Monday, December 3, 2012
Ordinary Americans, some involved in the Tea Party movement, some involved in local efforts, and some involved in no formal organization at all, are concerned about the country’s future. Not long after President Obama entered office and revealed himself to be the reckless spender he is, these people decided to take a stand and speak out against a government that was growing too big and spending too much. Contrary to what left wing politicians and their leftist media comrades would propagandize the country into believing, the opposition to the President is not rooted in racism. It’s rooted in patriotism and a desire to preserve America through common sense measures. Riding that wave, the 2010 midterm elections brought fresh faces to Congress, as Americans used their voting power to demonstrate their fatigue with the permanent political class and their desire to elect public servants who would do the people’s business with fiscal restraint.
So how is it that we stand where we are today, teetering on the edge of this so-called fiscal cliff, with Americans wondering if politicians—on both sides of the aisle—are talking out of both sides of their mouths? Currently, it looks like the Republican Establishment is showing more spunk than I’m accustomed to seeing them show. Perhaps this will be the time that they stand on principle and not allow themselves to be party to that game so popular in Washington, Kick the Can Down the Road. Time will tell.
I’m just a simple person, and in my simple mind time-tested methods should always be applied when funds are low and debt is high. First and foremost—again in my simple mind—should be taking this advice: Stop spending!
There’s much Washington can learn from how Governor Palin executed her duties as a public servant. She has a record of fiscal responsibility. As mayor of her hometown of Wasilla and governor of Alaska, she demonstrated her knowledge that she was a steward of other people’s money. Politicians today seem to have a hard time understanding that they, too, have been entrusted with other people’s money and must handle that responsibility prudently, which might explain why they all too often speak so cavalierly about taking more of this money to finance continued spending.
Never has this been more evident than in President Obama’s commitment to raising taxes during woeful economic times when hardworking Americans need more, not less, of their own money in their own pockets and when our job creators cannot afford the additional tax strain that’s coming down the pike if Obama has his way. Democrats continue to advocate for kicking the can down the road, expecting Americans to wait another year before they tackle entitlement reform and serious spending cuts. Will Republicans be equally guilty, easily caving on the issue of taxing and spending, or will they be true to their principles? Where exactly will these fiscal cliff talks take them—and us?
The situation America faces is a serious one, but when I look at Governor Palin’s history in office, it doesn’t seem a hopelessly difficult situation. It boils down, again, to a common sense approach. The Governor has always said that public servants should do for their constituents what they do for their own families during tough times: cut all superfluous spending, shop more wisely, save for a rainy day, and make sacrifices. During her time serving Alaskans, she endeavored to function within that framework of fiscal restraint and sanity. I’m not talking about times of bankruptcy. She did the right thing even during a surplus. That’s wisdom. That’s discipline. That’s stewardship.
In her capacity as mayor, she cut personal property tax, the business inventory tax, and the property tax mil levy every year. As governor, she yearly utilized her line-item veto power to cut spending by millions of dollars, invested $5 billion in state savings, forward-funded education, provided Alaskans a resource rebate to offset energy costs, and opted to reject much of the proffered “stimulus” funds. The upshot of the Governor’s wise fiscal management included a business boom, decreased unemployment, and an improved credit rating.
Putting her money where her mouth was, Governor Palin also denied herself raises during her career. How often do we see this from our politicians? Rather, they’re too often getting fat off of insider trading, legal graft, and crony capitalism, as foreign policy adviser to Governor Palin, Peter Schweizer, reveals in his book, Throw Them All Out.
With the fiscal cliff political football being bandied about, politicians need to return to the basics of sound practice, the kind Governor Palin espoused. My simple mind leads me to believe that measures that work in running a family, city, or state will work in running this country. Furthermore, my simple mind thinks that there should be no consideration of raising taxes—and no caving on the issue—when politicians have not gotten serious about cutting spending. Line by line, program by program, entitlement by entitlement, it’s time to do the work of reining in all wasteful, unnecessary, unsustainable spending. America cannot wait until next year. We cannot kick the can down the road. We’ve reached the end of the road already. As Governor Palin told Greta Van Susteren recently, “We’ve already gone over the cliff.” Indeed, Americans cannot afford to pay more of their hard-earned money in taxes to a government that refuses to do its part to truly cut into the debt and deficit, but instead burdens the very people they claim to be serving.
I sure do hope our elected officials are up to the task because much is riding on their ability to do the right thing.