The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tipping Point

In a full page ad that appeared in a number of major newspapers this morning, the Cato Institute , a right-leaning libertarian think tank, laments the federal government’s headlong dash toward insolvency. The ad begins by castigating the Obama administration for its big government philosophy and lack of concern for deficit reduction:
Our looming debt crisis threatens to destroy the American dream for future generations. Yet your administration continues piling up deficits of over a trillion dollars a year. By 2012 our national debt will be larger than the entire U.S. economy. Isn't it past time you identified the programs you'd cut?

But Cato recognizes that the problem hardly started with President Obama:
In all fairness, both parties got us into this mess. "Deficits don't matter," Vice President Dick Cheney scoffed as the Bush administration and a Republican Congress led one of the biggest spending sprees in American history, nearly doubling federal outlays over eight years. Our bipartisan flight from responsibility is a national disgrace — and it's fast becoming a national disaster. Vague promises to eliminate "waste, fraud, and abuse" won't cut it any more. Both parties need to step up with specific and substantial cuts.

The Institute then goes on to delineate specific cuts in federal programs that include education (better left to state and local governments), defense (achieved by winding down the war in Afghanistan and then restructuring the military and its procurement system), agriculture (eliminating farm subsidies to agribusiness), transportation programs (better left to state and local governments), entitlements (profound restructuring of both social security and medicare), among many topics.

Interestingly, the Cato Institute is more in tune with general public sentiment (based on recent polling about the deficit, which a majority of respondents rate as the most important challenge facing the government) than the political elites in both parties.

The Democrat majority in the Congress, supported by its cheerleaders in the media, don’t seem to recognize that the people of our country have hit a tipping point. The profligate spending of the Obama administration and it predecessors, coupled with the arrogance of a current congressional majority that rammed through a costly new health care entitlement is what spawned “push back” exemplified by the hated tea parties.

In what can only be characterized as a panic, Democrats and Left-leaning pundits work tirelessly to demonize the loose coalition of tea party citizen’s groups. They ferret out fringe participants and extrapolate their actions to paint a citizen’s movement as extreme, dangerous, even crazy or racist. In reality, the vast majority of those who support the tea party are everyday middle class people who are fed up with big government and big spending.

But the group that Angelo Codevilla calls “the ruling” class is blind to all of this. Maybe their eyes will open wide in November, but then again, maybe not.