The past couple of months, I’ve taken to biting my nails again, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. In fact, the media has had me on the verge of a nervous breakdown with its coverage of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (“Super Committee”).
I can’t tell you how stressed I’ve been thinking about the gut-wrenching task these hardworking, upstanding men and women have been facing. The thought of them having to find a way to cut spending by $1.2 trillion by November 23 or face automatic, across-the-board spending cuts has caused my anxiety level to go through the roof.
I’ve tried to console myself by recalling that Mr. Keynes assured us that in the long run we’re all dead anyway, but I still find myself hyperventilating, breaking out in cold sweats, and having to fight off deficit headaches.
Buddha, who was a cut above John Maynard Keynes when it came to wisdom, said that all unhappiness is caused by attachment. Reflecting on his words, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the essence of my problem. I simply became too attached to the Super Committee crisis, and the thought that these admirable public servants might “fail” has been more than I could bear.
Now that judgment day is finally upon us, the anticipation has become so nerve wracking that I find myself … hmm … well, to tell you the truth, I find myself yawning a lot. Sort of like watching an old movie that I’ve seen many times before — a movie that I didn’t much care for the very first time I saw it.
Okay, enough. Let’s get real here. Only the play-along-to-get-along media could hype a business-as-usual non-event like the Super Committee’s thumb-sucking task into sounding like the Cuban-missile crisis — or at least the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
Does anyone really take this stuff seriously? Sadly, yes. In fact, I have it on good authority that millions of political junkies can get an erection lasting more than four hours over the most mundane news coming out of the Capitol Building or the White House. And according to the ads I’ve seen on TV, all of them would be wise to consult their doctors.
Sorry, but the truth is that themedia’s hand wringing over the Super Committee’s deficit-reduction work is nothing more than a monumental farce! By getting the public to focus on the either-or choice of cutting $1.2 trillion from the budget over ten years or triggering automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion, Congress is once again able to distract from what really needs to be done.
And when I say really needs to be done, I’m talking about cutting a minimum of $1.5 trillion from the budget next year. Why $1.5 trillion? Because that’s what it would take to balance the current budget — which is already ten times greater than it should be.
It’s all just part of the same old Washington game, and the rules of the game are very simple: Democrats never agree to any serious spending cuts, and Republicans always give in — while pretending to be victorious, of course.
In other words, from the Democrats’ point of view, it’s “Heads, I win; tails, you lose.” And from the Republicans’ point of view, it’s “Just let us continue to eat in the congressional dining room, work out in the congressional gym, and have access to insider stock trading information and we’ll go along with just about anything you ask of us.”
So, in the end, it never really mattered whether the so-called spending cuts came from the Super Committee or as a result of “automatic, across-the-board spending cuts.” Either way, the budget, the deficit, and the national debt were guaranteed to continue to rise — and at an accelerating rate, at that.
What does this mean in terms of next November’s elections? Well, if the Republicans run a progressive candidate like Mitt Romney, once again allowing themselves to be intimidated by the Democrats’ constant admonishments that “voters want Democrats and Republicans to come together,” then they will have learned nothing from their Mush McCain mistake in 2008.
It’s scary to think about, but even Ann Coulter has fallen into the ageless trap of believing that conservatives should once again set aside their principles and nominate a candidate who can win. Not only is such a position unprincipled, it also yields either a losing presidential race or a Republican president who does nothing more than carry the water bucket for Democrats. (Think George W. Bush.)
Perhaps the biggest tipoff that Romney has Democrats licking their chops at the thought of his winning the Republican nomination is that their liberal media cheerleaders keep insisting he is the candidate Democrats fear most. That’s a dead giveaway for just how badly they want him to be the Republican nominee. Trust me, the thought of running nonstop ads that feature Barack Obama thanking Mitt Romney for creating the model for Obamacare has them both salivating and cackling.
Of course, if voters bypass Romney and flee into the arms of Newt Gingrich, Democrats would also have a ball with some of Newt’s more infamous positions — supporting TARP, global-warming couch sessions with Nancy Pelosi, favoring an individual mandate for healthcare, and, worst of all, referring to Paul Ryan’s serious budget-cutting plan as “extreme right-wing social engineering.”
The important question of the day is not whether the Super Committee will “compromise” and work out a spending-cut plan or take the easy way out and allow automatic spending cuts to be triggered. Either way, you can be sure that there will be no significant cutbacks in government spending.
A far more important question is: Will conservatives be smart enough and tough enough to understand that their promise to cut the size and scope of government and put an end to the criminality in Washington is what got them elected to Congress in 2010?
Or will they misread the political climate once again and run scared — right into the arms of their socialist pals across the aisle — and hand the only Marxist president in American history a default victory that will give him the time he needs to finish the job of destroying what is left of the U.S. economy?
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Copyright © 2011 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.
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