Summer is usually associated with vacations to the shore and blockbusters from Hollywood. With summer almost at the close, Governor Mitt Romney has just delivered a blockbuster of his own and brought the upcoming campaign into focus with his selection of .
This provides for an epic battle between the "cool kids" with teleprompters and the "nerds" with calculators over the best way to address two problems facing the nation; improving the economy and taming the federal budget. Now is the time for an adult conversation on the choices voters will have to make on the future direction of our country.
While it may not seem that way, the economy and the budget are interrelated. Over the past several years the budgets presented by President Obama have been rejected by the Senate which is controlled by his own party. His most recent spending plan was voted down by a vote of 99-0. Meanwhile under President Obama, Washington continues to spend a trillion dollars a year more than it takes in and has done so every year since he was sworn in.
The bottom line is that every dollar spent by the federal government is a dollar diverted from productive use by the private sector. Looking at it another way, the dollars kept in the private sector go to build companies like Apple while those taken by Washington go to fund companies like Solyndra and other ventures best described as crony capitalism.
We are borrowing over a trillion dollars a year from the private sector, diverting that money to unproductive activities and then we are left wondering why the economy is not growing. With annual deficits of a trillion dollars for as far as the eye can see and a total national debt larger than our economy, it is time for a realistic plan to that comes to grips with the fact that no government (local, state or federal) can continue to spend more than it takes in.
Congressman Ryan has developed just such a plan to cut spending and balance the budget. There is no doubt his plan will be the subject of much criticism and distortion by Democrats. One criticism we are already hearing is that the Romney/Ryan team and Republicans want to end Social Security and Medicare. The Democrats who make that statement would have you believe that a few loons who talk about ending all entitlements that are not contained "in the Constitution" are somehow representative of the Republican Party. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No sane person in the Republican Party is calling for the end of either program. Claims to the contrary and attempts at demagoguery do nothing more than delay a much needed discussion of the difficult choices we will have to make.
Congressman Ryan has presented a credible plan to solve our fiscal problems in a way that ensures that both Social Security and Medicare will survive and continue to serve those in the middle class that are counting on the programs. As Congressman Ryan has said, “If you are going to criticize then you should propose.” And the position taken by President Obama and Democrats of doing nothing and shouting down any discussion is worse than no proposal - it is an abdication of responsibility. The hard fact is that doing nothing will lead to the ultimate demise of both programs as they are fiscally unsustainable.
It has always been my belief that voters want to be treated like adults and to be told the truth, even when it is not pleasant. The issue between now and November is whether demagoguery or facts will come out on top. While demagoguery often wins the initial battle, I believe that facts and the Romney/Ryan team will ultimately prevail.