people are those that hold jobs and do something useful. We need a President who vows to actually feel respect for and help out that steadily dwindling proportion of the American population. The 99% is a pathetic lie. It is a political slogan aimed devaluing enterprise and elevating the social perception of useless and dishonest freeloading.
• to encourage and reward entrepreneurship ("Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon", W. Churchill);
Every single loser in America that carries a sign reading “Tax the rich” is an individual who wants the benefits of wealth and the power of wealth but steadfastly refuses to invest the work or develop the mental acuity required to earn and create the big pile of money. They are what Novelist Ayn Rand referred to as “Moochers” and “Looters.” To paraphrase GOP Candidate, Newt Gingrich, these people need to inside, take a shower and then occupy a respectable, legitimate job.
As our friend from Belgium would indubitably put it, the time has come for American Conservatives to stop waffling and believe in legitimate Conservativism. Freedom is the product of self-discipline and postponed gratification. When we punish entrepreneurship, we will succeed in making it go away. When we reward cynical cronyism and excuse Jon Corzine because he was such a good progressive, we bow down before our new, despicable overlords. Compassionate Conservatism followed by Obamaism has lead us to a frightening inflection point that could lead to our national demise within a mere generation.
Given that we have never had the guts to try legitimate Conservative governance in recent American History, these eight suggestions are as good as anything I’m hearing in the GOP debates. The time has come for America to grow up and chop wood. Let’s call this program Uncompassionate Conservatism and ride it to national recovery in 2013 and beyond.