I’m going to step out on a new limb. The unspoken internet code is to leave politics and religion out. However, this is my web site and I’m thinking this would be a decent outlet for some political thought and, you can see in previous posts, I do not ignore my faith. This may be a one off post or the first in a new topic. We’ll see how this goes.
A friend sent me this email:
What a Ron Paul presidency would look like, according to Ron Paul:
Based on this information, I cannot vote for Ron Paul unless he truly is the lesser of all evils. Why? you may ask. Here’s a quote:
… we should not seek to abolish the social safety net overnight because that would harm those who have grown dependent on government-provided welfare. Instead, we would want to give individuals who have come to rely on the state time to prepare for the day when responsibility for providing aide is returned to those organizations best able to administer compassionate and effective help—churches and private charities.
The above sounds great. Just what a compassionate constitutionalist should say. In fact, the above line had me thinking Ron Paul would be a good candidate. If you continue to read the article, you would see that he understands the political process quite well and he appears very level headed and doesn’t seem to over promise.
Then, I read this:
Now, this need for a transition period does not apply to all types of welfare. For example, I would have no problem defunding corporate welfare programs, such as the Export-Import Bank or the TARP bank bailouts, right away. I find it difficult to muster much sympathy for the CEO’s of Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs.
While I too find it difficult to fund failures as has been done in the past, what sticks out to me is his mention of Lockheed Martin. To my knowledge, Lockheed Martin is a major defense contractor. Now, if we are going to transition people, cutting off corporate America is not going to make such a transition very easy. Why? Because when you cut off Lockheed and they decide to lay off the engineers who are working on the contracts that are no longer funded, they will find themselves, for a period, possibly depending on the very individual welfare programs Rep. Paul is suggesting are unconstitutional.
See, either way you look at it, change can potentially have a detrimental affect on the people it is intended to help. Would I like a smaller national government? Would I like to see the national debt eliminated? YES! YES! However, in the process of achieving that goal, lets be honest about the potential side effects. Doing something that causes harm to a big business can potentially cause harm to a lot of Americans. That’s why this process is so hard. That’s why the two parties fight until they can’t extend deadlines any further.
The problem is that the US government has become huge. I can talk about the idea of shutting down an department or de-funding a contract with out thinking about the people that will affect. We talk everyday, somewhat flippantly about “shrinking” the government. We cannot forget the names and faces that are part of the government we want to shrink. Sadly, we as a people have to make those choices. So what do we do?
We must not throw our hands into the air and ignore the situation. I can think of another choice. It’s a choice I don’t want to choose. We can raise taxes. I really don’t like that idea because it does not stop the growth. In fact, I’d argue it encourages the growth of the government. So again, what to do?
I think we all must sacrifice. I think that means a combination of tax increases, government job layoffs and a reduction or elimination of social security and similar programs for my generation. We need to act soon. We cannot continue to push these problems down the road and under the rug.