Some seem to have walked away from my last post with the impression that I wanted the House Republican leadership to commit political suicide out of principle. To make things crystal clear: I understand that the Republicans control “only one half of one third” of the government, and I recognize that we are not going to get everything we want as a result. But I think it’s very important to highlight that what we were able to squeeze out of the Democrats is not even close to being enough to get us out of the financial hole we’re in. That was the purpose of my last post. I truly believe that celebrating this latest deal will only encourage complacency on the part of our leaders, and so I refuse to pat them on the back for it, even if it is indeed the case that, political realities being what they are, $38 billion in change was all we could cut.
The other purpose of my last post was to criticize the Republican leadership for their poor handling of the media. There are a lot of people out there who have no clue what is actually going on with the federal budget. And it’s not because they’re stupid; it’s because nobody has told them the truth. For example, how many ordinary Americans are aware of the fact that the Democrats refused to pass a budget while they had a super-majority in the Congress and control of the White House? How many Americans have been told that we would not be absorbed in this partisan wrangling over FY 2011 right now if the Democrats hadn’t shirked their duty? How many are aware of the size of our deficit and how piddly even the most stringent of the proposed cuts have been in comparison?
If recent opinion polls are any indication, Americans don’t genuinely see the fiscal danger we’re in. While many pay lip service to making budget cuts, when you ask them for specifics, they go wobbly:
So if we can’t make cuts in education, Medicare, Social Security, research, military expenses, etc., what can we cut?
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m frustrated. There are too many people out there with their hands out and not enough people who’ve agreed to take one for the team. And in many ways, this is our fault, conservatives, because we are, to a man, too chicken to confront the left. Oh, yes, we have our shock-jocks out there singing to the choir, but those with some power to do something always flinch whenever the Democrats rail at us for being big meanies who wish to starve grandma. Someone on our side in DC needs to have the balls to tell liberals that their accusations are psychotic. That’s all there is to it. And it has to be someone with some seniority. Allen West is fantastic and all, but when he takes the left to task, only those who regularly read The Hill end up hearing about it — and that’s not going to help us at all.